Monday, December 28, 2009


The word leviathan means something that is the largest or most massive thing of its kind. The Leviathan in Scott Westerfeld's novel is a huge airship - something like a blimp or a dirigible - only this huge ship is alive!

Leviathan is a steampunk science fiction novel. Steampunk novels remind you of Jules Verne, who wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Although the world seems old-fashioned with steam-powered locomotives or ships - it is also futuristic with new and marvelous inventions or creations.

Leviathan is also an alternate-history science fiction novel. It is takes place in the weeks during the beginning of World War I. The event that sparked the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In this story, Alek is his son. Now that his parents are dead, their enemies are after him! He escapes with a few of his father's loyal men in a Clanker machine called a walker. This is also the story of Deryn Sharp, who is hiding her real identity as a girl so that she can fulfill her dream of flying in airships, especially the living airship Leviathan.

Leviathan is an action-filled novel with exciting battle scenes. It is also lavishly illustrated with fascinating and detailed drawings of this original world. Click on the title above to see examples of these marvelous illustrations.

Click here to read the first chapter of Leviathan online.