Plot Summary: It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.
Time and time again, Scott Westerfeld has proven that he can create vivid new worlds. He does it again with LEVIATHAN.
The story is told in alternating viewpoints, Deryn and Alek. Deryn is girl pretending to be a boy so she can get into the British Air Service and fly. Alek is the son of the heir to the Austria-Hungary empire. But he’s not considered royal because his mother was a commoner.
I loved Deryn. She is vivacious, determined, clever, and quick on her feet. All of these things get her both into and out of trouble. She is a character that always brings a smile to my face whenever I think of her, and so rounded she seems real.
Alek’s story is different. He’s not quite as likable, and I had a hard time figuring out why. But I think it’s because he starts out as someone of privilege who is thrown into poverty. Not many regular people can relate to that. The situation with his parents evokes some sympathy, but he has the arrogance and pride of royalty. But still, he grew throughout the story, making plenty of mistakes along the way, and that endeared him to me. I think he’ll continue to grow as the story progresses (at least, that’s what I hope).
The ending is a bit of a torturous cliffhanger, but there is some resolution so I didn’t feel like I was left completely hanging. Also, it did seem to take a bit too long for Alek and Deryn to meet, but the pacing was still quick enough to keep me turning pages. I am really looking forward to the next book, and I definitely recommend this book.