Sunday, 24 March 2013

Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

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So to finish of this month's reading, I started a book so unbelievably peculiar to my type of reading. I've commenced a whole new genre in relations to sort of nonfictional historical moments in time. Leviathan takes place in the beginning of World War I, and although most of the events that take place in the book are indeed fictional like the 'beasties' and creative ships and or mechanisms; Scott Westerfeld also describes the many events that really did take place in World War I.
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                                    Leviathan (Leviathan, #1)

We start with the first main character named Aleksander. He is the prince of Austria-Hungary and also soon to be heir to the throne. Everything changes though when all his people have turned on him and he has to run away from home with a few of his loyal crew members in order to be safe. Our other main character is Deryn Sharp. She is a girl that disguises as a boy in the novel to be able to serve in the British Air Force. In this novel, everyone except her family knows her only as Dylan Sharp, which is her disguised name. Although in the beginning of the novel, these two characters don't know eachother; they meet in the middle of the story and become close allies.

For me this book is worth a good 7 stars. I thought that it was super addicting and creative. I felt as if I was transported into a whole new alien world and I could actually feel the struggles of the airmen like Deryn and even feel the emotion and hardships that both of the characters faced during the novel. It was like whenever an incident happened like if they were caught by a ship or attacked I'd just out of the blue say 'Barking Spiders!' (If you read the book, you'd know what I'm talking about). This completely beats the other bum ragged (another reference, lol) book versions of historical events and with all the sharp images and descriptions of out of-the-world machinery, I felt myself actually liking history.

The theme that I experienced during this novel was about 'trust'. Although Deryn and Alek didn't really know eachother, they both trusted eachother and their allies and had teamwork. Although Deryn still hadn't uncovered her disguise to Alek and her other allies in this novel, Alek though had trusted Deryn with an important secret about his real life. This novel does also fall into the quote of 'Be wise on who you trust' or 'Be careful of who you trust' as well. It doesn't mean to just give any secret of yourself away to just anyone and although I haven't read the second novel yet, I kind of already have a prediction of what might happen.

I also learned a lot about these so called 'Darwinists' and 'Clankers' which are the powers of the war in this novel. Darwinists have breeds of animals called 'Beasties' to use for the war and Clankers build many mechanisms and machinery to help them for the war. Although Darwinists sound pretty interesting to me and I like how they wear cool looking clothes (lol), I don't really acknowledge the transmutation of species. I do though find the Clankers to be pretty awesome and distinct in the novel. The Darwinists do seem to have a good companionship with animals like the Tasmanian Tigers and other so called 'Beasties'.

My favorite character would probably be Deryn. It didn't take much time for me to find out that she was indeed a tough and outspoken girl, and she didn't seem to have a problem fitting in with all the other airmen she worked with. Even Alek was jealous of her at times; being that she'd have done so many extraordinary things. She was also very courageous and brave and always seemed to be excited about everything. She even had the language of a tough airmen with all the 'barking spiders' or 'bum rags' you would read in her dialogue.

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Thinking back about this novel, the pictures were able to give me clarity of how the machinery and beasties looked like. I was also able to depict how the inside of the leviathan looked like. I definitely appreciated the images that were used for this book because it helped me out a bit. If there weren't any pictures at least depicting the leviathan or other ships, I would probably be confused to death...LOL.

                               Sci Fi - Steampunk Wallpaper

                               Sci Fi - Steampunk Wallpaper
                       (Both images are from No Copyright intended)

My favorite quote(s) from this novel:

“Barking spiders!” 

“And a special thanks for not burning up the whole ship. Including yourself, you daft bum-rag.” 

“Most man's awareness doesn't extend past their dinner plates.” 

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