Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published: October 2009
Pages: 448 pages (hardcover)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Standalone or series: The first and only published book in a new series. The next one, Behemoth, will be out in October 2010.
Why I read it: Oh the Book Smugglers of course *grinning* who else? (Their awesome review is here)
Source: The library
First things first, I have no knowledge of this “steampunk” business but thoroughly enjoyed this adventurous tale of two teens from opposing nations on the precipice of war. I loved the story and the language. It certainly wouldn’t be the same without the steampunk elements, but in terms of my reading preferences I could take it or leave it. Just personally I don’t get all excited about imaginative machinery possibilities or fabricated animals.
It was definitely cool, but other people will geek out over steampunk way more than me. I was more all about the adventure, action, and the heart of the story. Two teenagers destined for great things during war-time! Ahhhh the classic YA fantasy set up :)
And the heroine is disguised as a boy to stow away in the British (air) Navy! *closing eyes in bliss* I just love those spunky disguised heroines!
The language piece of this world building was so awesome with made up phrases, expressions, machines and animals such as the Monkey Luddites vs Darwinsits, fabricated animals vs Clankers, and I’m trying to introduce “barking” into my vocabulary, as in “you’re barking mad, hubby!”
While (supposing I was part of this world) ethically I’d be fine with fabricated animals made from spliced, combined, and twisted DNA strands, I definitely sympathised with some of the Monkey Luddites’ reactions to the “fabs” where I got a little nauseous at the descriptions of dogs with 6 legs, flying on the tentacles of a giant hydrogen filled octopus, and walking through the inside of a flying whale with skin, bones, and mucus all around you.
This was my best read in all of February coming in at an A-, and my first time reading anything by Mr. Westerfeld. I will absolutely be picking up the next installment in this series (from the library at the very least, the $20 price tag is a bit steep!) and am excited to read more about Prince Aleksandar and Airman (girl) Deryn Sharp.