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First Line: The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised.

About: 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. (goodreads)

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Pages: 440

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Review: It is so dreadfully hard to find a good steampunk. I really, really love the genre, but can hardly ever read it because of the lack of really good books in it. But when I do find one, it is like a rare, rare gem. 

Leviathan has been one steampunky novel that I have heard about everywhere (besides the Infernal Devices. But I don't really count that as hard-core steampunk). So, naturally, I had to read it and see if it would satisfy my steampunk craving. (I really love steampunk, okay)

And, I was actually pretty impressed. 

This book is based in a different sort of World War I, which is super great, because I love that time period, and I also no nothing about World War I (because everyone just focuses on WWII now to even care to tell me anything about WWI... even wikipedia couldn't help me #confused), so win-win. 

I'll admit, it was kind of hard to really get into this book (I have learned that I'm not a big fan of pictures in chapter books, and this book does have pictures. I'm not sure if that's why I had trouble getting into it at first or what...), but once I did it was kind of a whirl-wind of a ride.

First off, I thought that The Clankers and the Darwinists should've been on opposite sides. It's probably just me, but I felt like England and all of the "good guys" in WWI would've had the cool robots and stuff. I don't know, the weird animal thingys just seemed like something the "evil" German and other "bad" countries would take too... but anyway, it doesn't matter, just a thought.

I did like Deryn a whole lot. She was so much fun, but I felt it was kind of weird how she was just (quite literally) blown into the Leviathan (Oh, did I mention that the big whale ship thing is called Leviathan?), but I guess it sort of worked. 

I didn't like Alek as much, but, you know he was okay.

The big kicker for me was it felt like watching an action movie. Not that action movies are at all bad, it's just, you know when you're watching a superhero movie or something and they just will. not. stop. fighting! That's kind of how it felt reading this book. There would be chapters upon chapers of intense fighting. Which is great for people who like that kind of thing, but for me, the hardest thing to visualise while reading a book is the fighting. So my mind would just be wandering around while reading those scenes, and viola! I had no idea what was going on!

But all in all I really loved the steampunkyness, and will probably read the next book :)

Other Fun Stuff:

“Maybe this was how you stayed sane in wartime: a handful of noble deeds amid the chaos. ” 

― Scott WesterfeldLeviathan

“Barking spiders!” 

― Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan

“And a special thanks for not burning up the whole ship. Including yourself, you daft bum-rag.” 

― Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan

“Barking hard work, being a boy.” 

― Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan

Romance: Hardly any at all. Which was refreshing.

Violence: A whole stinkin' lot. Which wasn't that refreshing. 

Recommended Age: 11-12+ (boys would probably enjoy it more than girls, though)



  1. I loved this book, and I think that older readers would definitely enjoy it too, because it deals with a lot of mature themes. Have you read the Uglies? Its also by him and its a great series.Oh, and I agree about not liking Alek that much, he wasn't the books strongest character at all.

  2. I have not read the Uglies series, but it has been up on my TBR list forever! I hope to pick it up sometime soon. :)

  3. Oh! I have this book on my TBR list.I haven't gotten to it yet.
    *face palm*
    I guess I will have to pick it up soon!

  4. I honestly should try a Scott Westerfeld again. I keep getting him confused with Philip Reeve, who I read and didn't really like (I read Fever Crumb, though, so maybe I should have read one of his main series? But I totally digress!) I DID like the ideas in The Uglies, but the writing was so my style. STILL. That was aaaaages ago. Need to have another crack at it. Oh gosh, I swear, my head is going to explode, but I DO REALLY WANT TO READ every book ever.

  5. Okay, my reply button isn't working, this is extremely weird. But anyway...

    @Samantha, yes you should definitely read it! (if you like this sort of stuff)

    @Cait, There are just far too many books in the world! I keep staring at my TBR and wish I owned and read all of them :)