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Book - 2009
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In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts
Publisher: New York : Simon Pulse, 2009
Edition: 1st Simon Pulse hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416971740
Characteristics: 440 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Thompson, Keith 1982-


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IndyPL_BethP May 02, 2019

Westerfeld, the man behind the Uglies series, turns his attention to alternate history and steampunk fiction with a flair. Set just before and at the beginning of World War I, Leviathan presents three major changes to history as we know it: Archduke Ferdinand of Austria has a son, Darwin discovered how to manipulate DNA and create extraordinary, fantastical creatures, and there are giant machines of war known as walkers (warships on land) that changed the face of war. The two main characters, Deryn (a girl disguised at a boy who serves in the Royal Navy) and Aleksandar (the Archduke’s son) provide contrasting viewpoints against an exciting backdrop of war, science, and survival.

Jan 23, 2019

This book is FANTASTIC. It is captivating, imaginative, and engaging. There are also beautiful illustrations of the imagined "clanker" wartime machines and genetically engineered "darwinist" beasts.

Nov 05, 2018

Fantastic and whimsical worldbuilding, plus a far more exciting (and far less brutally dreary and hopeless) look at the era of world war 1. The audiobook is very well done, and the print version has genuinely excellent illustrations. I strongly suggest checking out both versions, so you can listen to the reading while still having access to the artwork. Also, as book 1 of a trilogy, you will want to go in for all three. Great, believable characters too.

May 22, 2018

This series is so cool! I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an exciting ride through an alternate steampunk universe. The characters are wonderful, and the setting is brilliantly well described. A fantastic read!

Mar 20, 2018

I love this series and it also has a great audio version.

Mar 06, 2018

I read this book for the "A Science Fiction Novel " part of my 2018 reading challenge. It was really weird and yet really interesting. The Darwinists vs. Clankers was a neat twist, and the biology of the air creatures was well done. The plot never advanced too far, it felt like this book was mostly just introducing characters and setting everything up.

Nov 29, 2016

I literally finished the three books in Leviathan in three days. The idea of machines vs animals is great, the characters where awesome and the plot was well made (not confusing and always changing like some other books I read). The description of some things were so well made that sometimes couldn't help but whisper a small "wow!" in awe. The only thing that would had made this serie perfect was if the battle scenes ( don't worry, it isn't really gory) was slightly clearer. Sometimes, i couldn't really follow what was going on. Anyways, I think these books are wonderful and you should definitely check them out!

Jul 04, 2016

Scott Westerfeld hits us again with a gripping novel. This novel stars two different characters, both somewhat in hiding. I really enjoyed its slight humor and intense action scenes. I really recommend it.

Jun 05, 2016

This is set around WWI, but with a twist. The Austria/Hungary/Germany use technology for their defense, and Britain/France use "fabricated beasts" - Darwinian life chains to create new beasts to use instead of technology - Muscles and sinews replacing boilers and gears. Needless to say, one side despises the other for these reasons as well, and the two main characters (one from each side) slowly come to understand the other's view. It's a good read and interesting to see how well a picture is drawn of the viewpoint of both sides.

Apr 13, 2016

4/5 stars. Leviathan is a young adult novel written by Scott Westerfeld with illustrations by Keith Thompson. It plays with many genres including steampunk and dystopia while viewing the story through an alternate history lens. The fast paced story makes an interesting twist on the First World War, asking, what would happen if massive robots and monsters were commonplace at the time. The book has wonderful imagery thanks to Westerfeld’s writing, creating a vivid alternate world in the reader's mind. THis is backed up by the wonderfully detailed and appropriate illustrations by Thomson scattered throughout. It is rare, but a nice change to see illustrations in a young adult novel. These illustrations really allow the correct image from Westerfeld’s story to be conveyed to the reader's imagination. The two main characters of the novel are polar opposites, an aristocratic german boy and a poor british girl. The story follows these two alternate paths colliding, with excellent development for both characters. I am hooked by this book and will undoubtedly read the next in the series.
@Joaquin of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Leviathan is a fascinating historical fiction, steampunk novel written by Scott Westerfeld. This is the first book in the Leviathan trilogy. This book starts at the beginning of WWI following the Ferdinands murder. In this world, it’s a malevolent clash between Austrian and German steam powered creations and British fabricated war creatures.
This story is from the first person view of 2 teens. Alek is the son of the murdered Austrian royals. Despite being unable to inhert anything, he finds himself in hiding with a small group of soldiers. Deryn is a British girl pretending to be a man on the fabricated British airship Leviathan. Both have a secret that must be protected with their lives. When a disaster brings them together it is a question of how long before each secret is revealed and how things will change.
I enjoyed reading this book immensely and I recommend it to anyone looking for something new and interesting. The storyline and world are believable, well thought out and explained so it is a joy to experience. This book masterfully holds readers attention with it’s incredible storyline style and unique, believable characters.
Score: 4.6/5.0
- @Penultimate of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This book is amazing! Scott Westerfeld does a great job of intertwining two lives that would never meet under normal circumstances. Set at the beginning of World War I in an alternate history, the world is divided into two factions: the Darwinists and the Clankers. Prince Aleksander lived in Austria-Hungary, and now is forced to run from his home, chased by traitors of his own country. Deryn Sharp has disguised herself as a boy to get into the royal air force. Their lives collide when the Leviathan, the greatest airship owned by Great Britain, crashes in Switzerland, almost on top of the ancient castle where Alek is hiding out in. The excitement doesn’t stop as their journeys continue together.
- @dragonflame of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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Add Age Suitability
Jun 12, 2017

addieT thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 1 and 1

Mr_Bigfoot May 01, 2014

Mr_Bigfoot thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 26, 2014

orange_cat_517 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

52107amb Feb 28, 2013

52107amb thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 31, 2013

Clarkcj thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Nov 20, 2012

JihadiConservative thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Dec 24, 2011

ElizabethSummer thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

SB2000 Nov 24, 2011

SB2000 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 18

Nov 13, 2011

freeflyer thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 19, 2011

DLR231 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Add a Quote

" The woman continued, amused that he was upset. 'I suppose we shall have to use other means, Mr Sharp. Shall we introduce Alek to the young Huxleys?'
'The Huxleys?' A smile spread across Dylan's face. 'That's a brilliant idea, ma'am!'
Alek stiffened. 'Who are they?'
'A Huxley isn't a who, you ninny,' Dylan said. 'It's more of a what, being mostly made of jellyfish.'
Alek glared at the boy, certain he was being mocked again. "

~ Dylan (Deryn), Alek, and Dr. Barlow, page 264.

May 15, 2017

" barking machines!" Dylan exclaimed " Didn't I tell you? I've never seen a beastie that couldn't get up on it's own. Well, except a turtle. And one of my auntie's cats."

Alek raised an eyebrow " And I'm sure your auntie's cat would have survived that aerial bomb."

"You'd be surprised. He's quite fat."

Jun 28, 2016

"We can conclude, Count Volger, that discussing politics while fencing is idiotic."- Alek after fencing practice with Volger.

Jun 22, 2014

"Do you love him?"
Deryn swallowed, then pointed at the screen. "He makes me feel like that. Like flying."

Jun 22, 2014

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

Apr 10, 2013

"No, but have you Clankers ever made a train that can hunt for its own food, or heal itself, or reproduce?"~Dylan (Deryn,) page 273

52107amb Feb 28, 2013

But I fell. And it's about time too young master- Alek and Klopp

Dec 25, 2011

Oi, beastie!

Dec 24, 2011

Oh, I'm always leaving my watch on the tennis courts.
(Alek rolls his eyes)

shelby11 May 04, 2011

"The question is: Do you oil your war machines, or do you feed them?"


Add Notices
Feb 24, 2016

Violence: This book mentions GUNS!! Which is obviously completely unacceptable, especially for a book about WWI! Soon all the kids in the world will be thinking about guns, and we don't want that to happen, do we?!?! DO WE??!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Feb 24, 2016

Other: This book is too awesome for readers to bear.

Feb 24, 2016

Coarse Language: Warning: you will be permanently psychologically damaged by the cursewords in this book, such as: barking spiders(gasp!), clart (double gasp!), and ninny. (I fainted when I read that, I can't BELIEVE that the editors actually left that IN there!)

Aug 05, 2014

Other: No, it is not a stupid book. It is amazing and well imagined, with great characters and a cool plot.

Apr 11, 2013

Other: stupid book

52107amb Feb 28, 2013

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is a lot of fighting in the book nothing to gorey or anything. But it's world war I what do you expect?

Dec 24, 2011

Coarse Language: Nothing too bad, just Deryn's articulate speech. Alek swears at moments.


Add a Summary
Dec 24, 2011

Alek and "Dylan" Sharp are thrown together in a race to keep their secrets--one hiding his heritage, the other his --or is it her?-- gender.
Altogether a thrilling steampunk novel.

shelby11 May 04, 2011

Prince Aleksander is on the run from the germans. With his parents dead, he flees to a secret safe house in Switzerland.

Deryn Sharp is disguised as a boy named Dylan, so she can fly. When the ship she works on crashes on a Switzerland glacier, things don't look good. Until she meets a mysterious boy named Alek...

Alek is a clanker; Deryn is a darwinist. But when they work together, they might just be able to find a way off of the glacier.

A steampunk fantasy about World War one that never was...

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