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Behemoth
Book
2010
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Things slow down just a wee bit in this sequel to the WWI alt-history Leviathan (2009). Here, the focus shifts more onto wartime politicking than smash-dash battling, but Westerfeld maintains a steady influx of the series' real strength the superbly imagined mechanical contraptions and genetically crafted creatures. The bulk of the story takes place in Istanbul, as both the Clankers (Austria-Hungary and Germany) and Darwinists (England and Russia) are intent on swaying the Ottoman Empire in their favor. British midshipman Deryn (still disguised as a boy) and Prince Alek (heir-in-hiding to the throne of Austria-Hungary) continue to find themselves squarely in the thick of things en route to a nicely tied-together climax featuring the title beastie. Anyone needing a good visual for what makes steampunk so alluring should look no further than Thompson's intricate illustrations black, white, and gray rarely look so vivid. Although there are messages about the futility of war and a burgeoning love story, this is first and foremost a high-concept action series, and Westerfeld knows how to pound a pulse while tickling the imagination.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

In this sequel to Leviathan (2009), Deryn and Alek foment revolution at the onset of the Great War. They both have secrets: Deryn, a girl in disguise, serves on a living airship; Alek is secretly heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Alek ends up in Istanbul after a cinematic escape from the airship, while Deryn is stranded there after a top-secret mission. The two discover a city caught between Clanker and Darwinist powers, a city using machines and engines as the Germans do but tremulously allied to the beastie-manufacturing British. Alek and Deryn join the intrigues of a multi-ethnic secret society seeking to overthrow the Sultan. It's a racketing adventure, packed with genetically engineered beasties, human-looking machines and nosy American reporters. Though subject to all the weaknesses of steampunk--an exotic East that owes more to Orientalism than to accuracy; a romantic and exciting interpretation of exceedingly dark historical periods--it also showcases the genre's strengths: gleeful battles, well-appointed airships, wee clockwork library helpers and sea monsters. Keith Thompson's lively black-and-white illustrations suit perfectly. (Steampunk. 12-15)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.
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