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43 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wish we had had this sort of technology back in 1914...or now!
Scott Westerfeld already has one amazing world he created, the sci-fi world of his Uglies series, and now he's gone ahead and made a world that's even cooler. Not only is this an excellent alternate history or steampunk book, but it's filled with absolutely stunning illustrations by artist Keith Thompson, though unfortunately the UK version doesn't have them. Boo...
Published on 14 Nov 2009 by L. R. Richardson

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Whoops
This book is meant for a young adult/ teen audience.
Did not know that, when I bought it!
Yeah, I know, I probably should have paid a little bit more attention to the other reviews of this book, but who here hasn't accidentally forgotten to do that on occassion?
Nevertheless, the book is well worth a read. The story is pretty good and it actually managed to...
Published on 1 April 2011 by Flemming Nielsen


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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 15 Feb 2010
This review is from: Leviathan (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this! I love steampunk anyway, but this was a really enjoyable take on it. I wasn't expecting much (I only really bought it because of the nice cover) so it was really a pleasant surprise. I found it very easy to get into and the storyline really gripping - I couldn't put it down! Some parts were a bit confusing at first, but the world was easy to get into and understand.

It seems there's going to be a second one (or at least I certainly hope so! The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger), I can't wait :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk to blow your mind!, 9 Jan 2010
This review is from: Leviathan (Hardcover)
Steampunk. It's a world of possibility; a genre that for many of us still holds the irrestible mystique of the unknown. It's a little bit sci-fi, a little bit fantasy, and a whole lot of new. In the hands of Scott Westerfeld, it's also mindblowing.

In Leviathan, we get two alternate worlds for the price of one. First up, there's the world of the Clankers, masters of machinery more advanced than anything found in our World War I. Second, there's the world of the Darwinists, masters of DNA whose technology is based in creating specialist animal species to suit their needs. And as a world-builder, Westerfeld reaches new heights in Leviathan, notably aided by Keith Thompson's beautiful illustrations. All those tantalising little details of the strange and unknown from his imagination are seamlessly interwoven with elements of our own history that seem almost as if they always belonged there. Readers will soon become swept up in the story and lose track of the boundary between fact and fiction, but it won't matter in the slightest. This version's better.

There's always something fascinating about a character concealing their true gender, and Westerfeld's Deryn Sharp is no exception. Under the assumed identity Dylan, our heroine (hero?) is accepted into the British air service on her merits - and enjoys a taste of what it's like to be a boy in her world. Which mostly seems to mean fighting, swearing and getting to spend time risking her life on fantastic Darwinist creations like the Leviathan of the title. All of which she'd no doubt describe as 'barking' good fun, and I'd have to agree with her there. She's beguiling and plucky, and she takes me back to those childhood days before girls and boys started to seem like two entirely different species. I think Scott Westerfeld may have cracked that elusive quality that makes a book appeal to male and female readers alike, and that's no mean feat.

That said, Leviathan definitely reads 'younger' than the other Scott Westerfeld books on my shelf. In the UK it's marketed for ages ten and up, and I think that's about right. The focus is strongly on the world-building and adventure, and although the protagonists are teenagers I didn't feel that character development was given as much attention as I'd usually expect in a YA novel. Sure, there was a whisper of potential romance, and I'll be interested to see how that develops throughout the series - but actually I found it refreshing to just be swept up in the breathtaking action and awe-inspiring world of Leviathan.

Leviathan isn't the first steampunk novel I've read, but it is the first steampunk novel I've truly connected with. It's accessible and immersive, and as an alternate history its relationship to our own is wholly fascinating. Steampunk fans won't want to miss it, and those new to the genre will find it the perfect introduction. I think this one might just become a classic.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Whoops, 1 April 2011
By 
Flemming Nielsen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)
This book is meant for a young adult/ teen audience.
Did not know that, when I bought it!
Yeah, I know, I probably should have paid a little bit more attention to the other reviews of this book, but who here hasn't accidentally forgotten to do that on occassion?
Nevertheless, the book is well worth a read. The story is pretty good and it actually managed to grab the inner teen in me, even though that's a few years in the past by now. So even if this is a young adult / teen book, I didn't regret buying it. In fact, I just might buy the second book as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow recommended from reddit, 20 Jan 2014
By 
simon gaule (crawley, west sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Leviathan (Kindle Edition)
What more can I say? This book was recommended in a listing of alternate reality titles on r/ scifi in reddit.
Many people raved about the book and so I took a chance a brought it.
What a find! The seemless way the writer draws you in and utterly convinces you of this timeline is sublime. The book reads fast paced but simple and has a light adventurous feel whereby you find if hard not to get caught up in the feelings and emotions of our two young heroes. I am fast on my way to get the rest of the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Leviathan (Kindle Edition)
I wasnt sure about this book when i started reading it but i became engrossed and couldnt put it down. Its a mix between darwinism and steam punk, very enjoyable and i would recommend you give it a try.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner, 4 Jan 2014
This review is from: Leviathan (Kindle Edition)
An alternate Europe on the brink of WWI - what's not to like? After an uncertain start, Westfield takes lots of liberties with just about everything and has a whole heap of fun on the way. He's also a master of action, which makes for a joyously breathless read. On the down side the McGuffin of the eggs isn't resolved - which it's nothing short of a cheap way of selling book 2. It would have been better if I wanted to read book 2 because I cared about the characters, as it is they serve the plot and that's about all. Still great fun, bubblegum history-light.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk carnage!, 12 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)
Good for the kids, but lacked substance and plausibility. I also dislike that it reimagined World War 1 in such a way. It seemed too contrived and distasteful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looking forward to Behemoth, 25 Oct 2013
This review is from: Leviathan (Kindle Edition)
A solid start to what promises to be an interesting series and I really loved the illustrations giving the story that extra appeal. I've not read steampunk before and am enjoying my journey into this genre. I must point out however that although Prince Alek's storyline is compelling and exciting, Deryn's thread was slightly tedious at times which may be partly down to the fact that I found her moderately annoying (though I can't quite put my finger on why).
All in all though the Darwinist and Clanker evolutions are a great concept, and Leviathan has intrigued me enough to want to read the second instalment, Behemoth. I'm hoping things hot up a little and we see some more action though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leviathan - powerful novel for all ages, 4 Sep 2013
By 
Pamela Kelt "PK" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)
From the opening, Scott Westerfield's Leviathan offers cinematic action, tight dialogue and a sweeping saga of a world warped by a strange war. The Germans' `clanker' machines are so realistic, it's hard to categorise this extraordinary book as `steam punk'. Their enemies, the British-led Darwinists, have meddled with nature, as real beasts transmogrify into living fabrications to suit the needs of man. The result is a war in an alternative 1914 that can only end badly.

Westerfield is a master at penetrating the adolescent mind, and his young heroes and heroines are so convincing, you can hear them speak in your head as you read. I particularly loved Deryn, the young Scottish girl who wangles her way into the air force. With her Amy Pond-style feistiness, young actresses from north of the border would kill for a role like this. Her kindred spirit from the opposing side is Alex - and he, too, has star quality as he quickly has to come to terms with loss.

The writing is masterful: direct, muscled, vivid. This powerful novel (and yes, it is a novel) is the first in a tour de force series that proves that teen literature isn't just for teens. As if all this weren't enough, the darkly menacing and atmospheric illustrations by Keith Thompson clinch the deal. At home, we gobbled up Leviathan, followed by Behemoth and now we're fighting over Goliath with greater urgency than when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out.

Leviathan. It's big.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A futuristic twist on 1914 Europe that unusually merges together war fiction, with sci-fi and steampunk for an original outcome, 29 April 2013
This review is from: Leviathan (Paperback)
Set within an alternate Europe this supremely singular story re-tells the war with machines and genetically-engineered beasts from outer space. Fifteen-year-old Prince Alek (Austrian) is on the run from Clanker Powers, who are attempting to take over the world. Forming an uneasy alliance with Deryn, who disguised as a boy to join the British Air force, learns to fly these mechanical beasts. Whilst exposing themselves to extreme danger the outcast Prince and the commoner face the enemy head-on, with courage and such bravery as to warm the heart.

This inspiring tale of true heroism is very touching and which contains such meaningful connotation within. Scott Westerfield is a fantastic author, who is also author of bestselling Young Adult novel `Uglies' and who writes in such a fluid, readable way.

The beautiful cover and the exquisite hand-drawn illustrations within this book are what make it so distinctive, and something which you will want to treasure. The drawings combined with the detailed descriptions help to bring this story vividly to life, with inspired imagery adding such realism and atmosphere that is tangible. Like nothing I have encountered before this astonishing, mind-blowing creation of such individuality and flair is very special and which certainly appeals to readers of sci-fi and YA genres. Exciting and fast-paced this action/ adventure is so intense I will warn you that you may end up perched on the edge of your seat throughout.

A really enjoyable, fun read which I would highly recommend to all looking for a thrilling tale filled with mechanical robots and danger!
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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
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