Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review #143: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Hey everyone! Happy Valentines Day! I hope you're all celebrating this love-filled day with those you love :) Unfortunately, this review has nothing to do with romance xD, but I hope y'all enjoy it nonetheless. 

Leviathan is the first in the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. Goodreads says:

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their "Leviathan" is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.
Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl 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 the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the "Leviathan" on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

This book was pretty excellent. For the most part, it kicked ass, had excellent character development, this book has it all. Well, mostly. There was one issue that I had with Leviathan, which I'll get to in the character section. But other than that one issue, I LOVED this book! It was all steampunk and sciency, had great character development, this book has it all. I was GAlued to this book whenever I had time to read. I loved how there was also the addition of Darwin in the novel. You see, besides the countries/empires involved in WWI, those countries are also divided into two groups, Darwinists and Clankers. Darwinists make machines inside of animals. Genetic engineering in essence. The clankers are basically the steampunk side, using automatons and such. I loved how the Darwinist aspect was done, plus it was utterly fascinating. Imagine if that happened in real life. Although with that concept this book was also loaded with the whole argument against it that also spills into real life: That the Darwinists are "godless" as the book says. I won't get into that, but it did make for some interesting thinking. I loved how this story took place in an alternate history, yet somehow felt plausible. I loved the journeys both Alek and Deryn went on. That ending also had some epicausity going on!

Deryn, oh Deryn. All I have to say when it comes to her is: You go Deryn, you go! Man, she was awesome. She kicked ass, had a wicked sharp tongue, but you could also see her depth, her vulnerability. You see how despite everything she puts as a front, she's basically just a girl who wants to be accepted for who she is, and is forced to hide her gender in order to live her dream. I related to her, I rooted for her, I wanted her to succeed and be able to be a pilot. Alek on the other hand, is the cause of my issue with this book. For some reason, I could not get into his chapters of the book. His POV did not gel with me, and just felt off. I just did not like him as a character, although I felt bad for him due to what happens to him. I do appreciate his growth, going from snobbish to not as superior and being able to see past appearances and stereotypes. Then again, that also applies to Deryn. I loved it when Deryn and Alek met. Their banter was probably the best part of the book for me. Their back and forth conversations had me cracking up, but also welling up with emotion for both of them. Volger had some great lines, and you could really see he cared for Alek. But I think my second favorite character would have to be Dr. Nora (I forget her last name). She was a boss. I loved it every time she appeared. Her dialogue, her character in general, everything screamed "awesome". 

Mr. Westerfeld is a good writer. I can see why so many people adore him. He knows how to write, establish character and his world, everything you need to be a good author. Like I said, I love how he incorporated Darwin and put a twist on him/his discoveries. He created such a fantastic world that I just wanted to know more and more. Also, special mention to Keith Thompson, the illustrator. Mr. Thompson sir, you ROCK. I'm telling you guys, he is a BOSS as an illustrator. His drawings were gorgeous! Totally amazing and wonderful, even on my Nook. It was as if the drawings came to life, coming at me like a 3D movie. Plus they were so detailed and just full of awesome. I can safely say he is now one of my favorite illustrators.

My next review will be a Bad Book Round Up. *Sigh* So watch out for that.

Until next time, viva la literature!

No comments:

Post a Comment