Redd Becker Book Reviews
Scott Westerfeld created a fascinating, pre-WWI alternative history pivoting around the Austro-Hungarian throne. Creativity floods out of every page. A fun read with monstrous walking war machines and a bio-conglomerate-whale balloon ship. Detailed drawings throughout, by Keith Thompson, add dimension to the steampunk imagery.
Scott Westerfeld’s Upsurped Prince Plot
The plot of an usurped prince fighting to claim his throne carries the story. When the Austro-Hungarian prince’s parents are killed, he’s secreted away before war is declared with Germany. The prince must survive live through ensuing war to claim the crown. Challenges present themselves from every angle. The prince uses his wits to confront each challenge, while he learns about the enemy and builds friendships in unexpected places.
Balance is provided by a fifteen year old girl’s adventures while masquerading as a midship boy on a whale airship (made from the amalgamation of hundreds of species, using bats and hawks as well as cannons for defense).
The novel carried me into a world where other character’s problems, both big and small, captivated my attention.
My RatingLeviathan (Leviathan, #1) by Scott Westerfeld
Series: Leviathan Trilogy #1
Published by Simon Pulse on October 6th 2009
Genres: Steampunk, Alternate History
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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.