Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan is the first in a new Steampunk series by Scott Westerfeld. If the name seems familiar he wrote the Uglies series, set in the future where our generation, the ‘Rusties’, have destroyed the world, and cosmetic surgery to make you ‘pretty’ is the norm.

Steampunk is a science fiction genre generally set in the Victorian age, which features steam powered inventions that go far beyond 1800’s technology. The movie Wild Wild West can be considered steampunk.

Set in an alternative past at the beginning of World War I. The world is divided between the Darwinists with their genetic engineered beasts and the Clankers with their steam-driven war machines.

Aleksander Ferdinand is on the run. His father, the Archduke, and mother have been assassinated, and now they want him dead. He flees, with a few trusted men, in a clumsy battle machine known as a Stormwalker.

In England, oblivious to what is happening in Austria, Deryn Sharp, is determined to become a British airman, a career choice only open to men, not young girls.

Needless to say, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross and intertwine as the plot unfolds.

I was slow to warm to the story, but now I’m waiting impatiently for the next book. Keith Thompson’s illustrations are a real delight.
The Leviathan of the title is a whale airship, think hydrogen Zeppelin but a living creature.



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