Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

Book: Leviathan
By: Scott Westerfield
Published: October 6, 2009
Published By: Simon Pulse

Description: Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Thoughts: You know that book that sits and sits on your shelf collecting dust? The one that you have already bought the sequel to because you have heard that the story was amazing and that you'll just have to read the next book in the series. The one that, try as you might, you can never bring yourself to actually pick up and read. For some reason you never actually think you'll like it and so it just sits there collecting dust. Well, Leviathan was that book for me. It sat on my shelf since 2010, and I constantly looked at it wondering if I should read it. I would pick it up, read the synopsis, think about it for a second, and then put it back down. Sometimes I would even skim through and see the fact that it had pictures and figure it was obviously too young for me to read. Then, when I saw that there was an audiobook in the library, I decided to pick it up, thinking I may feel differently about it if I were to just listen to it. The audiobook sat loaded in my iPod for over a month. Finally, when I exhausted all of the other audiobooks loaded onto my iPod and didn't have a chance to connect to my computer to load some more on, I begrudgingly started listening to Leviathan, and I'm happy I did.

I'll start off saying first that I think the best way to digest this book is to read the actual book. The pictures ARE VERY NECESSARY!!!! I couldn't get into the book in the beginning at all because I just couldn't seem to picture some of the steampunk machines they were talking about. I was ready to throw in the towel until I remembered the pictures and did a quick skim through of the book. Once I got what everything looked like in my head, I was finally able to get into the book.

We start off this book alternating between two characters, Prince Alek and Deryn/Dylan/Mr Stark. Prince Alek's parents have been poisoned and he's on the run. He belongs to the "clanker" side of the line in this story. Due to his parent's death he has to hide because the Germans are looking to kill him next so he can't take his parent's place and rule the empire. Deryn is a girl who would very much like to be a soldier/airman. She pretends to be a boy and joins the leviathan (The "darwinist" side of the line) sometime later. Due to quite a few occurrances, Alek (clanker) and Deryn(darwinist) find themselves toe to toe facing the same enemy threat. It seems they're not quite enemies, but not quite friends. They must work together if either of them will survive.

Once I was able to get into the book and really understand what was going on, I loved it. It was quite interesting. It seemed to be a big buildup of whatever is to come in the next book. I'm excited to continue this series. I also liked all the alternate curse words they had here like "get stuffed" or "barking spiders." It made me wonder whether or not I should clean up my mouth a bit....but I probably wont. Using these terms in casual conversation will probably make people think I'm psycho (as if they already don't.)

Due to the original difficulty, I cant seem to give this book the rating I want to give it at the end, so I'll give it 3.5 stars


Lan said...

It took me ages to get in this book as well. I gave it full marks for creativity because the biology and alternate history is so well done. And I enjoyed the pictures :( but it's not one I am compelled to read the next books because I couldn't really connect with the characters at all.

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