If only kids could be in charge, perhaps things would be simpler and the world’s powers wouldn’t get embroiled in epic struggles to dominate each other! At least, that’s what you may think once you read Leviathan and see how the two main characters, Deryn and Alex, collaborate to make sure everyone gets what they need.
Alex is really Prince Aleksandar of Hohenberg, fleeing from the people who assassinated his parents. Deryn alias Daryn, is so desperate to serve in the British Air Force that she hides the fact that she’s a 15 year old girl. Alex risks discovery when he ventures out to help the crew of the downed British air ship. And Deryn prefers parley to bullets as a means of communication. What brings them together is their common enemy, who is trying to both combat the British Empire and destroy Alexandar and his claim to the throne of Hapsburg.
Set in an alternate version of 1914 during the time of World War I, comparable alliances exist, but with curious characteristics. The British and her allies are Darwinists, who draw from the DNA of the natural world to create alternative creatures. The Leviathan is a whale airship and a whole ecosystem that relies on altered bees, dogs, and other creatures to maintain its equilibrium. The Clankers are from mainland Europe, and are experts with steam-driven machines. They also build fantastical, creature-like entities to be used in war, like the multilegged Dreadnaught.
Classically Illustrated by Keith Thompson, Scott Westerfield’s steampunk story is fun, fast paced, and will keep you amazed at the creations by both sides in this war. First in the trilogy, Leviathan is followed by Behemoth, with Goliath set for release in the fall of 2012.