Happy Monday everyone. To all you writers out there, I’m begining a “Book in a Week Challenge” today on my other blog. You don’t have to write middle grade, just be committed to try to write 20-50k this week. Details here. Come join the fun.
I’d like to give a special shout out to Lolita Elizabeth who just sold two Steampunk stories to Harlequin Spice Briefs.
Today I have a book review for you all–a YA Steampunk from Scott Westerfeld.
In a riveting and entertaining alternate history, early twentieth century Europe is on the brink of war. The “Clankers” with their advanced mechanical technology are at odds with the British “Darwinists” who’s machines are actually made from genetically engineered beasts.
Deryn Sharp is assigned to the British airship Leviathan for her very first assignment–a dream come true. The giant airship is made from a conglomeration of animals, including a whale. The only problem is, women aren’t allowed in the air service. She disguises herself as a boy and fears being discovered.
Prince Aleksandar Ferdinand is rousted from his bed one night and sets on a mad-dash across Europe with only a few men, his enemies hot on their trail.
When the Leviathan crashes, Deryn and Aleksander find themselves in an unlikely friendship and in the middle of a daring adventure. Most of all, even though they should be enemies, there’s a lot they can learn from each other.
Westerfeld has created a vibrant alternate history full of fabulous flying machines, engineered beasts, and grand adventure. The whole idea of the “Darwinists” and manipulating DNA on such a grand scale is a fresh and original and paints a stark contract to the iron beasts of the Clankers.
Deryn and Aleksander are both bright, brave, strong characters, who being so young, have a lot to learn in life. Their innocence keeps getting them into trouble, but its fun to see their friendship develop in spite of cultural norms.
Not only is Leviathan entertaining, but the illustrations are amazing bringing forth memories of classic adventure books. If only more books had illustrations now days.
Leviathan is an adventurous romp that will delight both kids and adults. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Behemoth, which will be released in October.