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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
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Leviathan

by Scott Westerfeld

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Leviathan (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,168None1,764 (4.01)2 / 455
2009 (22) 2010 (29) 2011 (21) action (20) adventure (96) airships (40) alternate history (265) Austria (34) Darwin (50) England (25) Europe (36) fantasy (193) fiction (260) genetic engineering (59) historical fiction (64) Leviathan (27) novel (21) read (27) read in 2010 (21) science fiction (284) series (59) steampunk (552) teen (30) to-read (122) unread (24) war (98) WWI (210) YA (190) young adult (241) young adult fiction (44)
  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 (248)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (249)
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
My first steampunk book. I did like it, but found it hard to concentrate on in the beginning. Once again, probably me and the craziness of my current life and not a reflection on the book. By the end it engaged my attention, and I look forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
My first steampunk book. I did like it, but found it hard to concentrate on in the beginning. Once again, probably me and the craziness of my current life and not a reflection on the book. By the end it engaged my attention, and I look forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan is a fun read. Set in an imaginative alternate history world, it has lots of action and adventure, cool machines and awesome creatures. It is sure to delight many young readers and would be a very fun book to read out loud to a child. For an adult reader, maybe it’s not great but it is a fun romp. I’d love to see it as a movie or animation.

A steampunkish alternate world take on the first world war. In this universe, the allied powers use giant fabricated beasts and monsters. These get really imaginative - the “Leviathan” of the title is a giant whale turned into an airship! The axis powers use steampunk mechas and these also have pretty cool designs. A major highlight of this book is Keith Thompson’s fabulous illustrations - they are richly detailed and fantastic and readers of any age will enjoy them.

The story follows two main characters, a young boy named Aleksander, who is the son of Franz Ferdinand. With his father’s assassination that starts the war, the young prince must flee with his loyal retainers, and learn to pilot a fighting machine called a walker. Deryn is his opposite - a Scottish girl from a modest family, who has disguised herself as a boy in order to join the British Air Service. She loves the “beasties” and flying and she’s brilliant at it. Though my favourite character had to be the woman “boffin,” Doctor Barlow, and her pet tasmanian tiger(!) I mean, how cool is that? ( )
  catfantastic | Mar 3, 2014 |
I think I looked up Leviathan after seeing Keith Thompson’s wonderful map for the book, portraying an alternative history Europe in which the Central Powers are “Clankers” (utilising enormous, steampunk, mecha-style combat machines) and the Allies are “Darwinists” (who use genetic engineering to create living, “fabricated” war machines). You can see an annotated version of the map here: http://www.keiththompsonart.com/pages/grandmap.html

The map is perhaps symbolic of the book itself – the only major change is the steampunk reimagining, with most of the novel playing out fairly true to history. Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo, and his (fictional) son Alek must flee Vienna to avoid being bumped off by his father’s rivals. With a stolen walker, he and his loyal retainers make for the Swiss border, as Europe lurches towards war. Meanwhile, young Scottish girl Deryn Sharp disguises herself as a boy to join the military, where she soon finds herself assigned to the Leviathan, a colossal flying whale-like creature which is the greatest airship of the British Air Service.

Leviathan is weighed down with quite a few genre cliches – heir to the throne on the run, steampunk mecha, girl disguised as boy, airships, etc – but Westerfeld is nonetheless a good, imaginative writer who develops his world with relish and spins an enjoyable YA yarn. The book is the first of a trilogy, and does end on something of an abrupt note, but I look forward to reading the next volume, Behemoth. ( )
1 vote edgeworth | Feb 27, 2014 |
Parts of it were cute...but it didn't keep my interest, forced myself to finish it. Probably best for little boys who like history and machines. ( )
  vonze | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 248 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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.
Haiku summary

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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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0670073032, 0143206087

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