Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review: Behemoth


By: Scott Westerfeld

Review by: K Carson

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.

Characters: I can't get over how much I love Westerfeld's characters. The worldbuilding really amazes me, but what really makes this series fantastic is its characters. There were several new characters introduced in this installment, like the rebel Lilit or the enigmatic American reporter Eddie Malone. The characterizations were thorough and well developed.

I decree: 5/5 Stars

Plot: The plot in this book feels transitiionary. The stakes are clearly laid out, but the tension isn't as strong as it was in Leviathan. Behemoth's strength lies mostly in its characters and the evolving tensions between them. The climax in this book leads me to believe that it's mostly set up for the conclusion of the trilogy. There is nothing I can say that overly bothered me about the plot, but when held against Leviathan, it falls flat.

I decree: 3/5 stars

Fundimentals: Keith Thompson once again blesses Behemoth with his breathtaking artwork. I wish more books had artwork like this! As I mentioned earlier, the tension was lacking. But Westerfeld's world building definitely took my breath away. We were able to glimpse a true Clanker city, which was a differnet from the mostly Dawrwinist world we saw in Leviathan. Westerfeld's writing style is still to the point and both Deryn and Alek's voices are consice, acurate and a joy to read.

I decree: 4/5 stars.

Overall: Read it. I adore Westerfeld's steampunk. I can't wait for the last installment. Highly recomended.

12/15 stars.

Refer to my Leviathan Review for Westerfeld and Thompson's websites.

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