Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Goodreads: Leviathan
Series: Leviathan #1

Summary: Prince Aleksander is fleeing for his life after the murders of his mother and father, the rulers of Austro-Hungary. Deryn Sharp has disguised herself as a boy so she can serve in the British Air Service. The First World War is starting, and Alek and Deryn are not sure they are on the same side, but a series of events will bring them together on a surprising adventure.

Review: Leviathan started out slowly, taking time to build a world where Germany and her allies have invented machines that walk like animals and England and her allies rely on enormous fabricated species to do the work of machines. For the first 100 pages, I admit I was somewhat bored. However, after the scene is set, Westerfeld takes readers on a fairly exciting adventure complete with battles between the different Clanker and Darwinist technologies and a plethora of political and personal secrets. The story is populated with a great cast of characters, including Alek and his loyal followers, Deryn, a lady scientist!, and the Leviathan itself. The interactions between them are fascinating and sure to become more complex in the sequel. Though there was only the faintest whiff of a romance in Leviathan, that is obviously coming, too. Overall, Leviathan will be a good read for fans of history or science fiction and will be equally appealing to readers of either gender.

Also included are a number of fantastic illustrations of goose bump-inducing scenes by Keith Thompson and a note on the actual history of WWI for comparison with the story.

Published: 2009

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