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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

LeviathanTwo murders in Sarajevo mark the beginnings of the First World War Entangling alliances promise battles between the Darwinist powers, Russia, France, and Britain, and the Clanker countries, Germany and Austria-Hungary. For the Austro-Hungarian prince Aleksander Ferdinand, the pain of war comes all too soon. It was the death of his parents that caused war to brew in the first place, and now all he has is a worthless title, an old Stormwalker for transport and defense, and a small but loyal crew of men. Alek’s only hope is to find safe haven in a neutral country. For Deryn Sharp, the upcoming war is an opportunity. With the call for more military recruits, Deryn disguises herself as a boy and signs up for the British Air Service. It’s the only way she can do what she loves most—flying. Besides, the fabricated beasts she’ll use are nothing if fascinating. Disaster and coincidence cause Alek’s and Deryn’s paths to cross, and their resulting friendship is an unexpected alliance that will change their lives forever.

Part historical fiction, part sci-fi, and part fantasy, Leviathan reminds me of why I fell in love with Westerfeld’s fabulous storytelling in the first place. In this novel, Westerfeld presents an altered retelling of World War I that remains accurate in the opposing sides and historical causes, yet embellishes the story with imaginative adaptations. Each side’s war machines are marvels of the future, with the Clanker’s walking battle stations and the Darwinists’ biological hybrid creations. If that or the engaging plot doesn’t capture the reader’s attention, then the vivid characters definitely will. Alek and Deryn are complex and realistic people whose determination and inner goodness sets them apart from those around them. They’re both such likable characters that will win the hearts of numerous readers. The more minor characters are interesting and believable as well. Even the illustrations, which I usually shy away from in novels, were good additions that help readers picture and imagine the story. Leviathan is a fascinating story that sweeps readers away to a place that’s neither the past nor the future and will leave them pleading for more.

I personally cannot wait for a sequel to this fantastic novel. Leviathan will be enjoyed by Westerfeld fans and readers who liked Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher and The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott.

Rating: 4.75

Review copies from Amazon Vine and publisher Simon & Schuster

5 munch(es) :

Faye( Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm) said...

i really want 2 read this book, it looks awesome.

Simply_Megan said...

This book is on my bookshelf and now I'm really looking forward to reading it. Great review!

Krista/Tower of Books said...

I still haven't read anything by Westerfeld, but this book sounds really good!

J Wiles Parker said...

This was my favorite book of 2009, and you pretty much just explained why. Thanks for the glowing review.

Esme said...

This is one I want to read.

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