Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

Leviathan
Scott Westerfeld with art by Keith Thompson
Forthcoming Simon Pulse, 2009 (October 6)

In my continuing exploration of several Steampunk titles this month my signed ARC from BEA of Westerfeld’s Leviathan marks my first and only foray into a YA steampunk title.  Which is regrettable since Leviathan is an exciting novel full of imagination, adventure, and excitement in spades.  Leviathan starts in June of 1914  as the fictional son of Archduke Ferdinand, Aleksander, is whisked away on the eve of his parents murder.  Loaded into a Stormwalker, a mechanized military walker, he and his two mentors flee towards the Swiss border.  Meanwhile, young Deryn Sharp disguises herself as a boy in order to enter the British air service whose genetically engineered animals take the place of the mechanized constructs of the Austrian empire.  Deryn, thanks to a mishap involving the a jellyfish-based air creature, finds herself aboard the titular Leviathan and airship composed mostly out of a whale but in truth a living ecosystem unto itself.

If all that sounds wildly imaginative then you’d be absolutely correct.  It is also a joy to read.

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