Leviathan by Scott Westerfield Review

leviathan‘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.’

Series: Book #1 of the Leviathan Series

Genre: YA, Steampunk, Alternative History

Published: 2009

Characters – I really liked that each chapter was told from either Alek’s or Deryn’s perspective – it was great way to get to know them as characters. My favourite character would have to be Alek – I think the maturing and development of his character was astounding throughout the story and he was just a sweet, brave boy.  I also really liked Deryn, and admired her courage to dress and behave as a boy for that amount of time! Sometimes she got a tad annoying though – she was sometimes too much. However, I think towards the end of the book she had also grown up loads – and I think her feelings for Alek are SO cute. Apart from Volger – who I also loved in that anti-hero-esque way, there wasn’t much development from any other characters on the ship – so I really hope in the next book there is more focus on other characters.

World – I absolutely loved the alternative history aspect of this book. I am a history boffin and I loved the twisted WW1 world. It was brilliant, the attention to detail was so good and I think the imaginative world in which this book was set really makes it original in terms of the books I’ve read – there is nothing like it. I have to say it took me a while to warm up to the creature filled Leviathan itself – I was a little grossed out by this entire ship made from animals. However I loved the Darwinist/Clanker rivalry – that was genius! I would absolutely love to see and learn more about this world!

Writing – The writing was great – clear and concise and for someone who is not mechanically minded at all – I understood everything. I haven’t read Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, but am definitely tempted to pick it up after this.

Plot – The plot is probably where I have the biggest gripe with this book. In the summary it states that Deryn and Alek’s path crosses in an unexpected way, but that didn’t happen till over half way through the book! Up until that point the plot was kind of slow, but as soon as they met everything just became SO much more exciting and I breezed through the last half of the book! It just felt more fast paced and the tension was really built up – I have to say the last half of the book really made in for me. The plot was SO interesting and cool and it made me want to pick up the next book in the series!

Final Thoughts – I really enjoyed this book. It was a great read and I will be picking up the next in the series!

Laura 🙂


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