Saturday, September 17, 2011

Behemoth (Leviathan #2) by Scott Westerfeld

From Goodreads:
The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers. 
Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory. 
Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.
The reason it's taken me this long to read Behemoth is that I only liked Leviathan, the first book in the series. I had tried to start the book once before and it hadn't caught my interest, but with the third book, Goliath, coming, I decided it was time to give it another try. I am so glad I did.

I liked Behemoth so much more than I liked Leviathan. I think this was because the world was mostly established at this point, and I was able to focus on the story and characters rather than puzzle over the "Clankers" and "Darwinists". At the same time, I liked the story of this one better too. The majority of the story lies in the Leviathan's trip to Istanbul to make amends with the Sultan, so the Ottoman Empire doesn't join in with the Clankers. The people of the Ottoman Empire have found a way to perfectly mesh the ideals of both Clankers and Darwinists, and have no real loyalty to either, so both the Germans and English are wooing them.

What sets this series apart from a lot of what is coming out right now is Scott Westerfeld's ability to weave an alternate history so well. Most people who know something about World War I can see familiar elements and events, but there are new twists to them, and it keeps the story fresh, rather than just a rehash of history.

I especially love the interactions between Deryn/Dylan and Alek. We all know where it's heading, but it's still fun to watch Alek be clueless to Deryn's secret. And Deryn is such a good boy! She's tough and smart, and a real soldier, despite actually being a girl. :) Alek is slowly learning how to not be such a prudish noble, and I like him all the more for it.

I also really enjoyed the ending. The action was really well paced and interesting, and just made me want to get to the final book even more!

Risk a paper cut? Behemoth is a tale filled with action, intrigue, and hydrogen. What more do you want?

To buy: Amazon

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite books/series of all time!! So glad you liked it :D

    Lea @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland