Author: Scott Westerfeld & Keith Thompson
Format: Kindle, Paperback
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Leviathan is book one in a series of young adult historical fiction novels set during an alternative version of World War I. The story follows a young girl named Deryn Sharp who pretend to be a boy so she can join the Royal Air Service, and Alek, the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who is smuggled away in the middle of the night by his instructors after his parents are killed in Sarajevo.
The story itself is a really fun, action-packed ride. The characters are bright and unique the book stays true to the themes of the setting, allowing the actual events of the first world war to unfold much as they did in our history. The descriptions of the Clanker (Germany and Austria Hungary) machines and those of the Darwinist (England and France) evolved animals are the really intriguing part though. The authors set the scene of war as being not only a cause of politics and power, but also of the philosophy regarding technology and it’s consequences. While the Darwinists look at the Clanker machinery as loud and unnatural, almost an affront to the world as they see it, the Clankers regard the Darwinist war-bred evolutionary beasts as abominations and ungodly. I don’t want to give away too much. Suffice it to say, this book is a great book for everyone, but particularly for fans of alternate history or series like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson.