Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Behemoth

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 25, 2010
Pages: 496
Read it in: 3 days

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.

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.

LC's Take: 

What can I say? Scott Westerfeld has me totally hooked. I LOVE this series! The first book, Leviathan, was amazing, and Behemoth, its sequel, does not disappoint. In fact, if anything, I liked Behemoth even more, since I already knew the characters and the back-story to the plot. Sometimes it's difficult to get into the first book of a series because there's so much explanation and things to remember, but with Behemoth, I could easily get right into the action-packed story.

The year is 1914 and WWI has begun: British and Russian "Darwinists" against German and Austro-Hungarian "Clankers." The Darwinists have their fabricated creatures while the Clankers fight with their iron machinery. In the midst of the Great War, two friends from opposite sides are brought together by fate: Deryn, a girl disguised as a boy to fight for the British Air Service, and Alek, son of the murdered Archduke Franz Ferdinand and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire...

OK, so first of all, I love Deryn and Alek, the two main characters. They're both great by themselves, but put them together and their personalities compliment and play off of one another perfectly. Deryn is sharp-witted, and fearless with a tough exterior, while Alek is slightly haughty and sheltered but compassionate and always ready to take on his new role as future-emperor. You could really see their friendship grow  in this book, with Alek becoming more of an active leader in the war, and Deryn having to struggle with whether or not to tell Alek that she's actually a girl-- that was very interesting to follow!

Westerfeld's inventions and world-building are pure genius, and the illustrations by Keith Thompson, once again, are absolutely stunning and add so much to this book. I really can't believe how talented both the author and the illustrator are, or how closely their imaginations line up to create a completely fantastic yet believable world.

Also-- I said the same thing about Leviathan, but I'll say it again-- if you aren't the type of reader who usually goes for books about wars and guns and machines, don't get scared away by the plot summaries for this series. Honestly, when I started Leviathan I thought I'd either hate it or be bored to tears, because WWI doesn't interest me at all. But Westerfeld is such an incredibly talented writer that I was pretty much dragged into the story before I knew what was happening! Now I'm practically devouring these books.

I really can't say how much I loved this book, and this series. It was just so much fun, and so easy to read-- the characters, the witty dialogue that made me laugh out loud, and the crazy action-packed plot all made Behemoth such an awesome book. If you haven't ever read anything by Scott Westerfeld, I would highly recommend giving him a shot. This series in particular has far exceeded any expectations I had for it, and I can't wait to get into Goliath!

LC's Rating:

Westerfeld's effortless ability to create vivid worlds and unforgettable characters had me hooked from beginning to end. I loved this book!


  1. I was just thinking about Behemoth. I really loved Leviathan too, and haven't got to that one yet, and I was telling myself I needed to get it and put it on my TBR. So, now that I've read your review --- I'm more motivated to do so. Thanks!

  2. I have to admit, I've been hesitant on reading this series as I wasn't a fan of the Uglies series. The concept is really intriguing though and I might have to take a stab at it. Thanks for such a lovely review!

  3. So glad you love this series! I'm on about page 30 in Goliath, and it's already got me hooked all over again. I'll be sad to finish the trilogy, but can't wait to see what genius thing Westerfeld comes up with next! Hope you enjoy the third book as well. :)

  4. I was frightened that Leviathan won't be my cup of tea firstly, but when I was reading it, I was surprised, in addition we just talked about the WWI in history, so I was in the picture. That book grabbed me and I look forward to Behemoth translated into czech :) And thanks for this review, I can not wait because of it! :)

  5. Glad to read that you really enjoyed book 2. I just posted my review of Leviathan...time to read Behemoth!

  6. Annette~ I'm sure that you will enjoy Behemoth just as much, if not more than Leviathan-- it was so good! :)

    Kaye~ I can't speak for the Uglies series, since I haven't read any of them yet and I'm not even sure what it's about, but maybe give Leviathan a shot, it was really a great book :)

    Kat~ I can't wait to start Goliath! I will be sad when I finish this series though, these are the kinds of books you wish would never end...

    Kate Z~ I was exactly the same way! I read the summary and I was just like, ummmm... this doesn't sound very interesting, and I don't care about WWI.... but then I got into it and absolutely loved it! Now I'm so glad I gave this series a shot :D

    Mrs. Q~ I will definitely stop on over to see your Leviathan review-- hope you enjoy Behemoth when you get to it! ;D

  7. This series sounds brilliant. Not my usual kind of thing though but I think I will be be checking them out. Thank you for the post :)

  8. Alex~ This isn't my usual genre either, and I was hesitant to start these books, but they have been such a pleasant surprise! If you decide to give Leviathan a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :D


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