Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

2010
10.15


behemoth
In this steaming, clanking sequel to Leviathan, Midshipman Dylan Sharp (aka Deryn, girl sailor in disguise) and secret Austrian prince Alek try to keep the world powers in balance as the Clankers and the Darwinists hover on the precipice of war. It is 1914, and the mighty British genetically designed airship Leviathan, carrying Deryn, Alek and the Darwinist creature fabricator Dr. Barlow is headed to Constaninople, capital of the Ottoman Empire. There, diplomatic Dr. Barlow hopes to smooth the Sultan’s ruffled feathers over the fact that the promised dreadnought & Kraken combo built for the Ottomans by the British won’t be delivered until the potential threat of war from the Germans has cleared. Alek and his Austrian entourage have plans to escape while Dr. Barlow is negotiating and disappear into the city’s cosmopolitan crowds, especially now that Britain has just declared war on Austria-Hungary. Deryn manages to look the other way, even though it’s mutiny to help Alek and her heart is breaking at the thought of being separated from him. Luckily, it’s not for long. Before they know it, they’ve fallen into each other’s company again, reunited after Alek stumbles upon a brewing plot to overthrow the Turkish monarchy and Deryn is abandoned when a top secret spy mission to disable an integral component of the Sultan’s security measures doesn’t go exactly as planned. Together, they will topple a tower, halt a speeding train and unleash a behemoth–all in the name of stopping World War I before it has a chance to start. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you better start here. For the rest of you steampunkers, prepare for a wild ride through the tangled streets and opulent palaces of Constantinople (which you should really call Istanbul). As lavishly demonstrated through Keith Thompson’s top notch illustrations, the action is epic, the machines are magnificent and the fabricated beasties (especially a certain perspicacious loris–where can I get one??) just can’t be beat.  A spicy, rich, satisfying second helping of a book that will just leave you craving more delicious alternative history goodness. I seriously can’t wait until Book Three!

8 Responses to “Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld”

  1. Sally says:

    I just saw Scott Leviathan speak in Houston. Next book is called Goliath.

  2. Mike says:

    I just finished this last night, and enjoyed it immensely. Drat! Now I have to wait a year until Goliath comes out.

    Plan on seeing Westerfeld speak in Novi next week.

  3. Michelle says:

    I listened to Leviathan on audio (which I highly recommend) and am about to get started on this one as well. Alan Cumming does a fantastic job narrating, makes the story come alive. I’m quite excited to hear how things advance for Alec and Deryn.

  4. Lynn Rutan says:

    I am in physical pain at not being able to read this till after a presentation I am frantically prepping for!! The book is staring at me as I write this. Your fabulous post isn’t helping – it made me want to read this even more. Now I’m going to have to hide the book somewhere so I can’t see it. Well, maybe I could just sneak a little peek….AACK – just know that if we have no handouts the fault will be yours for increasing the temptation to read this beyond endurance ;-)

  5. Jen Hubert says:

    Lynn, sorry to be causing you physical pain:) and good luck on your presentation (is this the one where you and Cindy do 500 titles each?:)

  6. Jill says:

    This book blew me away simply because I actually was not anticipating it to read better than the first (which was amazing, I should add). However, Westerfeld’s imagination, coupled with Thompson’s awesome artistic talent, makes this book number 2 on my list for the year of favorites (Only Mark Hodder’s steampunk alt. history The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack topped this book.) That says a lot for what’s supposed to be a middle book proving simply that even middle books in trilogies can be more than just connecting the beginning and end.
    Thanks for the review and I’m looking for my own perspicacious loris, too!

  7. This book blew me away simply because I actually was not anticipating it to read better than the first (which was amazing, I should add). However, Westerfeld’s imagination, coupled with Thompson’s awesome artistic talent, makes this book number 2 on my list for the year of favorites (Only Mark Hodder’s steampunk alt. history The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack topped this book.) That says a lot for what’s supposed to be a middle book proving simply that even middle books in trilogies can be more than just connecting the beginning and end. Thanks for the review and I’m looking for my own perspicacious loris, too!

  8. Jen Hubert says:

    Middle books rule! Thanks for your comment, Hazel.

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