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GUEST REVIEW: Behemoth (Leviathan #2)

Reviewed by JJK

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld is the 2nd book in the Leviathan Trilogy. It was released in hardcover, audio and eBook formats on October 5, 2010. Print edition is 485 pages.

Description from Goodreads:

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.

Love! War! Genetic engineering! Behemoth has all this and more.

Set against the backdrop of the author’s alternative history of WWI in a richly imagined steampunk world, Scott Westerfeld’s 2nd novel in his Leviathan Trilogy is a page turner.

As in the first book, Leviathan, Westerfeld’s brilliantly imagined world teems with genetically contrived life forms and clunky but devilishly clever mechanical contraptions.

Most of the action this time takes place in Istanbul. Our heroine, Deryn, still in disguise as a boy serving in the Darwinist British Air Service, and Prince Alek, heir-on-the-run to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, join forces with a revolutionary group trying to overthrow the Ottoman sultan to “change the course of the whole barking war.”

This book is replete with action, humor, intrigue and the possibility of romance. Keith Thompson’s black and white illustrations augment Westerfeld’s abundantly imaginative machines and creatures. Many questions remain unanswered, and the story’s open ending leaves plenty of room for a rollicking finale.

Book trailer for Leviathan, the first book in the series with just a peek at Behemoth:

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