Tuesday, May 25, 2010

#22: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

On the eve of The Great War, the heir to the Austria-Hungary Empire is on the run after his father is assassinated; meanwhile, a young woman disguised as a boy joins England's air corps and sets off for adventure.  How their paths cross is at the heart of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, a Young Adult alternate history novel.

This book more accurately would fit in the subgenre of Steampunk, where technological advances are set in historic times.  In this version, the Germans are the "Clankers," steering an army of walking and flying machines; and the British and their Allies are the Darwinists, making an army of genetically altered "Beasties" to serve the Crown.  Most notable is the Leviathan itself, basically a hydrogen-filled whale piloted like a Zeppelin.

I honestly had no knowledge of the author or his work upon picking this one up, instead selecting it solely on the basis that Alan Cumming was reading the audiobook version.  He did a great reading, but I ended up enjoying the storytelling as well (though not so much the cliffhanger ending).  Not having read a lot of Young Adult or Steampunk, much less the two mixed together, I ended up enjoying this one quite a bit, and would recommend it to fans of either genre.

I checked this out from the Morrison-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana and consumed it at a good pace.

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