Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld
Posted by nancydpl on October 2, 2010
June 1914. Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated, setting into motion a chain of events that ultimately leads to World War I. You know, the war between the Darwinists and the Clankers. That’s not the history you know? Welcome to Leviathan, an alternate history by Scott Westerfeld (author of Uglies, etc.). In this world, one side has “fabricated animals,” made by mixing strands of DNA to come up with something entirely new. Like message lizards, which are like voice recorders on sticky little feet, or an airship that’s mostly a gigantic airborn whale. The other side (the Clankers) finds this meddling in biology to be abhorrent and relies on machinery, but it’s pretty cool machinery. Think big tank-like vehicles on legs that can walk and run.
The story alternates between Midshipman Dylan Sharp (sshhh….”he’s” really a girl, disguising herself in order to be in the British Air Service) and Prince Aleksandar, son of the assassinated archduke, who’s just trying to escape Austria without being killed himself. They finally meet in Switzerland but being in a neutral country doesn’t mean they’re out of danger. Can these two trust each other enough to save the lives of the airship crew and Alek’s companions?
If you loved Airborn, if you like alternate history, if you like steampunk, then this is the book for you! The sequel, Behemoth, is out next week. I can’t wait to read it!