Book Talk: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

December 15, 2009 at 6:39 am (To Do) (, )

Book Details

  • Title: Leviathan
  • Author: Scott Westerfeld
  • Genre: Steampunk
  • Length: 434 pages
  • Copy: Courtesy of Oshkosh Public Library

Plot Basics

  • Aleksandar Ferdinand escapes a plot to murder him.
  • Deryn Sharp, a girl, has tricked the British Air Service into enlisting her.
  • The Great War is about to begin.

What makes it different

  • Clankers or giant machines owned by Austro-Hungarians and German.
  • British Darmwinsts fabricate animals from life threads for weapons.
  • It’s not quite history, nor is it alternate future, but a great blending of both.

Why you should read it

  • Westerfeld’s previous series, the Uglies, lends credibility to his ability to write on the line between sci-fi and straight out fiction.
  • It’s a fun way to discover history.  There’s just enough there to make you wonder what’s true and what borrowed.
  • You’re tween or teen may be reading it too.  Great conversation starters in here.

Why you shouldn’t read it

  • It’s pretty light weight reading.  Plan for it to take one or two days.
  • The story is split between Deryn and Alek.  The continuous flip flopping inevitably leads to them meeting but it is frustrating to switch.
  • It’s my first steampunk novel.  While I liked it, it could be trite to someone familiar with the genre.

Final Word:

  • I’m going to add book two to the TBR list.  I liked the first one and it’s something my 9yo may like in a year or two.

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