|Behemoth, second in the Leviathan Series,|
by Scott Westerfeld, art by Keith Thompson
Written by Scott Westerfeld
Illustrated by Keith Thompson
Simon Pulse, 2010
Ages 12 and up
542 pages, 86,700 words
Alek raised his sword. "En garde, sir!"
Deryn hefted her own weapon, studying Alek's pose. His feet were splayed at right angles, his left arm sticking out behind like the handle of a teacup. His fencing armor made him look like a walking quilt. Even with his sword pointed right at her, he looked barking silly.
I loved the first book in this series. Of course, I love authors who spin history and mix anachronisms, imagining an alternate future. The Leviathan series explores an alternate WWI timeline. This world throws genetics and automatons into the mix. What's not to love?
Scott Westerfeld has proved himself as a writer who tackles dialogue, quirks, fantasy elements, and action with equal skill. His automatons lumber through a landscape as real as our own. His characters breathe. His action scenes keep us turning pages, gripping the edges of our books.
The plot of Behemoth meanders a bit more than the first book, but if I didn't have Leviathan to compare it to, I'm sure I'd find it less so. I also think the tension between main characters was stronger in the first book. Their growing friendship makes them more alike and somewhat more predictable. The re-envisioned Istanbul is certainly a fascinating setting, but I don't think it can compare with first book which introduces an entirely reimagined world. None of those things diminish Behemoth by itself. Only in comparison to the first book. And when was the last time you loved the second book in a series better than the first? (Chamber of Secrets? Point Blanc? Enna Burning? Prince Caspian? Empire Strikes Back? I didn't think so.)
So read it. Love it. Dive into the third book.
|Leviathan, book 1|
2. Already a fan? Tor books features an interview with author Scott Westerfeld and another with illustrator Keith Thompson. Airship Ambassador also interviewed the author.
3. Intrigued by this genre? Chronicles of Harriet gives a thorough overview of steampunk and all its subgenres (because technically, Leviathan falls into the category of Dieselpunk). The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences focuses on steampunk in the Victorian era. Lastly, Booklist Reader gives a few middle grade suggestions which fall into this category.
4. If you love alternate history, you might like The Clockwork Three or The Lost Kingdom, by Matthew Kirby , cover art by Brian Despain and Owen Richardson, respectively. Or try one of my favorites, Kronos Chronicles, Book 1: Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski or Mysteries of Cove, Fires of Invention, by J. Scott Savage, illustrated by Brandon Dorman.
|Reviewed by Brooke|
|Reviewed by Jess|
|Reviewed by Kim|
|Reviewed by Greg|
|Reviewed by Shannon|
Thanks for the suggestion, Greg and Shannon.
If you want to join MMGM, blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday. You can post a straight review or contests, author interviews, etc. Then email Shannon Messenger at SWMessenger@hotmail.com
Put "MMGM" or "Marvelous Middle Grade Monday" in the subject line, include the title of the book you're featuring, and a link to your blog. Email your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
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Check out all the recommended titles for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
for September 26, 2016 available on Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe.
Feel free to leave your MG recommendations in the comments. Thanks!