Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I polished off the final two books in the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld, weekend before last, the first of which I prattled on about earlier.


This one picks up from the first after the merging of the two Darwinist and Clanker technologies on the airship Leviathan, and follows Deryn/Dylan and Alek through to Istanbul and the revolution (with which they greatly help) against the sultan (slightly altered course of history there).  The imagery  is completely beautiful, with the rich new cultures shining out from the words and the action gripping but not hopeless enough to cause despair - I finished it in a day:  Saturday.

And Goliath

Goliath focuses more on an individual - Tesla, whom Deryn and Alek help rescue from Siberia on the Leviathan.  Tesla is a mad scientist (same Tesla as ours - mad at the end) and claims to have built a war-ending weapon utilising the electricity of the earth itself.

The ending is quite satisfying, with Alek relinquishing his right to the throne of Austria-Hungary and him and Deryn (whom he finally finds out about both her feminine status, and her love for him) end up being agents for the London Zoological Society whom it is hinted at are actually secret diplomats.  I also finished this one in a day: Sunday.

The action in this book was perhaps a squick less exciting that the first two, but the story is very complete and nicely rounded up - plus they travel to America.  Characters return from the previous books in unexpected ways and places and you are constantly introduced to neat new fabricated animals and fantastic machines.

Some people have called this a 'steampunk' series, but I do not see it - certainly not 'steamy' enough to qualify.  And I shed a tear for adults who would not pick it up due to the YA intended audience, Westerfeld has created a delightful world.  I have the Uglies series and shall make a start on it as soon as I get some of my heavier books out of the way.

Good reads though, certainly going to make the kids read them - and then have a discussion about alternate histories and the real course of events.

Sneaky peek at some of the illustrations:


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