So apparently I didn't review this book back when I originally read it. Whoops! It's high time I corrected that mistake, because all of you out there in Readerland deserve to know about this great series. Well, I just read Behemoth, the second book in this series by Scott Westerfeld, but for this entry I'll only talk about Leviathan, the first book. That's what's in the subject line of this article, after all.
Especially after reading Behemoth, but even before, this book really has that feel of a first book in a trilogy. A lot is set up and many new concepts are explained. There's conflict and a resolution at the end of this book, but it doesn't really feel like anything was completed. It's not bad, just makes you really hungry for more. Now, in the world of Leviathan, it's similar to our world prior to WWI, but the big difference is in the war machines. Germany and Austria-Hungary use giant mechanical war machines and are known as Clankers because of their reliance on machines. Great Britain and its allies are Darwinists and use science to create modified animals, including great living airships that are whole ecosystems unto themselves. Personally, I think the Clankers have the cooler way of it, but Westerfeld gives the two sides equal treatment. So who are our main characters? Alek, an Austro-Hungarian prince on the run, and Deryn, a girl disguised as a boy so she can serve on a British airship. I like Alek. He's a bit spoiled because of his upbringing, but he's also kind and willing to learn. Deryn seems like she'd be a bit annoying to be around because she's a bit superior and cocky, but her point of view sections round Deryn out a bit. The supporting characters are all decent, but special mentions go to Volger and Dr. Barlow for the layers of depth each possesses.
I'm gonna end this review here, since it's harder than I thought to talk about Leviathan without letting what I know from Behemoth influence things.