Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

Source: Purchased
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Leviathan #2
Edition: Hardback, 481 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

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

If you’ve seen my review for Leviathan then you know I wasn’t terribly sure how I felt about the book and ended up giving three stars because of that. Well Behemoth did what the first couldn’t for me and helped me decide that I bloody love this series. I had a few irritants here and there so I couldn’t give it a five but it’s still a brilliant book and made me realize that the first was just as good,  so I may go back to my review and rework it if I have the time.

I really love Alek and Deryn as main characters, they are each others opposite so they fill in what the other is missing. Also I really like the fact that it’s not turning into a romance and becoming all love sick, this is first and foremost about how they deal with the war and the friendship between them. Deryn is a wonderful female character and she’s breaking the mold of so many YA main characters. She’s bold, straight forward, strong, and clever. It’s really enjoyable reading about her and her situations. Alek is just as enjoyable and not just because he’s noble, but because he’s also a strong character with a unique situation. Also I adore Bovril, he’s so adorable!!

These are some well thought out books, and that much is very clear. It’s an alternate history so of course you have facts mingling with fiction in vast amounts, but you also have interesting steampunk creations and beautiful illustrations. I’m in love with the idea of the Allies being ‘Darwinists’ and the Axis being ‘Clankers’, it gives a whole new outlook on WWI, not to mention the interesting battles that take place. The illustrator, Keith Thompson, does a fantastic job with the pictures throughout this book. Not only do they give you a glimpse of what this world looks like they are also very nice to look at, I kind of wish that I could find a colored poster version of a few to hang in my room.

I can’t wait for Goliath to hit the shelves! I also regret getting rid of my copy of Leviathan, so I’ll have to re-buy it when I get the chance.

4 stars

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