Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld


By Scott Westerfeld

Aleksandar, Prince of Hohenberg

Alek was born in Austria-Hungary. He is part of the Hapsburg family, the royal house of Austria. Because his mother was not directly descended from royalty, his parents' marriage was illegitimate, due to his mothers social status, making Alek unable to inherit anything from his father. Alek is still a prince, a title he inherits from his father's royal blood. Though he is a prince, he was looked down on by nobles for most of his life for being the son of an illegitimate mother. Alek seems to have spent a lot of time reading novels, as he mentions Gulliver's Travels and also seems to be familiar with the school novel and adventure novel genres popular for young people during the time.

Deryn Sharp is a 15-year-old Scottish girl. When she was young, her father took her up in hot-air balloons. This started a deep love of flying in Deryn. After her father's death, Deryn joins the Royal Air Service in order to get back in the air. Unfortunately, women cannot join the military, so Deryn (with the help of her brother, Jaspert) disguises herself as a boy named Dylan.Deryn is a brilliant airman, with sharp skills and an abitity she claims is "air-sense." However, her secret keeps her in constant danger.

Deryn Sharp

Leviathan is a biopunk/steampunk novel written by Scott Westerfeld and is set in alternative version of World War I. It has Central Powers (Clankers) using mechanized war machines opposed by Entente Powers (Darwinists) who fabricate living creatures genetically. The heroes are teens Aleksander, son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand(who must flee his home country to avoid assaination), and Deryn, a Scottish girl with dreams of joining the British Air Service with her brother.

My favorite scene from the novel Leviathan is easily the opening scene to the story. In this scene, Alek is simulating a battle between the rivaling alliances, the Darwins and Clankers, when he hears footsteps approaching his room. It is far past his curfew and he knows no one would be near his room at this hour of the night, so he runs to bed to try and trick whoever is coming to check on him. The man coming to check on him is his war strategy instructor to tell him he needs to wake up to practice piloting night walking is his giant metal robot. However, Alek learns this is not true once he questions his instuctors on where he is going. His two instructors tell him that both of his parents have been assassinated and that they had to get him out of the country. Of course Alek does not believe his instructors, that is until the enemy faction catches up to the three. A small battle insues and sets up the rest of the story in an action packed opening chapter.This was one of my favorite parts of the story, because within 10 minutes of starting the story you are placed in a small battle between giant robots. It sets a high bar for the remainder of the story, and meets that bar. Also, who doesn't think a giant robot battle is cool?


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