Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
*Spoiler Alert* If you haven't read Leviathan, this review contains some spoilers in the summary. You can read my review of Leviathan here.
Alek, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his small group of supporters travel along in the Leviathan mostly on the goodwill of the engines they have provided. Unfortunately, the tensions between the Clankers and the Darwinists are still palpable on the ship, and when the the mission that brought the Leviathan to Constantinople is threatened, some very interesting adventures happen for Alek and Deryn.
Westerfield's second novel takes us deeper into his alternate history of WWI, and it's excellent. We get to meet the next generation of inventions for both the Clankers and the Darwinists, which are both familiar and rethought with tie-ins to historical events. Granted, I'm not much of a history buff, which is to say that I'm not one at all so a hinting at historical stuff, and I think it's all good ^.^
There are actually a lot of plot threads within this book, but because they are pretty tightly focused around Deryn and Alek it's very easy to follow while giving a nice wide view of what is going on in the war. I thought Westerfield's writing in this respect to be quite skillful although my emotional buy-in for the characters is a bit lacking.
Another bonus to Behemoth is the increase in pictures. The first one had some gorgeous pictures, but this one ups the ante with full spreads (2 page panoramas) that are breathtaking in detail and imagination.
If you enjoyed the first one, definitely pick this one up because you shall not be disappointed. If you didn't read the first one yet, what are you waiting for?!
Star Rating: 4.0/5.0
For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.
Edit: This is now a Book Review Wednesday post.