Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: Leviathan

TITLE: Leviathan
Book 1 in the Leviathan series
AUTHOR: Scott Westerfield
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: Steampunk, adventure, science fiction, historical fiction
PREMISE: In an alternate world during World War II, a young prince very nearly escapes being assasinated while a girl disguises herself as a boy in order to be a soldier...
MY REVIEW: Okay, first off issues: Westerfield's writing is super fast paced and as a result some of his characters are a tad two-dimensional. Plus he has a habit of telling, not showing in his writing. But honestly, I didn't really care much about that because I got swept up in this awesome world he created.
Leviathan takes place in an alternate history where Darwin took evolution a tad bit further, and the result is a vastly different world at the time World War I starts. I loved the idea of this world that Westerfield created. It was creative, interesting, and thought provoking. I could easily picture all of this in my head (the fabulous illustrations probably helped a lot though) and even the plot was interesting. It revolves around Alek and Deryn who are very different people in different circumstances that get brought together by a war. There is a lot of action in this so there's not really much focus on character developement (I hope maybe the next book will solve this issue) but that's not so bad because I did actually enjoy these characters, two-dimensionalisms aside. Deryn (or Dylan) was awesome. I know the female dressing up as a boy is a trope but it's a trope I love so I'm not going to complain to loudly. She's a nice change from all the swooning girls in YA right now, that's for sure.
This is not a perfect book by any means, but as far as this steampunk genre goes I think it's a solid addition. I'm honestly starting to really love this genre so you can expect a few steampunk book reviews in the future including the next book in this series, Behemoth (the third one, Goliath, comes out in October I believe) and the rest of the Parasol Proctorate series (fourth book comes out in June/July).
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of steampunk, strong female fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five mechanical contraptions.

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