by Scott Westerfeld

(Read summary or watch book trailer [love the way they use the illustrations!])

I started reading Leviathan last week actually, but I got distracted by the Candy Shop War and all its goodness, so I couldn’t get around to finishing it until last night. And by last night, I really mean 1:30 this morning, because yes, it was too good to put down! :D And for those who know me well, know that I need my sleep, so for me, staying up late to finish a book says a lot about it!

Me reading Leviathan at night:
*minor spoiler alert with the link-don't click on it if you haven't read the book yet!*

Me at -
10:00: I’m so glad I can continue this book again! Now where did I leave off? *picks up book and starts reading*
10:45: *looks at watch* Woah! It’s 10:45 already?! I better get to sleep. Okay, I guess I’ll just end at pg. 200, because I like nice numbers. :D
11:00, at pg. 200: Oh, um...is it pg. 200 already? Well, um...I’m still in the middle of the chapter, so I’ll just put the book aside when I’m done with it...
End of chapter, probably 11:10: Er, this chapter ends with a cliffhanger! I can’t stop reading now!
11:30: Alek! I know you’re noble and courageous and nice and stuff, and I greatly admire those qualities in you, but what are you doing?!
11:35: Deryn! Why did you just do that?! Alek just helped you out!
11:38: Okay, I know it’s 11:38, but I really, really want to know what happens next. Okay, fine. I’ll stop reading at pg. 300 for sure.
12:17: *stares at illustration on pg. 306, amazed by the epicness of it (and ignores the fact that pg. 300 passed a while ago)*
So, it’s already tomorrow, or today! Ummm...what to do, what to do...Well, there’s only about 100 pages left...Oh, what the heck. I’ll just read it, because I won’t be able to sleep anyway.
1:28: *turns to the last page of the book and finishes reading* Holy moly! It was amazing! Now I can finally sleep.
2:00: Hey brain, I know Leviathan was fantastic, but I’m trying to sleep, so can you please stop thinking about it? Thank you.
2:24 (I believe): Zzzzzzzzzz (hehe, finally!)

So, was Leviathan worth staying up until 2:30 AM for me? Yes, totally! The story was completely absurd (Clankers vs. Darwinists? Fabricated animals vs. Machines? Really, now?) but I loved how Scott Westerfeld made it believable in a way. Through its absurdity, it seems possible that such a reality could’ve existed, if the one we had didn’t. How he managed to create all the characters, and how the story plays out was wow. Like really, wow. And I’m really glad it’s about WWI, because 1) WWII gets more time in the spotlight, so reading a book about WWI for once was like a breath of fresh air and 2) personally I find WWI a bit more intriguing than the second (there's so much more tension, so much drama...), and without learning about WWI, it’s impossible to learn about the roots of WWII.

Now, back from the history (before I start talking endlessly about the wars), and to the rest of the review: The characters especially were endearing. I loved Alek and Deryn, who are probably my favorite main characters I've read about in a loong time. Alek reminded me a lot of myself (heh, getting into trouble *cough*), and Deryn was the courageous, quick-thinker, and I admired how she dealt with the situation at hand. Count Volger was an epic character, I thought. In fact, he reminded me a lot of Snape, for some reason. Hehe. :P Basically the whole cast of characters in the book were made of pure awesomeness. :) I cannot wait to see how it all turns out for them!

The cliffhanger at the end (which wasn’t really a cliffhanger), felt abrupt. Way too abrupt. And that’s the only flaw I could find with the book. I turned the last page expecting something to read, but all I saw was the afterword. All I could do afterwards was stare at that page in disbelief that it was already over, trying to see if anything was written in invisible ink or something, and thinking “What? That’s it?! It ends with this?!” :0

But despite that tiny disappointment, Leviathan is a pretty awesome book filled with an enthralling story, exquisite illustrations, and fantastic characters that you’ll root for until the end! I loved how it set up the stage for the next book in the series quite nicely. It came out last year, so I think many people have already read this, but if you haven’t yet, I wholeheartedly recommend this to you. :) Lovers of history, science-fiction, steampunk stories, and thrilling storylines will especially love this delightful book! :D
And yay! It's a series!! Woo-hoo! I have something to look forward to now with the Hunger Games, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid ending soon! The second one in the series is called Behemoth, and it's releasing October 5th.
I wish they kept the style of the first cover, but hey, at least we don't have to wait so long to get it! :D


  1. Another great review, Nonie!
    I love Scott Westerfield, I'll have to try harder to get my hands on this one!

  2. The idea of rewriting history reminds me of that one movie that came out last year and that many people thought would win Best Original Screenplay, but it didn't. Mixing historical and science fiction seems weird but cool.

    So yeah, the book seems pretty nice. But is it as cool as 2001, Planet of the Apes, or Logan's Run?

  3. Rachel: And I still have to read the Uglies series by him. I hope they're good...

    Rishi: Avatar wasn't rewriting history. It was the future. Yeah, they did have Pocahontas style stories in it, but they weren't rewriting it. Scott Westerfeld took a past event and changed it.

    And I don't know if it's cooler than 2001, PoA, and Logan's Run. I guess you have to find out by yourself.

  4. I was talking (or rather, typing) about Inglorious. I know they spell that one word wrong but I don't think I should type it.

  5. I love this book too! This is the first time I'm seeing the cover for Behemoth... I don't like it too much, but I'm sure the story will still be great!

  6. Nonie, I thought you might like to know, I picked this up and added it to TAAB2010 on your recommendation!! I hope I like it, and keep writing such awesome reviews please =)