250 Word Review: Leviathan (Scott Westerfield)
Summary (From Goodreads.com)
In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.
Author: Scott Westerfield
Length: 434 Pages
Leviathan is a steampunk novel exploring an alternative World War I. It follows Alek, the Austrian Prince and fictional son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and Deryn Sharp a girl with dreams of joining the Air Force.
The two sides of the war are the ‘Clankers’ and the ‘Darwinists’. The Clankers use steam-powered machines, whilst the Darwinists use fabricated animals – genetically engineered such as tiger/wolf hybrids.
Alek, as a Clanker, is in critical danger after his parents are murdered. He and the few men with him, should be avoiding attention, but when an enormous Darwinist airship crash-lands, they could help save hundreds of lives.
Deryn Sharp is a girl forced to pretend she’s a boy in order to be allowed into the Air Force. She’s on board the Leviathan which crashes near Alek’s hiding place, and is dependant on his help to survive – but helping puts Alek’s life at risk.
Leviathan is an exciting tale of World War I with a twist, with likable characters and fascinating ideas. Throughout the novel, sketches are also interspersed, showing images of significant moments, or helping to visualise a strange machine or creature. I found these nice enough, and thought they did overall improve the book. However, there were slightly more images than I would have liked.
Buy it? For me it was more of a library book.
In a nutshell: Great concept, interesting characters, overall a nice quick read.