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This book was pretty excellent. For the most part, it kicked ass, had excellent character development, this book has it all. Well, mostly. There was one issue that I had with Leviathan, which I'll get to in the character section. But other than that one issue, I LOVED this book! It was all steampunk and sciency, had great character development, this book has it all. I was GAlued to this book whenever I had time to read. I loved how there was also the addition of Darwin in the novel. You see, besides the countries/empires involved in WWI, those countries are also divided into two groups, Darwinists and Clankers. Darwinists make machines inside of animals. Genetic engineering in essence. The clankers are basically the steampunk side, using automatons and such. I loved how the Darwinist aspect was done, plus it was utterly fascinating. Imagine if that happened in real life. Although with that concept this book was also loaded with the whole argument against it that also spills into real life: That the Darwinists are "godless" as the book says. I won't get into that, but it did make for some interesting thinking. I loved how this story took place in an alternate history, yet somehow felt plausible. I loved the journeys both Alek and Deryn went on. That ending also had some epicausity going on!
Deryn, oh Deryn. All I have to say when it comes to her is: You go Deryn, you go! Man, she was awesome. She kicked ass, had a wicked sharp tongue, but you could also see her depth, her vulnerability. You see how despite everything she puts as a front, she's basically just a girl who wants to be accepted for who she is, and is forced to hide her gender in order to live her dream. I related to her, I rooted for her, I wanted her to succeed and be able to be a pilot. Alek on the other hand, is the cause of my issue with this book. For some reason, I could not get into his chapters of the book. His POV did not gel with me, and just felt off. I just did not like him as a character, although I felt bad for him due to what happens to him. I do appreciate his growth, going from snobbish to not as superior and being able to see past appearances and stereotypes. Then again, that also applies to Deryn. I loved it when Deryn and Alek met. Their banter was probably the best part of the book for me. Their back and forth conversations had me cracking up, but also welling up with emotion for both of them. Volger had some great lines, and you could really see he cared for Alek. But I think my second favorite character would have to be Dr. Nora (I forget her last name). She was a boss. I loved it every time she appeared. Her dialogue, her character in general, everything screamed "awesome".
Mr. Westerfeld is a good writer. I can see why so many people adore him. He knows how to write, establish character and his world, everything you need to be a good author. Like I said, I love how he incorporated Darwin and put a twist on him/his discoveries. He created such a fantastic world that I just wanted to know more and more. Also, special mention to Keith Thompson, the illustrator. Mr. Thompson sir, you ROCK. I'm telling you guys, he is a BOSS as an illustrator. His drawings were gorgeous! Totally amazing and wonderful, even on my Nook. It was as if the drawings came to life, coming at me like a 3D movie. Plus they were so detailed and just full of awesome. I can safely say he is now one of my favorite illustrators.