Monday, June 28, 2010


Author Appreciation week is a way for me to tackle my TBR pile. This week I'm focusing on Scott Westerfeld. I first found Scott through The book Uglies. I'll be reviewing that later. For moore information on Scott visit his website at   My first review is of the wonderful  Novel Leviathan. I'm going to continue with my top 5 format.


1) Doing a readalong with fellow Blogger Aths of  more about that later :)

2) Deryn Sharp. Deryn is one of the two main characters of Leviathan. I don't want to give too much away but she is a joy in this book! Her courage, and her journey are enjoyable.

3) Clankers vs Darwinists. Leviathan is a fun adventurous read but Scott also manages to explore deeper themes. The clankers are industrialized. Walking machinery, with it's fuels and exhausts vs The Darwinists who genetically modify animals for there needs. Having Alek come from the world of the Clankers and Deryn from the Darwinist's leads to some interesting action between the character's.

4) Anticipation. The chapters alternate between Alek and Deryn. As the action progressed towards their first meeting I became more and more excited to see what there first encounter would be like. It wasn't disappointing! It also showed a different side of both characters personalities.

5) Illustrations. Keith Thompson's illustrations are amazing. I don't know if I could have had a clear vision of Scott's vision of the book with out them.

Now here is my review. Ill be reading at least 3 books by Scott this week and hosting a giveaway on Friday.

Leviathan (Leviathan, #1) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Leviathan is a wonderful YA alternate history novel. "It is The cusp of World War 1... Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austo Hungarian Empire is on the run"

Alek's parents have been murdered and he is the heir to an Empire and in mortal danger. In England we are introduced to Deryn a young woman disguising herself as a man to enter the British Air Corps. Though this novel parallels the events of World World 1 it is world s apart.

In this world two major schools of thought have shaped the face of the planet. In England there are the Darwinists, a group of scientists who have mapped human and animal DNA strains to create beasts of burden and battle. Like the namesake of the book: Leviathan a massive living ship spliced with the DNA of a Giant whale. These are Daryn's people. A training mishap lands Daryn as a midshipman on the Leviathan. There she struggles to learn the ways of the ship and hide her secret from the all male crew.

Alek's countrymen are also know as Clankers. They favor all things mechanical and think that much of the Darwinists work is Godless. Fate conspires to bring these two groups in proximity. One selfless act on Alek's part brings the two groups together.

I loved everything about this book! Though it could be labeled as "steampunk" it is not required to know anything about that genre or even World War 1 :) The plot moves quickly and I found myself anxious for the two main characters to meet. Deryn is definitely my favorite in the series. She is such a great role model for girls. Watching her pull her weight as much as the other crew is inspiring, it's also nice to see her connect with her feminine side as she deals with the strange new feelings she has for Alek.

Alek has a wonderful series of personal growth experiences in this novel. Barely able to mourn for his parents he is on the run for his life and the future of his country. He makes several costly mistakes but he learns and grows from them. The contrast of his and Deryn's personalities leads to several hilarious scenes. The added bonus in the story is the mysterious Dr. Barlowe a female Darwinist who comes aboard Leviathan with a strange cargo and an even stranger influence on the captain. I look forward to the sequel Behemoth in October.

View all my reviews >>

1 comment:

Aths said...

Excellent review! Deryn was such a wonderful character! My! That's who girls should love, not Bella. :)