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I bought Leviathan a good year or two ago. Unlike most people, I really enjoyed Westerfeld’sUglies series, though I read it nine years ago, when it first came out and I was still in high school. I wanted to immerse myself in another world he’d created. He’s good at creating worlds entirely unlike our own, but not so different that they’re unrelatable.

Things happened over the last year or two. Other books caught my attention. I moved across the country. Leviathan fell to the back of my mind and the back of my bookshelf. I remembered that I had it last week. I read it over four days.

I wanted to like it more than I did.

Again, Westerfeld created a beautiful world. The Clankers and the Darwinists, with their Walkers and their Beasties. Huge, living air ships. Entire ecosystems of animals working together. The characters were likable too. Deryn was a believable girl-disguised-as-boy who never fell into any of the common traps or tropes that come along with it. Alek had beautiful character development, going from an insolent teenage boy who thinks he deserves the world to a real soldier, fighting for what he thinks is right. Even the side characters were great. And the setting – we’re in a re-imagined, steampunk version of WWI.

But despite all this, the book somehow lacks a plot. Descriptions abound. Action does not. Our characters, who supposedly are in their mid-teens, occasionally act like small children. Was it actually written for a much younger audience? I’m not sure. Maybe it just wasn’t my kind of book. My biggest question throughout the book was when someone was going to finally find out that Deryn/Dylan was a girl.

I liked Leviathan enough to finish it, but not enough to read the next book in the series.

Final rating: 

[also posted here]

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