Review written by: Katie M.
Being generally unaccustomed to the strangely fascinating realm of steampunk (more or less historical science fiction, for those who aren't in the know) I bought this book from a school book fair at the last minute, knowing that it had been recommended to me by several of my friends. I am so glad that I did. Leviathan takes place in an alternate 1914, when the central European Clankers (termed such because of their complicated and anachronistically advanced machines) are on the brink of war with the western European and Russian Darwinists (as their weapons, transport, and technology comes in the form of genetically engineered, or "fabricated", animals). The plot focuses on the young Prince Aleksander, son of the recently murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, as he flees from those out to remove any trace of the threat he poses to ending World War I. In England, a Scottish girl named Deryn, about Alek's age, disguises herself as Dylan Sharp in order to join the British Air Service. Their paths cross, of course, and even though they are supposed to be enemies, neither wishes the other ill. The plot kept me reading for its own sake, although anyone who has read a novel with multiple main characters will understand that I might prefer Alek's misadventures to Deryn's. The reader is pushed along by the nearly incessant action and complications the characters face, and is left hanging at the end of the novel. First-time readers will be glad to know that the sequel Behemoth was released this fall. The history in this book, though not always accurate, made Leviathan enjoyable in another way. It provides a few points of familiarity to the reader, and made this history geek smile more than once. Although I tend to receive laughs when I say that I love books with pictures, the fairly detailed art in Leviathan enhances the story as much as anything. They are beautiful, if sometimes disturbing, and seem as natural a part of the novel as the Clanker's Stormwalkers or the Darwinist's flying whale. On the off chance that you skipped over the rest of this review, this book is highly recommended to anyone wishing to find an amazing and perhaps unexpectedly good read