Synopsis: It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarian and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British air fleet.
Aleksander Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure.... One that will change both their lives forever.
I was looking for something to review, and so was looking through my posts to see which ones I had read and reviewed and which ones I hadn't. I was really surprised to find that I'd never reviewed this, when I swear I did.
Anyway, I'm reviewing it now, and that's all that really matters.... ONTO TO THE REVIEW!
When this first came out, I was perusing through B&N, and saw this in a cardboard display with the words "Some war machines are run. Some are fed..." Or something along the lines of that. Either way, I was enthralled by the thought. So I ran to the display grabbed a book and read the back cover.
It sounded really boring.
So I didn't read it. Several months later, my best friend had read it, and he kept me pushing me to as well. Eventually I did, just because he said it was amazing. My reaction:
THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The twist on how World War I started is so cool and the way Mr. Westerfeld takes Darwinism and makes it a giant scientific belief full of cool twisted creatures is so cool! Omg! Omg! Omg! I'm so gushing! This book is just really fantastic!
The characters are really interesting (although at times I wished the story were being told from Deryn's point of view more, though I know the parts where Alek picked up the story needed to be there in order to understand things better), the situations are fantastic (especially the battle scenes because there are either friggin amazing steam contraptions, or insanely cool hydrogen breathing Darwinist creatures), a fun story, and amazing illustrations to top it off.
I really should just stop talking because I'm gushing so much. This book is fantastic! Read this series, and you won't feel disappointed! The third and final book of the trilogy, GOLIATH, just recently came out, so now you can get all three and read without stopping.
I only wish the first edition synop hinted more at the cool creatures and cool machines in it, because it didn't do the book justice at all. It was like "This guy's a prince in hiding. This other person has a secret. There's a ship called the Leviathan. Read."