D. Robert Pease's Blog

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tween the Weekends - Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld

Today is my first post for the Tween the Weekends feature over on the Emblazon blog. It's a day when all the authors on the site stop and write a post dedicated to tween readers. Today I wanted to start with a great series for kids that I just finished reading.

Review of Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld

Not only do I like to write for tweens (those ages somewhere between a child and a teenager,) I also love to read books that fall into this category. Recently I read the Leviathan Trilogy by Scot Westerfeld. I would put these books smack-dab in the middle of this age group. I loved how masterfully Westerfeld created a world that is wholly believable, yet fantastical at the same time.

Leviathan begins at the start of World War I. Of course it's not called that in the books. It follows the adventures of Alek Ferdinand, a prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Deryn sharp, a commoner from the British Empire. Deryn is a girl, but disguises herself as a boy to join the Royal Air-service.

What makes this series so darn cool is that this is not history the way we learned it in school. Sure, many of the names are the same. Many of the events are similar, but there's one huge difference. The world is split into The Clankers, and the Darwinists. The Clankers are people who use steam-power to drive great machines: fighting Mechs, walking machines, and contraptions that are fashioned like animals. These are primarily the German powers. Then there are the Darwinists who fabricate great beasts with all kinds of cool abilities. Large creatures that pull their trucks, small ones that can speak and carry messages, and the largest creature, the Leviathan, that is like a huge whale that floats in the air; a living airship. The Darwinists are on the British side.

So you have Alek, a Clanker, and Deryn, a Darwinists who are not only supposed to be enemies in the war, but also don't understand each other culturally. Of course they end up being thrown together. It's a great read that takes the pair all around the world, meeting real people that do unreal things. I really loved these books. And what made them even better were the great illustrations throughout by Keith Thompson.

I highly recommend them for kids, maybe 10 and up. And for adults who like grand adventures like I do.

Book 1, Leviathan
Book 2, Behemoth
Book 3, Goliath

For more great posts for Tweens, visit the Tween the Weekends page over on Emblazon. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 10:16 AM


Michelle Isenhoff said...

Ooooooo...this looks really good! Adding it too my TBR list.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:40 AM

Alan Tucker said...

I've seen this one around, but haven't read it yet. Looks like my TBR pile just got bigger. Again! Thanks for the review :-)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:10 AM

Ansha Kotyk said...

It's been a while since I've read Scott Westerfeld (I read the Uglies series). Looks fascinating. And I love grand adventures!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 2:07 PM

cordelia dinsmore said...

This was my first steampunk read, and I loved it. But I never read past the first one. Guess I'll have to remedy that now. Great post, Dale!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:25 AM

Lois D. Brown said...

I read all the Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, but then got distracted before starting this series. Sounds interesting.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 11:12 AM

Lisa Orchard said...

Great review! This series looks like it would be a great one. Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 11:52 AM

Lynn Kelley said...

Yep, I love adventure books, too, and these sound like winners to me. Thanks, Dale!

Saturday, August 31, 2013 11:52 PM

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