Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Book: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Steampunk
Rating: A-
For: Take Another Chance Challenge
From: I bought it!

I bought this one with Christmas money, and then made it fit it to my Take Another Chance Challenge for Part Six of that challenge which says:

 Challenge 6: Genre Switch-Up (worth 1 entry)
Go to this list of book genres and pick a genre that you have NEVER read before. Find a book from that genre, read it, and write about it. Note: If you seriously cannot find a genre that you have never read, then pick the genre that is as far away from what you normally read.

So I've been hearing everyone talk about this book and how it's "steampunk" , which is a genre I'm pretty sure I've never read. But what's steampunk anyway? I'd consider it a SF sub-genre actually, where it's basically a cross between historical fiction and science fiction... a story that takes place in the past yet has strange interesting science fiction-y aspects to it.
This particular book is about the beginning of WWI, after the arch duke gets killed, and his teenage son is running for his life. So part of the story follows his adventures. The other part follows a girl who pretends to be a boy so she can enlist into the military and fly! She ends up on the Leviathan which is a huge flying ship of a sort you've never seen before! Very cool. And of course, their paths cross and things just get going when the book ends! Ugh. Frustrating.

I enjoyed the uniqueness of this book, but once again, I yearned for the character relationship parts, and felt a little glassy-eyed whenever all the ship/technology description parts were the focus. Even if the ship was cool... I just wanted more people talk!

This book also has pictures! I loved that. There were times when they were totally necessary to help visualize what was being described. I mean, even though this was "in the past", the stuff going on was totally foreign.

In the end, it appears I'm hooked to yet another series! I have to know what happens to these guys.

Bottom line: I liked it a lot.

For more on author Scott Westerfeld (most well-known for the Uglies series) check out his official website here.

Other reviews:

Karin's Book Nook
Bart's Book Shelf
Laura's Review Book Shelf
The Book Muncher
Boys Rule! Boys Read! (which reminds me... I did think boys would really like this one)


  1. Loved your thoughts on this one. I have been wondering whether or not I would like it and based on your review there are definitely elements that would appeal to me. I think I would have the same wishes for more character participation though as characters are very important to my enjoyment of any book.

  2. I hate to admit that I've had this book since it came out and I haven't read it YET. I'm glad you enjoyed it, makes me think I will too. Gread review!

  3. I love this book and admit I liked where it ended. I'm not terribly into the relationship aspects of books, so I don't mind them ending ambiguously. Like I would have preferred The Hunger Games to be a standalone (confirmed by my dislike of Catching Fire).

  4. Jan: It's quite different, but very fun.

    Heather: I bet you'll really like it. I look forward to your thoughts some day!

    Amanda: You won't anxious for Alek to find out the big secret? :) He's going to freak!

  5. So glad you liked it! And welcome to steampunk. I think you'd probably like Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, which was my first introduction to steampunk.

  6. Thanks for the explanation of steampunk. I've heard the term around but it still confuses me. I'm still not sure I would like this book or not ... but most bloggers seems to really enjoy it.



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