Alek’s parents have just been assassinated, and along with his parents most trusted advisors, he is on the run. Abandoned by his own people, he must cross Europe and reach safety.
Deryn, is a talented airman, with only one problem. Only boys can join the British Air Service. She is noting if not determined though, and after successfully disguising herself as a boy, she finds herself serving onboard the flagship, Leviathan.
Alek and Deryn’s story is told against the relentless backdrop of a drive towards war in Europe. A war between the Darwenists and the Clankers, two very different ideologies…
The Darwenists follow the teachings of Charles Darwin, and breed their technology, their weapons, transport, and communications are all alive. It is on one of these airships that Deryn lives and serves.
The Clankers, the world from which Alek hails, are firmly grounded in the mechanical, packed with cannons and guns and covered in armour, their machines are still unlike anything you have come across before, the tanks walk for one thing!
Scott Westerfeld is one of my favourite discoveries this year, I started with Parasite Positive/Peeps and haven’t looked back since!
So, when I started to see snippets of this one; an alternate history of WW1, with elements of steampunk and some fantastic illustrations by Keith Thompson, it instantly became of my my most anticipated books of the year!
Thankfully it more than lives up to it.
I’ve mentioned the fantastic illustrations and the book is packed with them (I believe there are around 50!) and along with the excellent writing, really do add something special to the novel.
Due to their upbringing, when the two do eventually meet, the differences are immediately apparent, not only from what we have already learned about them, but alson from their reactions to each other.
But their are similarities, as well, Deryn is a talented airman and Alek is pretty skill full and driving a Cyklop Stormwalker, himself. It is soon clear that there is a natural affinity between the two (and yes the first signs of something more).
With tanks that walk, lizards that carry messages, fantastic characters, and allsorts of other steampunky goodness this is book that is just made of awesome!
Other Reviews to Consider
- My Favourite Books
- Fyrefly’s Book Blog
- Karin’s Book Nook
- Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
- Book Nut
- Bermudaonion’s Weblog
- The Infinite Shelf
- The Written World & The Zen Leaf