Book Author :: Scott Westerfeld
Scott Westerfeld is perhaps currently best known for his YA SF novels. He recently decided to try his hand at Steampunk in an alternate version of World War I. LEVIATHAN is a good entry into the genre, but it isn’t without drawbacks (depending on your point of view, of course).
LEVIATHAN (Amazon) follows the PoV of Alek, the son of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand (in case you didn’t know before, now you know where the band gets its name–that’s your useless piece of trivia for the day). In Westerfeld’s story, the assassination of the Archduke and his wife incites World War I, just like in actual history. This differences are the Steampunk and Biopunk (this term will make more sense in a moment) settings. The two major factions are the Clankers (the Austrians, Germans and such), and the Darwinists (England and other “Allies”). The Clankers are based in machinery, and lend to the Steampunk stylings that the book promotes. The Darwinists, frankly, are much cooler. They manipulate biological creatures into war machines, ships, and anything else they have need of. As a counterpoint to young Alek’s “Clanker” PoV, we have the PoV of Deryn Sharp. She is a fifteen year-old girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service aboard the Leviathan–a huge biologically created ship that resembles a flying whale.
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