Thursday, November 4, 2010
Behemoth by Scott Westerfield
This book is the second in the series by Scott Westerfield and lives up to the first one in every way. It begins exactly where Leviathan left off. That is, in this alternate history’s version of the start of World War I. The Leviathan is on its way to Constantinople (Istanbul) to return the world to peace with the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who is raging because Churchill “borrowed” one of their warships. Because of this, the Ottomans have become ally’s with the Germans (Clankers).
Focusing on the two main characters, Deryn who is hiding the fact that he is a girl and Alek who is hiding the fact that he is the heir to the Austrian empire pretending to be a commoner have problems of their own. They are both on the Leviathan, at present, a combination of Darwinian and Clanker technology. Alek knows he has to escape or be held a prisoner of war and Deryn is busy on a mission to open the waterway for the Behemoth to join the war.
Behemoth explores friendships, ethics, patriotism and religion without losing the page turning action of this book. This book explores the differences in cultures as well as the differences in technology. This book is Steampunk at its finest. It gives many opportunities for lively discussions, especially for anyone who is a history buff.
When the third book, Golliath, comes out, it will be interesting to see how Deryn and Alek resolve their roles. . Behemoth shows them as true friends , and in Deryn’s case a bit more, who are loyal to each other. However, neither one every forgets their allegiance to the war and their respective sides. This can be a major conflict. Deryn is completely loyal to the Darwinists and respects her uniform and her superiors. But she doesn’t follow it blindly. If it were, she would never have joined the military impersonating a boy. Alek has the same loyalty to his beliefs, with less room for questioning perhaps because of his idea that fate guides everyone.
Finally the illustrations are just as charming as in Leviathan.
Rating 10 out of 10
Reading Next Black Hole Sun by Gill
Posted by Ms. V at 10:42 AM