Sunday, March 3, 2013

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

"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."

After being hounded by my friend to read this for ages, I've finally gotten around to it. It went really fast; I finished it in a couple days. I think this is partly due to the formatting, which is quite generous when it comes to spacing, and also due to the split narrative. I would most times get hooked on either Deryn's or Alek's story (more often Deryn's) and so I would keep reading through the chapters of the other character in order to reach the first story again. This happened several times, and I think is somewhat to blame for my quick finish. I liked it, it felt kind of like Airborn by Kenneth Oppel but somehow divided up into more individual factors (i.e. pitting the "beasts" against the "machines" instead of integrating them like Airborn did). The summary doesn't say much about it, but the setting is slightly steampunk and there's these fabricated creatures that are called "Darwinists." Another thing I liked was that some elements of the story were very familiar, having studied WWI last year. It made understanding and comprehension easier. So, final summary: I wasn't blown out of my seat with the incredibility of it, but I quite liked it. A good and fast fantasy/history book, and one that definitely sets up a sequel. Actually, it seems vaguely like the author wrote one really long book and cut it at what seemed to be an okay part. Don't start reading it if you're not prepared to undertake the sequels, as I'll soon do. There are copies at Kettleson, SHS, and MEHS.

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