Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Released: October 6, 2009

Hardcover, 448 pages

ISBN: 9781416971733

Ages: 12 and up

Grades: 7 and up

Recommended for: fantasy and action readers

Teaser quote:

Alek watched a massive foot plant itself upon the forest floor. Long seconds later another tremor arrived, rippling across the trees around them and up through the Stormwalker's metal frame. As the next step fell, a distant treetop flailed and then vanished, torn down by the giant walker's stride. (page 46)

My rating: 4.5 /5

My thoughts:

It is 1914 and Prince Aleksander's parents have just been murdered. His father had planned for such an event & the necessary steps where put into motion. Now Alek was on the run & not sure who to trust. Deryn Sharp was a tomboy of sorts who loved Ballooning with her dad. With the help of her brother & a disguise (remember this is 1914, no girls allowed), she tries out for the British Air Service. By chance, thanks to a storm, she joins the crew of the Leviathan, a whale airship. Ironically for such caring people, it is war that brings together Alek & Deryn's two completely different 'worlds'.

This first book of a trilogy is full of action, easily devoured. Scott Westerfeld paints an amazing alternate world drawing from the origins of World War I. In this world, countries are divided into Clankers (who create machines that mimick animals) and Darwinists (where biology is key, they create new creatures). Alek is a Clanker, Deryn is a Darwinist and both carry secrets. One person's secret is revealed to a few, the other remains untold... I can't wait for it to be discovered. Once that comes into play, I can see the characters taking on a bigger role. In this story, I think Alek & Deryn took the backseat with action as the focus - or maybe I was just in awe at the machines & animals?

I can't help but say how much I loved the art work, it added so much more to the reading experience. I am still in awe at the Leviathan on page 70, what an awesome creature. This was my first "steampunk" read & wow, I loved it!


  1. I just bought this book. I originally reserved it at the library but it is just so beautiful I wanted to own it. I can't wait to read it! Great review!

  2. Stephanie~ it is stunning, isn't it! Defintately one to display on the bookshelf :)

  3. Oh, this sounds like a really good read! :) I will definitely be adding it to my wish list! Thanks for the wonderful review :)

  4. Great review! 4.5?! Sounds great! I've got this waiting in my bedside table pile, can't wait to get to it.

  5. Krista ~ thanks! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

    Nicola ~ this one jumped on top of my TBR pile, I couldn't resist ;)

  6. I might have to move this book to the top of the pile. Been hearing such great stuff about it. Great review!

  7. I began hearing the term 'steampunk' when this book first began floating around the blogosphere. I have a copy of this book, but haven't gotten a chance to read it yet. I've heard only good things so far!

  8. Karoline ~ yes, you should! It was an amaizng journey

    Amanda ~ I had to look up the term, lol. It was a very cool book, the 1st of a trilogy. Scott also mentioned that there will be a picture book at the end of the series, I can't wait!

  9. I've heard quite a few positive things about this book. It sounds fantastic and I can't wait to read it! Great review and thanks for sharing. :)

  10. Nice review! I have this book in my TBR list, hopefully I get to it eventually! :)

  11. Nikki ~ thanks!

    Eleni ~ you'll have to move it up ;)

  12. hi,
    this books sounds great. i'll recommend it to my tween son.

    Mel - 'Must Love Hellhounds' arrived! I'm so happy. Thanks again.

  13. I've only heard great things about this book. I've been meaning to pick it up, but I've been trying to stop myself from buying things until my TBR pile gets a bit smaller. This one is definitely on my list, though. Glad to see you liked it!

  14. I am glad you enjoyed this book! I bought it recently and hope to read it with my son soon.

  15. Lizzy ~ it's definately a book to buy but yes I know what you mean.. TBR piles can get out of control, lol.

    Laughing Stars ~ oh I'd love to know what you guys think! How old is he?