Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Leviathan

Scott Westerfield
Read August 2011

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.

This book charmed me. Generally I don't like historical novels, and I had never read an alternate history novel, so I was weary. However, a good friend recommended this series, so I took her word for it.

Talk about a witty adventure!

I don't think I've ever read something so vivid in my life, especially for a YA novel. Right now it seems that recently I've been on a great-novel, very-vivid reading spree—which, of course, has been awesome. Who can say no to discovering so many great books so close together?

The thought Westerfield put into his alternate world is amazing. Everything feels real in its own right. The Darwinists and Clankers fascinated me, and even the 'science' of the Leviathan made sense to me. Very clever, Mr. Westerfield, very clever.

The commentary and curse-words amused me. It was pretty easy to figure out what they meant, and they did fit the dialogue well. I really enjoyed how Westerfield was aiming for time-period feel with his novel, complete with the formatting and the wonderful illustrations by illustrator Keith Thompson. Thompson accented Westerfield's work brilliantly. The characters were exactly how I pictured, and the scenes he drew for us made everything so much more of an aesthetic adventure.

Props to them both!

"Our dreams are the reverse of our waking imaginations; the motions when we are awake, beginning at one end; and when we dream at another." Chapter 2, pg. 13.

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