July 8, 2011


A while back I read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, I was really excited to hear there was a sequel, Behemoth!
Summary: 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.

I really liked the first book in this series, so I had high expectations. At first I felt like those expectations hadn't been met, because the first 30-50 pages were quite boring and was more just recapping what happened in the first book. Then after a while it goes back to the thing I loved about Leviathan, the heart-pounding battle scenes, the awesome fabricated beasts and some really evil villains!

One thing, that I thought made the book a tad worse then Leviathan is the way Deryn, a girl who acts very manly suddenly turns into a "lovey-dovey" girl, who only cares about Alek. I mean, I don't hate romance in books, sometimes they are quite nice, but Scott Westerfeld failed to keep me interested in this one, just annoyed and waiting for something to happen besides the constant "he loves me, he loves me not" going on inside Deryn's head. But I liked that this content came in and was an important and rather hilarious part of the story later.

Illustrator Keith Thompson does an excellent job at illustrating the book; he gives a real feel of what's going on and his illustrations are pure genius!

One of my favorite parts of the story is when Alek is in Instanbul (and because this is heavy steampunk, he changes history and the revolution in Instanbul in 1908 was not successful) and is helping the rebels pull off an uprising. All of the characters during this period of the book really shine and come to life, especially his new-found revolutionary allies.
I think the idea of the "Tesla Cannon" is really cool. Though Nikola Tesla never actually made it (or anyone else made it for that matter). The technology has gotten a lot more advanced in this book from the last one. In Leviathan the walkers are all depicted as just moving hunks of metal. In this one some are modeled after Greek mythology and have arms and legs (the ones from the first book just have legs).

This book was a fun and energetic book with lots of plot twists, a rare sequel that lived up to the first.
Book Battle Update: This is my 6th book read in our book battle, so far I'm winning 6-4.


  1. Great review Benji. I love how you didn't really like the "lovey-dovey" stuff. But your descriptions were excellent.

  2. Thanks Terri! The lovey-dovey stuff wasn't THAT bad, and in some books it's pretty good but this book as Deryn would say "she was acting like a school girl, throwing everything for a stupid boy".


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