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48
4.3 out of 5 stars
Leviathan
Format: Kindle EditionChange
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on 31 December 2012
if you read this book (and are like me)you will want to carry on reading the other two as well.
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on 26 January 2015
A thoroughly enjoyable series. Read them all.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read a great deal of steampunk (except Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel) but I definately think it is a genre I definately need to get into more.

The Historian in me really got into the alternative world set up around the outbreak of World War One especially as it is an era I already love. I like how the book was set around an historical event even though it was taken into a different direction. I loved the world Westerfeld had set up with the Dar ...more I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read a great deal of steampunk (except Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel) but I definately think it is a genre I definately need to get into more.

The Historian in me really got into the alternative world set up around the outbreak of World War One especially as it is an era I already love. I like how the book was set around an historical event even though it was taken into a different direction. I loved the world Westerfeld had set up with the Darwinists and the Clankers and loved finding out about the different machines and the world set around them.

There were some interesting characters introduced as the book went along and although I didn't entirely warm to them I am definately interested enough in both Alek, Deryn and Dr Barlow to want to know more about them and what happens to them. The thing I really liked was how much the two teenagers contrasted each other and complimented each really well and I enjoyed seeing their different perspectives on the world.

I liked that the book was ilustrated but quite honestly I don't think the paperback edition did them any favours as they were black and white and a little grainy and hard to make out all of the details on the more detailed pictures.

I will definately be eagerly awaiting Behemoth.

[]
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on 18 October 2014
Good book
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2011
A steampunk novel based in the 1910s and revolving around the viewpoints of the two main characters, Aleksandar Ferdinand and Deryn Sharp. The first book of a trilogy that I have been obsessing about since I first saw the artwork for it on Keith Thompson's website.

Alek's story begins in the dead of night, dragged from his bed to learn how to pilot a Walker - a two-legged machines of war - while his parents are away, but as he is instructed to move the Walker away from his home he soon becomes suspicious. As the son of the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, his father has many enemies, including the Emperor himself. Sure enough, when he tries to escape he is overpowered and drugged.

Deryn's side of things start with her preparing for the admission test into the British Air Service. The test luckily doesn't include a physical examination, as women were not permitted to sign up. Unluckily, the test includes going aloft in a hydrogen filled live jellyfish called a Huxley. A storm blows in and Deryn is soon in trouble, the Huxley panicking and going into a steep dive. To save herself and the Huxley, she unties the anchor line and is dragged into the storm, blown towards France.

Their stories continue separately for a good portion of the book, showing how the characters develop with their new responsibilities, showing brilliantly the two factions - the Clankers who believe in mechanical superiority and the Darwinists who tamper with animal DNA to create fabricated animals (or Fabs). When they come together, each stays true to character and interact wonderfully.

The plot is simplistic yet elegant, the characters interesting yet lacking in depth, the world building sheer brilliance. A very enjoyable and light read.

Characters: 6/10
Setting: 9/10
Plot: 6/10
Dialogue: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
LEVIATHAN is a novel of alternate history. More specifically, it can be classified as steampunk, which depending on what definition you read, is an extension of science fiction and fantasy. Westerfeld decides to reinvent the era of World War I in his latest novel. While he maintains some of the actual events of the war, he creates and alters many.

The story follows the lives of Deryn and Alek. Deryn is a young woman desperate to join the Air Men of the Darwinists Army (British Empire/France). With the help of her brother, she disguises herself as a boy and joins the fight. She has excellent Air Sense, which is a must for the Darwinists, since their main type of weaponry are flying airships made of living animals, with each animal in the ecosystem playing its part. The Leviathan is an airship made up of a countless number of animals - from the smallest microscopic animal to a giant whale that contains everything.

Alek's parents, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, have been assassinated, leaving Alek on the run for his life. The Austro-Hungarian Empire/Germany wants him dead in order to ensure the end of the bloodline to the throne. Alek's people are referred to as the Clankers because of the loud noises that come from their form of weaponry - swords, cannons, aeroplanes, and, most exciting, walkers. Picture a huge tank with legs instead of treads.

Both Deryn and Alek are dedicated to their causes, and when they are thrust into the same fight and forced to work together, both must take a look at the world around them and see things from the other's perspective.

The ending really leaves the reader hanging, and not necessarily in a good way. I felt like it cut off right when we needed some important information, but I guess Westerfeld is leaving that for the sequel.

The book contains several beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Keith Thompson. I really enjoyed coming across those throughout the story.

Even though LEVIATHAN took me a while to get through, I still enjoyed it and look forward to the sequel.

Reviewed by: Karin Librarian
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2010
I really enjoyed Scott Westerfeld's uglies trilogy, and I like a bit of steampunk, but I didn't find this convincing at all. I understand a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is required, but I couldn't bridge the necessary gap. Neither the clankers nor the darwinists technology seemed remotely real.
The whole animal engineering thing and being inside the whale was just creepy and gross, the worst kind of animal abuse. It made me think of vivisection and that scene in Alien 4 with all the grotesque, failed Ripley/Alien hybrids, and unpleasant things like that...
Which is a shame cuz I liked the character of Deryn very much. I don't feel very inclined to read the further installments of the trilogy.
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5 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2011
I rate this book with zero stars, but Amazon won't let me. So one star it is.

I knew this was a book aimed at the young adult market before I bought it, but I didn't realise just how young the adult aimed at would be! This is children's fiction. Very poor at that! The story line is weak and the characters are shallow.
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