Leviathan by: Scott Westerfeld

Summary:

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

The Review:

This book has been on my TBR for a long time, and I finally picked it up last week, and now I am kicking myself wondering why it took me so long to read this book.

The story is set within an alternative historical take on World War II, with a lot of steampunk elements to it. It makes a few changes such as hanging how the war started. Instead of an assassination it was a poisoning of the Archduke and his wife that started the war. Now Alek is on the run from those who want to kill him, especially with him being an heir to Austria-Hungary.

With the elements of World War I, was really good. Westerfeld added the Clankers vs. Darwinists twist to the story. I really liked the design of the Clankers, they reminded me a lot of the AT-ATs from Star Wars, and it still felt like it was built in World War I. The Darwinists has vehicles lead by animals. Seeing the designs in the book really made it easier to be pictured in my head.

Alek, is one of the main protagonists, and while he is prince, he doesn’t come across as snobby and he always wants in on the action. Throughout the book he is of course on the run, and trying to figure out what happened to his parents. Deryn is another protagonist. She dresses up like a boy in order to join the army. She is very brilliant, and she reminded me a lot of Herminone with a little bit of Mulan in her. I like how you see the war from her point of view, and I also like seeing the Darwinists and their ships. She spends a majority of the time training with them.

I also really like the supporting characters. Count Volger is a great father figure to Alek after his parents die. Dr. Nora Barlow is a British scientist who has a great personality and is very brilliant.

The world building is also really good. Scott Westerfeld does a good job at presenting us with a World War I, with a lot of great steampunk elements to it, and it doesn’t feel like it was out of date, which is a real danger when dealing with steampunk set in the past. It also provided a lot of elements and information about World War I without feeling as if it was info dumping.

In the end, Leviathan was a very good read, that takes Alternative Historical fiction and mixes a lot of steampunk and science fiction elements to it. Both characters are extremely well developed and the plot has you turning the page at every turn.

Grade: 5/5

 

If & Then Thursday 6/15/2017

Happy Thursday everyone, and here is another If & Then Thursday

If&Then Thursdays is a book meme created by Alex@ Young at Heart Books. How do you participate? It’s easy! All you have to do is choose two books that are somewhat related in theme, writing style, genre, etc. Tell us how they are similar and why we would like them! All recommendations should be made in this format:

“If you like Book A, then you might enjoy Book B”

If you liked:

A great alternative fiction novel, set if Hitler won the war, dealing with a race in order to get close enough to Hitler to kill him.  It also does a good job at seeing a world in which the Axis powers has won.

Than you might like:

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

Why: Both books are set within alternative historical settings. While Leviathan has a more steampunk take on World War I, they still give us an exciting historical world to read about. They also both have great female characters in Deryn and Yael, who are both willing to get the job done.

 

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Baiancotti

Summary:

Don’t call them heroes.

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.

Review:

This book had me at X-Men meets Heroes, and of course as someone who likes superheros and comic books, the synopsis had me hooked and I actually enjoyed reading this book.

I am a fan of Scott Westerfeld’s writing mainly his Uglies trilogy so I wanted to see what other books he has written.

This book was essentially the 2-hour pilot to a TV show. There wasn’t much plot wise but it did do a good job at introducing us to the characters and their powers. If anything Ethan and Nate are co-protagonists in leading this group of teens with powers, which reminded me of Marvels Runaways. The other characters; Kelsie, Riley, Chizara, and Thibault all had their fair share of development and the book did a good jb at introducing them as a group but also as individuals, mainly Chizara’s story of learning how to control her powers.

The reason why I called it the “pilot” episode of a book series. because it served as a way to introduce the characters and the world, but it wasn’t as plot driven as most books I read. The book is very character driven  and it did a good job at developing the characters. It also kinda had a beginning, middle and end, so it felt complete. There is still some questions such as; where did the powers come from? Is there other teens with powers?  Does the world know about these teens with powers?

Hopefully those questions will be answered in future books because I feel this is going to be a series.

In the end I really enjoyed this book, while it wasn’t as plot heavy as I wanted it to be, the characters kept my interests going.

Grade: 3.9/5