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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld


by Scott Westerfeld

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Leviathan (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,2612571,692 (4)2 / 468
  1. 120
    Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (Maid_Marian)
  2. 80
    Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: An alternate history taking place on the eve of World War I.
  3. 70
    His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (PghDragonMan)
  4. 60
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (SheReads)
  5. 82
    Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (ahstrick)
  6. 50
    Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (Maid_Marian)
  7. 30
    Bloody Jack; Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: 'Both stories are about an adventurous and headstrong girl disguising herself as a boy for a chance to join the military. Jacky is trying to make a living for herself and escape poverty during the Napoleonic Wars and joins the Navy as a ship\'s boy in Bloody Jack. Deryn Sharp wants nothing more than to join the Royal Air Corps in Leviathan - a steampunk alternate history of WWI. Both books are packed full of adventure and spunky protagonists.… (more)
  8. 20
    Dreadnought by Cherie Priest (SunnySD)
  9. 20
    The Manual of Aeronautics: An Illustrated Guide to the Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld (LAKobow)
  10. 10
    Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher (majkia)
    majkia: Another coming of age book, but granted, in a completely different environment. Still, both have strong central characters who grow, and change to the backdrop of war, and have a marked impact on their worlds.
  11. 10
    Worldshaker by Richard Harland (Maid_Marian)
  12. 00
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (Aleana)
  13. 00
    The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  14. 00
    Black Powder War by Naomi Novik (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Alternate histories of great military events tie these together.
  15. 00
    The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade (ShelfMonkey)

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English (256)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (257)
Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
Deryn Shar- excuse me, Mr. Sharp is a midshipman on the Leviathan, a floating ecosystem that the Darwinians have created. Her- I'm so sorry I mean, his path intersects with Prince Aleksander, the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne. But plots and conspiracies are everywhere, even in their pasts. And that's where this book really takes off.

Originally picked this up because I wanted to read a girl-undercover-as-a-boy book (missing the old days with Alanna series, y'know?) and saw this one.

Pretty decent. The relationships are done well. I believed their friendship and easy way of talking to each other.

My biggest problem is with the world and the politics. I don't mind new worlds and political maneuverings. They're interesting. Except I thought Westerfeld did a poor job fully explaining the political maneuverings. You had to have a bit of a history background to fully understand the implications of each country's movements. As for the world, the summary claims it to be steampunk because it mixes a touch of strange new technology and chimera technology. (Clankers vs Darwinians). I thought it was interesting, but not very helpful. It didn't really add anything to the book except give it a new scene. The Leviathan ecosystem really could have just been a blimp without any trouble, the large walking Clanker machines could have just been tanks, etc. Except to insert it into this book, what was the point?

Anyways, decent book, decent series. Not really my taste or up to my standards. Reminds me of a YA Temeraine series with a couple less stars.

Two stars because it was okay. Not sure I would recommend it as a steampunk book. Would recommend if you're looking for a girl-undercover-as-boy type of book though. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |

It's 1414 and the Archduke has just been murdered, which will soon lead to The Great War. But his heir, Alec, is alive. He can't stay in his own country if he wants to survive, though. Far away, in London, a young girl disguises herself as a boy in hopes of entering the air-force. Of course this is a steampunk alternate history and so the air force uses gigantic genetically modified beasts to fly and Alec and his allies escape in a huge robot.

This is the first of a trilogy and you can really tell, it doesn't seem to have delivered on anything. This shouldn't be the case with an experienced author like Westerfeld, who's written really good trilogies and series (Uglies, Midnighters) before and made each book interesting on its own account and as part of the whole. Might give "Behemoth" a chance if I come across the audiobook.

( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |
A fun alternate-history. I also enjoyed the biology twist. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |

Leviathan is a real pleasure to read. The alternate WWI setting is incredibly detailed, with the Clankers and the Darwinists replacing the Central Powers and the Allies respectively. The world feels genuinely three-dimensional: similar enough to be relatable, but sufficiently different to be interesting.

The concepts of the weaponry that both sides use are fascinating – the Leviathan and the Herkules especially so – and are really bolstered by the superb illustrations.

The writing style is evocative and stylish while remaining streamlined, and is able to succinctly convey backstory even as major events are taking place. The author also impeccably captures the voices and viewpoints of our protagonists in their alternating chapters. The plot, which contains two storylines that remain separate for about half the book, is engaging and contains some really spectacular action sequences.

The two main characters are excellent. Deryn, with her wit, bravery and intelligence, is eminently likeable (and my favorite character). But Alek’s growth as a character is remarkable. He literally goes from being a boy playing with tin soldiers to an honorable young leader, able to face difficult challenges with a cool head. The secondary characters, though somewhat one-note, are quite likeable.


There is some over-description in certain portions, and the plot does flag very briefly towards the middle, without much detriment to the book overall.

Verdict: A steampunk tale that’s epic in scope, this highly entertaining book will appeal to most fans of action and adventure.

For more reviews go to: http://readernoir.blogspot.com/ ( )
  readernoir | Jul 14, 2014 |
This one obviously took me awhile to finish. I bought it after reading Westerfeld's blog here about its release and an artist's blog gushing over the gorgeous cover and maps. I am a big Westerfeld fan, and I love sci-fi and Steampunk in general so I figured I would love it.

I did and I didn't. While I immediately loved it for the beautiful object it is (and I can't express my disappointment with the cover of Behemoth after this stunner) I found it difficult to get into. While I was fascinated by the Darwinists technology and amused by Alek and his coterie, World War I is a period of history that never really grabbed me. Reading this book became a chore and I put it down about fifty pages in and let it sit untouched for nearly a year (though I did pass it on to my husband, who devoured it, gave a copy to my brother for his birthday, and gave copies of Behemoth to both at Christmas).

What a mistake! When I picked the book up again this summer, determined to finish, I discovered that I had put it down literally five pages before it took off. I finished the rest of it in a day and got started on Behemoth. Leviathan is a beautiful book to look at, and an intriguing read. Certain plot points are rather cliche but the world is so well-crafted and the illustrations so dynamic that it makes up for any weaknesses of storytelling. It feels like a mid-twentieth century adventure book for young people, that adults can enjoy just as easily. I don't want to spoil even the smallest detail because the world of Leviathan is a delight to discover while reading. ( )
  ArmchairAuthor | Jul 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
The novel is a study in opposites, of boy versus girl, working class versus aristocracy, British versus German, and its overlying thematic division of Darwinists and Clankers gives all of these a distinctive torque, while avoiding mapping neatly to any specific agenda. The novel’s concluding set piece features a grand, elegant and very satisfying hybridization that suggests that opposites can meet, collapse and mingle, and that this story has natural sequels, which I will undoubtedly read.
Westerfeld writes gripping, relentless coming-of-age novels that are equally enjoyable by boys and girls, adults and kids, and Leviathan is no exception. I'm looking forward to volume two -- and many more to come.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Oct 6, 2009)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Westerfeldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cumming, AlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosamilia, MikeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, KeithIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yuen, Sammy, Jr.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my NYC writing crew,
for knowing the importance of Craft
First words
The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised.
His Majesty's London Zoo was squawking like a bag of budgies on fire.
No one could night-walk like him.
Having your parents die was exactly like the world exploding, like a war being declared.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book 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.
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No descriptions found.

In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.… (more)

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Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0670073032, 0143206087

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