Monday, October 6, 2014

Scott Westerfeld's "Leviathan"...A Book Review


As I read more and more books, I feel more and more like I'm a newbie to what's happening in the literary world. The latest example that makes me feel that way? Today I finished Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan and I liked it.

I liked it a lot.

But as I read it I kept thinking, "Why am I so late to the party? I should have read this book a long time ago." For someone who is venturing into the dangerous and exciting world of writing myself, I should not only know about these books, but have read them as well.

However, be that as it may, I'm glad I was able to experience Westerfeld's world. It was if I was reading my first steampunk story, even though it's less steampunk, and more Jurassic Park meets Jules Verne. The book opened my eyes to just how far imagination can go in a story set at the dawn of World War I. He's created a biological wonderland where fantastic airships are not only built, but also genetically created curtesy of Charles Darwin's ability to manipulate DNA. The result offers almost limitless possibilities as far as the creatures and inventions found in the narrative.

The story centers around two youths, each trying to escape their past, but joined together by fate. It's YA, but I'm beginning to really enjoy YA stories. I find myself reading more and more of them.

Another fascinating perspective found in this book is Westerfeld's blending of actual events with science fiction. Similar to Dave Butler's City of the Saints, we have real people interacting with fictional characters, real historical references and things that could not possibly occur, at least, not according the laws of nature as we now know them.

Once again, I'm probably not telling anyone anything they don't already know, but if you're one of the unlikely souls who haven't found this book, give it a shot. The creativity alone is worth the time you'll invest and I look forward reading more of Westerfeld's stories. Even though I'm late to the party, it's like my son wrote on his weekly letter home, "Better late than never."

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