Saturday, October 17, 2015
Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Hey, readers! I hope you're all having a lovely autumn so far. One of my favorite things about fall is being able to just curl up with a book and some tea or coffee, whether it's in a cafe or at home, and to enjoy some quality reading time to myself. And what could be better than reading Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan? (Hint: not much.)
Leviathan takes place in an alternate 1914, weeks before the outbreak of World War I. The political and social landscape of Europe is hugely divided between the Darwinists (the Triple Entente) and the Clankers (the Allies), with the Darwinists relying on genetically engineered animals as technology and the Clankers using enormous walking machines. The story alternates between two brilliant characters -- Deryn Sharp, who has disguised herself to serve on the airship Leviathan; and Alek, the son (but not heir) of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Leviathan follows both of their journeys across Europe as tensions are mounting and violence seems imminent, seemingly separate but actually intertwined. And once they actually meet, things become even more complicated.
I first read Leviathan when I was in 8th grade, right after it first came out, and I've read my copy so many times that it's starting to fall apart. The mixture of history and steampunk sets an enrapturing tone for the book, and Scott Westerfeld's magnificent writing and Keith Thompson's gorgeously intricate illustrations make the reader become fully engrossed.
And if you like Leviathan, why stop there? Unlike me, you won't have to wait a year to get copies of Leviathan's sequels, Behemoth and Goliath, which are -- dare I say it -- even better than Leviathan is.
I really hope you'll grab a copy of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld sometime over the next few months. You'll be in for an adventure you'll be glad you didn't miss!