Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld is a soaring steampunk novel set during the beginnings of World War I. While reading this novel, I recommend forgetting most of what you might have learned in school about the Great War and let Westerfeld lead you on a high-flying journey through his unique world.
In Leviathan, the world is separated into two categories, Clankers and Darwinists. The book begins with two separate storylines, following Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, and Alek, a Clanker.
Deryn is a Darwinist girl who wants to follow in her father's footsteps and take to the skies. However, to do so she must pass herself off a a boy to enter the service.
Alek is the son of Clanker royalty, though disowned by the Austrian Emperor, his grandfather, because of his mother's less than royal blood. After killing his parents in a successful attempt to start a war, those same people are now after him to destroy the line completely and with his grandfather well into his eighties bring the whole question of the survival of the Hapsburg Empire into jeopardy.
Clankers are those countries who rely on technology and oil to build machines, very similar to what you see today. Darwinists have taken a new route fabricating new species to not only fly their ships, but be the ship itself, create lizards to relay messages on military vessels, and so much more.
Can these two unlikely friends avoid revealing their secrets and possibly forestall more bloodshed?
I enjoyed this book immensely. It moved quickly and kept the reader guessing. Which makes sense since this is apparently book one of four. Now, I'm going to have a long wait for the rest of them.
Though this book isn't on our shelves yet, you can reserve it by clicking on the book cover above.
While waiting for the next in the series, check out Westerfeld's other books.