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Behemoth (Leviathan) [Hardcover]

Scott Westerfeld (Author), Keith Thompson (Illustrator)
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–This book continues the hard-driving, action-packed adventures of Alek, heir to the throne of the Austrian empire and current British prisoner of war, and Deryn Sharp, a midshipman assigned to the Leviathan. Their loyalties to their respective governments and philosophies are tested as their friendship grows; Alek is an Austrian Clanker and Deryn an English Darwinist. After the Leviathan is damaged by a German attack, Alek and his personal guard escape the airship and join a revolutionary group dedicated to the overthrow of the sultan of Istanbul. Meanwhile Deryn has been sent to sabotage a key military blockade in the Istanbul harbor. But true havoc doesn't ensue until the teens are reunited. This dynamite novel incorporates factual events of the early months of World War I: the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Churchill's confiscation of an Ottoman Empire warship, and the instability and revolution within the Empire. However, the elements of steampunk, biological and mechanical technology, sheer over-the-top adventure, and great storytelling make this a must-have addition to any speculative fiction collection. Thompson's sumptuous full-page illustrations capture the goings-on and contribute to the cinematic feel of the book.Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Description

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.


Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416971750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416971757
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Westerfeld
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Customer Reviews

12 Reviews
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Average Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 stars (12 customer reviews)
 
 
 
 
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Westerfeld does it again!, October 7, 2010
By Jennifer Lee (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Behemoth (Leviathan) (Hardcover)
I stumbled upon this series after finding and devouring his Uglies series. Levathian was an awesome book, and I loved the concept of evolved animalesques versus the mechanical technologies of the world. Scott Westerfeld has a knack at bringing so many aspects of life now into question in his novels.

While Leviathan was great at introducing us to its alternative steam-punk culture, Behemoth helps develop the characters of Prince *ArchDuke* Alek and middy *MR. Sharp* Deryn. I especially enjoyed seeing Deryn growing up with new responsibilities, challenged loyalties, and blossoming love. It is also very amusing when another strong female character Lilit is added to create a convoluted yet innocent love triangle between the three main figures.

One thing I was a little disappointed in was the fact that this book was not based in the mind-blowing evolving world of the Darwinists. Reading about the complex eco-culture of the Leviathan gave me a huge thrill as to the possibilities of our own future. But I guess this is to be expected. Leviathan is devoted to the world of the Darwinists, it is only fair that Behemoth is immersed in Clanker-land, a place with its own technological wonders.

All I can say Behemoth has got me extremely excited for book three. And unfortunately Behemoth has JUST come out, so it's going to be a really long wait.

PS. did I mention this series is gorgeously illustrated? My Kindle does not do the graphics justice but even there the fantastical details are extremely alluring.


 
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars TURKISH DELIGHTS, October 8, 2010
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Behemoth (Leviathan) (Hardcover)
[NO SPOILERS]

For those that have read the first book, BEHEMOTH brings the whale-airship Leviathan to a wonderful location to serve as a backdrop for the plot:

Istanbul.

Scott Westerfeld even went to Istanbul to get a feel for the city in preparation of this book. Having been to Istanbul myself, I felt he captured the essence of the city without making one feel like they're reading an over-detailed travelogue.

In a nutshell, the book deals again with Deryn/Dylan, Prince Alek and his retinue, Dr. Barlow and a few new faces, to include one that forms the third point of an interesting "Bermuda Triangle" of sorts.
Not much new is revealed about Deryn/Dylan and Alek, the two main characters, but the two draw closer in their friendship as they work together against the Clanker threats that surround them . . . and one particularly annoying journalist--American, of course.

The non-human elements are just as fascinating this time around as they were in LEVIATHAN, although this time they focus more on the Clankers as they are, after all, in enemy territory. But just to be clear, there are SOME new Darwinist creations, just not many of them.

The plot moves at a nice pace--although I'm a slow reader I finished this book in about two days and the last 200 pages I read in one sitting.

Of course, an Alternative History book like this one wouldn't be what it is without a little homage to the real history, which is briefly but sufficiently detailed in the AFTERWORD. It's truly amazing how authors can find little historical details and transform them into new magnificent stories!

Finally there is the wonderful artwork of Keith Thompson. Once again his artwork never fails to capture what is occurring on the page next to it. Reading these books is like flipping through the HOLY BIBLE or THE DIVINE COMEDY and finding the brilliant black-and-white artwork of GUSTAVE DORE gracing the pages.

As for complaints, I only have a few nitpicky ones . . .

--The hardback cover art needs to match the hardback cover for the first book.
--The binding could be of better quality--it's just glue.
--The impact of some of the artwork is diminished by the fact that the crease between the pages gets in the way.

Despite that, this is still an easy 5-star title.

It was nice to be back on board.


 
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue in Istanbul (not Constantinople), October 5, 2010
This review is from: Behemoth (Leviathan) (Hardcover)
If Leviathan was setting up World War One with mechs and genetically engineered creatures, Behemoth was expanding upon the political ramifications. The book primarily centers on the political machinations between the Darwinist English and the Clanker Germans vying for the favor of the kind-of-sort-of Clanker Ottoman Turks in Istanbul. In the middle of this is Alek, son of the nobles whose assassination lit off the whole mess, and Deryn/Dylan the crossdressing girl serving on the English airship Leviathan and crushing over Alek.

I'm pretty sure that this could fall into the category of middle book syndrome for some people, but it didn't happen for me. I felt that the ending was a good spot to take a break. I also really like how the story is shifting locations from one aspect of the "war to end all wars" to another. I'm already decently familiar with the Western Front and it's nice to the see the scene shifting into more interesting and unfamiliar territory. Alek gets himself involved with some of the politicking using the time honored, traditional method of displaced nobles everywhere: revolution and rebellion.

The pace of action is pretty quick and there are quite a few new people introduced. It has a quite a bit of backroom dealing going on and the action doesn't get in the way of character development. Instead each big conflict is used to highlight an internal conflict as well, from Alek's and Deryn's differing reactions to the loss of a parent to what role each of them see themselves filling in the war. I especially want to see how Alek's suspicion that he could help end war the plays out.

The plotting was pretty good and made sense to me. Alek's decision to start taking an active role in events happening around him made him into less of a lost little princeling whose actions are dictated by his father's last wishes or Wildcount Volger. It was a nice little bit of character growth. I liked him more for it. I would even go so far as to say that Alek is changing from a lost and frightened kid into someone who could be a leader. I hope his instinct for people doesn't fail him and his ability to trust at all is a nice contrast to Volger's constant state of suspicion.

Deryn/Dylan also improved for me this time around. Rather than being slightly annoying, she managed to start having conflicts between her crushing on Alek and her sworn duty to ship and country, thus becoming more interesting. Also, the introduction of Lilit gives a splendid foil to Deryn, as Lilit is every bit as capable as she but not trying to hide her gender. I rather like Lilit's parting shot to Deryn. I thought the reactions on both sides really funny.

After this installment I eagerly await the next one all the more.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, but I think it should have had a different title!
Behemoth starts about two days later still on the Leviathan heading for Istanbul. But, on the way there they encounter two German ships that have a Tesla cannon and are ready for...
Published 11 days ago by Carina C

5.0 out of 5 stars Barking Magnificent!
It's been a while since I read Leviathan, so it took me a bit to remember everything I needed to know about the Darwinists, the Clankers, Alek and of course Deryn Sharp.
Published 12 days ago by J. Prather

5.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk At Its Finest

Badly wounded by Clanker airplanes and downed on a lifeless glacier high in the Swiss Alps, the great British hydrogen breather Leviathan has limped back into the air only...
Published 12 days ago by Karen Keyte

5.0 out of 5 stars Joining the chorus
All I can do is echo the praises of others -- this is a terrific followup to a great first book and I eagerly look forward to the third.
Published 13 days ago by Robert Forward

5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the First
Usually middle books in a trilogy are just getting one place to another, but Westerfeld has made Behemoth an adventure in itself.
Published 13 days ago by J. Wiles Parker

5.0 out of 5 stars What Miss Kelley Is Reading: [...]
Behemoth picks up where Leviathan left off: Alek, son of Archduke Ferdinand and potential secret heir to the throne, and Deryn, a girl masquerading as a boy in order to join the...
Published 20 days ago by Lea Kelley

5.0 out of 5 stars FUN READ!!!!
Even better than the first book,and that is saying something.Eagerly waiting for the next installment.
Published 20 days ago by David R. Sansone

5.0 out of 5 stars On the run (again)
At the end of Leviathan, the Clankers and the Darwinists did actually manage to work together in order to save all their lives. But... you know that couldn't possibly last.
Published 21 days ago by E. A Solinas

5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first
If you enjoyed the first book, the second one's even better.
Highly recommended.
Can't wait for the next one.
Published 24 days ago by D. Lim

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