Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

(Cover picture courtesy of Fat Girl Reading.)

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy.  It cam swallow even battleships with one bite. The Darwnists 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’m finding that I like Behemoth more than I like Leviathan.  Now that I’m more used to Scott Westerfeld’s steampunk world, things make a lot more sense.  And since Scott Westerfeld has already set up his universe, he can focus on the plot and characters.

This time I was actually able  to connect with both Deryn and Alek.  This is probably because I was more familiar with the world and could actually focus on the characters.  Alek is much more sympathetic this time around because he isn’t as much of a spoiled brat prince as he was before.  Deryn is also much easier to connect with as her secret is in jeopardy multiple times.

The world-building is excellent and I absolutely love Keith Thompson’s illustrations, which help bring the world alive.  Scott Westerfeld masterfully intertwines the events of the real First World War with the fake scenarios he has created.  The plot is faster paced than that of Leviathan and much more unpredictable.  Overall, Behemoth is an excellent novel that makes me eager for the last  book in the trilogy, Goliath.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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