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Literati - "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfield (book review)

Daniel Griswold

After reading The Hunger Games and Mockingjay, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a good Sci-Fi book that I would enjoy anytime soon, but I found Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.  I went into it with a bad attitude, but it has blown up in my face.

What makes this book stand out is that it follows two kids alternating style.  One one is a guy named Alek, who is the heir to kingship in Austria, but his father is murdered and war breaks out in the time of WWII.  The other is a girl named Deryn, who is a daughter of a balloonist who has passed away.  She pretends she is a boy to get into the Royal Air Force and makes a name for herself.

Not only that, but this novel has some neat innovations.  It is set historically around WWI, but the world is completely different.  Germany builds massive machines like Land Destroyers that move on legs but have the basic designs of a Naval destroyer.  Their engineering know how has made a robotic military real.  Then there are the Darwinists, like Britain and France, who have used the DNA of the animal kingdom to make creatures that serve mankind.  One such vessal is a giant whale like creature filled with Hydrogen like a Zepplin, but made up of so many animal species to maintain an ecosystem that it is barely recognizable.  It has everything humans need rigged to it and strapped on so there are bridges, quarters, storage, and of course guns.

The battles between beasts and machines are blazing and action packed.  The writing style is on an easy level but that allows the imagery to move quickly.  Hardcore sci-fi and fantasy fans would probably steer away from this, but if one lowers the guard a bit, they would find an enjoyable adventure.  Definitely worth a read.