Friday, February 19, 2010

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

By: Scott Westerfeld

Description (From Goodreads):Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

Review: I didn't even know that the genre of steampunk existed until about a month ago. I must have been living under a rock or something. But, I've noticed it has become an increasingly popular genre, and this book is a good indication of why.

The illustrations in this book were really neat and one of my favorite parts. There was a new illustration every 5 pages or so, and they really added a depth to the story without being overly "cartoonish." (A reason why I could never really get into Manga). Here is an example of this awesome art:
I really liked the character and story of Deryn. I'm also up for a good story about a girl pretending to be a boy and kicking some trash. Deryn certainly did so. She had a lot of spunk and spirit, but also a good dose of compassion, especially at the end of the book.

Aleksander's story went in a little different direction than I had originally thought. While Deryn's story was pretty predictable, I was never quite sure where Aleksander was going to end up.

Sometimes telling a book from two perspectives really doesn't work for me. However, in this case, Westerfeld handled it beautifully. I wasn't as impressed with "The Uglies" series as I wanted to be, so it was nice to have a book by Westerfeld that I really enjoyed. I think this series is going to do really well. This book got a lot of buzz at the end of last year, and I can definitely see why.

Alanna by Tamora Pierce (For the "girl pretending to be a boy" story)
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (For the machinery aspect, and the boy working with girl story)
If you like other books in the Steam Punk genre, you'll like this one.

I gave this book 4 stars.

Profanity: Like all steampunk, the slang evolves into something different from our culture. So, nothing you'd recognize
Drugs and Alcohol: None
Sexuality: None
Violence: Moderate. This is WWI (or an alternate version), so there is a battle that is described.


  1. I can't wait to read this one! Like you, I didn't know steampunk even existed until recently, but I'm excited about to read one. They sound fascinating!

  2. This is on my 'to-read' list. It's being shipped to my house at this very moment. Thanks for the insightful review! I ordered the book without really knowing what it was about and I was unsure of the double-perspective aspect. I'm glad it is used well.

  3. At the school library where I volunteer, all the kids ask for novels with lots of pictures in them. This one is right on target!

  4. I just bought this one. Great review - thanks! :-)

  5. I can't wait to read this. I'm glad you liked it!

  6. I am very excited to read this book. It seems like it will be a great book because, of a girl trying to be a boy and her adventures. I can't wait to get a copy.

  7. It sounds... interesting. I'm not entirely sure I know what "steampunk" is. I do however, love unpredictable plot twists, so it sounds enjoyable.