Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Steampunk
Review: World War 1 – Alternate History. Alek, a Clanker, is in hiding, running from the Germans who want to see him dead. Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, joined the army under the guise of a being a boy. Leviathan was such a big hit – a New York Times Bestseller, that I thought I’d read it. It’s a pretty hefty book, took me about 2 days to get through it (that being, of course, when I wasn’t doing school, chores, or computer stuff). First of all – the best thing about this book was the illustrations. OH MY GOODNESS! They were PERFECT! I miss illustrations in books (“How can you READ this? There’s no PICTURES!” “Some people just use their imagination.” ~ Gaston and Belle, Beauty and the Beast) and it was great to see these beautiful, intricate pencil drawings in here. They helped add to the book a lot.
It was an enjoyable read – I liked the steampunk alternate history thing quite a bit, and the humor, although minimal, was witty and well done. The thing that really galled me about the book, though, was the ‘Darwinist’ factor. Darwin is displayed as brilliant, and the Beasties that the Darwinists use are made of different ‘life-threads’ of animals that they evolve to use for different things. (“Sniffers,” six-legged, two-nosed dogs used to sniff out dangerous substances,” etc.).
And Darwin, Darwinists, and their fabricated ‘evolved’ Beasties were a huge part of the book. Really annoying.
But on the plus side, it was very, very clean. Squeaky, in fact! But I have to say that Incarceron was WAY better, as far as Steampunk goes.
3 stars out of 5