October 2010, Simon and Schuster Children's Books
496 pages, Hardback
Humour, lots of peril, living airships, giant human controlled robots, warfare, strange creatures, mystery, a few tissues needed,
Summary from Simon and Schuster
The Leviathan arrives in Constantinople, a city where Clanker culture and Darwinst principles intersect in the most intriguing ways. Dr Barlow and Deryn deliver their precious cargo to the Sultan, but their peace-keeping mission goes unexpectedly - and disastrously - awry. Now the only way to save themselves in this hostile, politically-charged city is for Dr Barlow to offer up the thing that matters most: the air ship. Alek escapes from his prison camp and goes on the run with his men and the loris while Count Volger stays behind to fend-off the pursuit, forcing Alek to take on new responsibilities. Meanwhile a secret mission lands Deryn in serious danger… and leads both teens to re-evaluate their precarious situations in the world.
Scott Westerfeld has done it again. Leviathan was left on a cliffhanger (of sorts - there were so many questions left unanswered). Knowing the main characters already made Behemoth a pleasure to read. The new characters are equally charming, and provide Deryn with a few problems. Young romance blooms in several directions - not all as you may think! At last we find out what Dr Barlow was trying to hatch. Alek sneaks away and actually steals one of the hatched animals, which causes quite a bit of mayhem. Alek is on the run from a lot of people. It wasn't necessarily the wisest move, but he carries it through, making valuable friends who will be able to help Deryn. As much as I love life in the sky (there is some in this book) I liked seeing Deryn live on the ground. The environments both she and Alek find themselves in captures the imagination, especially with the accompanying detailed illustrations. I love the words that are created for cursewords - they made me laugh. Both Alek and Deryn suffer tragedy in this book, coupled with enormous character growth through the events that unfold. They've both come a long way from the start of their adventure in Leviathan, and I'm eager to see where the next book takes them. Undoubtedly it will bring about scary new foes, as well as familiar ones.
It's a long wait until the next book! This series is blowing me away, especially Deryn's view on events.
Make sure you've checked out the first book of Alek and Deryn's adventures, Leviathan!
Scott Westerfeld can be found lurking on his website here.