Behemoth. Scott Westerfeld. 2010. October 2010. Simon & Schuster. 485 pages.
Alek raised his sword. "On guard, sir!"
Deryn hefted her own weapon, studying Alek's pose.
His feet were splayed at right angles, his left arm sticking out behind like the handle of a teacup. His fencing armor made him look like a walking quilt. Even with his sword pointed straight at her, he looked barking silly.
Behemoth is the sequel to Leviathan. It's a science fiction action-packed historical novel that presents an alternate what-if to the Great War. Its alternative world is fascinating. A world divided into two camps: Clankers (those who love machines and technology) and Darwinists (those who love splicing together 'incredible' new beings).
The books have two narrators: Alek, a young boy who is trying to hide his real identity, and Deryn, a young woman who is trying to keep her gender hidden so she can be in the British Air Service. She's living her new life as Dylan Sharp. In the first novel, these two begin an unpredictable friendship. After all, he's a Clanker, she's a Darwinist. Both have secrets--if his secret is revealed, he'd become a prisoner--if her secret is revealed, then her military career would be over. (She's guessed his secret. But he doesn't have a clue about hers.) Can they trust each other? Can they help each other?
The setting for Behemoth is interesting. It's set in Istanbul, the Ottoman Empire. It's a compelling novel. I enjoyed it more than the first novel.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews