Saturday, July 31, 2010
Leviathan. Scott Westerfeld. 2009. October 2009. Simon & Schuster. 448 pages.
The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised. Behind them two ranks of diesel-powered walking machines stood ready to fire, cannon aimed over the heads of the cavalry. A zeppelin scouted no-man's-land at the center of the battlefield, its metal skin sparkling.
I've enjoyed several alternate history novels over the years. Leviathan is a science fiction novel set at the very start of the Great War (World War I). 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). Of course, if you're a Clanker, those new beings are monstrous, an abomination--there being nothing natural about this 'evolution.'
Leviathan has 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.
There is much world-building in Leviathan. The world Scott Westerfeld has created is rich in detail. And this novel is just the first book. (The sequel, Behemoth, is being published this October.) I appreciate that. I think I will probably like the second one more.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews