Confession: I bought this book at a conference where Scott Westerfield was speaking. He shared with us how he came up with the idea for this book (and the rest in the series), and I may have to admit that the behind-the-scenes stuff might possibly be more fascinating than the actual book is, if that's even possible:
by Scott Westerfield
Genre: Steampunk (Science Fiction)
Description: It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.
Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure….One that will change both their lives forever.
Why I liked it: I enjoy a good, sweeping adventure, and this book's clever sci-fi twist on the beginning of World War I was just too good to pass up. Even better are the dozens of full-page black and white illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. So you can see exactly what Westerfield had in mind for both his mechanical and animal machines and weaponry. Oh, and some of those steam-driven vehicles remind me an awful lot of a few machines found in the original Star Wars movies. Just sayin', for you SW fans out there.
I'd love more Steampunk suggestions, or clever twists on WWI stories, so send them my way if you've got any!
And happy weekend reading!