Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathanis an alternate history, steampunk story of World War I. Prince Aleksander is on the run from his so-called allies, when his parents are unexpectedly killed. Meanwhile, Deryn is joining the British Air Service, disguised as a boy, and ends up on the Leviathan, not your typical airship. When Alek's and Deryn's paths cross, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive.


Things I Liked:
What a fabulous story! This book is full of fun and fantastical creatures - the stuff that steampunk is made of - and wonderfully quirky characters. I became fascinated with the technology from the Austro-Hungarians and the creatures from the Britains. Deryn managed to be at once lovable and prickly, becoming one of my favorite heroines of all time. In addition, the book is filled with gorgeous and accurate (to the book's descriptions) illustrations that add so much to the text. Here are a few of my favorite humorous quotes:
"They endlessly competed to see who could spit farther, drink rum faster, or belch the loudest. It was bloody exhausting, being a boy." p 102-103
"Yes," Alek said. "A frostbitten bum would've been unfortunate." p 236
Things I Didn't Like:
I was only mildly annoyed the story didn't feel like it wrapped up much. Fortunately, this means sequels!

Reminded me very much of Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel
Also, Airman by Eoin Colfer

s-factor: !
a very few

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
some mild fighting

Overall rating: *****

Got any favorite steampunk books?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage,
I will get a very small percentage


  1. I really want to read this book. Steampunk is one of those sub-genres I would never be able to write- it intimidates me so!

  2. I'm pretty sure I haven't got the imagination for such books. Love to read 'em though!

  3. I loved Scott Westerfeld's "Risen Empire" novels and am looking forward to reading Leviathan, in part because I love steampunk.

    For others who also like the subgenre, Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius (adventure, romance, mad science) graphic novel series may be worth a look. Volumes 1 through 8 are out in hardcopy but you can also read the story to date on www.girlgenius.online

  4. I am so glad you liked this one. I have it on my shelves and can't wait to read it!

  5. Andie, thanks for all your steampunk suggestions!

    reviewsbylola, you've definitely got something to look forward to!


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