Published in: 2009
Edition read: Hardcover
Series: Book 1 in the Leviathan trilogy
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.
Why did I wait so long to read this book? I brought my copy of it from a second-hand store I was dragged into by a friend about 4 years ago, and then it gathered dust on my shelf for years. Well, now I’ve read it and I loved it and it was amazing. It took some getting used to the world in this book- it’s like ours but not, an alternate history of the beginning of world war 1. I liked the idea of the walker machines that they had, though they sound hell clunky when compared to vehicles with wheels. I didn’t quite get used to the Darwinist creations though, those were weird. If I was in this world, I’d be a Clanker all the way, even though I support the Darwinist theories of evolution- I just wouldn’t be able to handle being around that many animals, spliced or natural. Especially the Leviathan itself, I could not handle a flying whale, let alone one you can go inside of (I have a serious phobia of whales. Yes that is a thing, I am scared of whales, so the idea of a flying one is kinda my worst nightmare).
Anyhoodle. The book was fast paced and interesting to read, the two protagonists- Alek and Derryn- are fantastic and I kept waiting for Alek to find out Derryn’s a girl. Derryn’s definitely got the hots for Alek and I’m interested to see how this plays out in the next book, especially once Alek finds out she is a girl, will he end up having feelings for her too? Here’s to hoping!
I also really enjoyed the illustrations throughout the book, it’s one thing to try and picture the strange machines and creatures that are described in the book, it’s another to actually see how the author visualises them. The walkers came out completely different in my imagination to how they are illustrated in the book, and the illustration helps immensely as then things make more sense (e.g. it had tiny cannons protruding from the front plates? What plates? I have no front plates in my imagined machine. Oh, that’s what you mean? Right I get you now).
Leviathan rating: 8/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? For young adults, anyone interested in alternate history, the world wars, steampunk, fantasy/sci fi, etc.
Author’s website: http://scottwesterfeld.com/books/leviathan/