Featured Book of the Week Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.


The Leviathan trilogy was inspired by the "Boy's Own Adventures" I discovered on library bookshelves as a kid, books from a century ago that had three main selling points: derring-do, airships, and beautiful illustrations. When I started work, I thought the first two would be enough to recapture the magic of those crumbling old books. But then I ran across Keith Thompson's amazing artwork, and realized that Leviathan could actually look like an adventure novel from 1914. The tale grew in the telling, and we would up with fifty(!) pieces of art in the first installment alone.

Keith has updated the opulence of those old illustrations, with a "Victorian manga" style that's both true to its roots and pure eye-candy to the modern teenager. He and I worked together to build a world in which Charles Darwin discovered how to combine the "life-threads" of species, leading to a World War I pitting fantastical creatures against steampunk machines. There are sword fights and talking lizards, pitched battles and narrow escapes, a prince in disguise as a commoner, and of course a girl posing as a boy to serve aboard a living, hydrogen-breathing airship.

It's my first time writing a historical (even an alternate-historical) and my first time working with an illustrator, both of which were a blast. I hope you enjoy entering the world of Leviathan. I sure did.


Scott Westerfeld is me. I’m the author of eighteen novels. Five are for adults, and the other thirteen for young adults.

I’ve also been an occasional ghost writer, which is like driving someone else’s car really, really fast for lots of money. (I could tell you what famous authors I ghost-wrote for, but then I’d have to kill you. My name can be found on three Powerpuff Girl choose your own adventures, however.) In my artsy days, I wrote music for artsy downtown New York dancers, some of which can be found at the bottom of my video page.
For my early adult books, check out the bottom of this page. Note that they aren’t particularly suitable for children.

I’m best known for my four sets of books for young adults. The most recent is the Leviathan trilogy. It’s a steampunk retelling of World War I, illustrated by the incomparable Keith Thompson. It features adventure, walking machines, and living airships! Read more about it here.

My most famous works are those of the Uglies series, set in a future where cosmetic surgery is compulsory when you turn 16, making everyone beautiful. Of course, there are some people who want to keep their own faces . . . and that’s not okay with the government. The series consists of a trilogy—UgliesPretties and Specials—as well as a companion novel, Extras.

I’ve written another YA trilogy called Midnighters, a tale of five teenagers born on the stroke of midnight, for whom time freezes every night, revealing a dark and terrible hidden world. My ancient, dorky website for the series is here.

I also have a set of books which is often called “The New York Trilogy,” three novels all set in contemporary New York, but not a real trilogy. The first is So Yesterday, about a cool hunter who runs afoul of a plot to end consumerism. The second is called Peeps, a “vampire” novel. The third isThe Last Days, set in the same world as Peeps.

I was born in Texas, and split my time between New York City and Sydney, Australia. (I have more frequent flyer miles than you do.) You can read many personal details of my life on my blog. (retrieved from author's website)

Many thanks to Scott for participating in this year's Book Battle blog. I hope everyone is enjoying his book as much as I did!

14 Delicious Comments:

Cross Keys Middle School said...

As a librarian, I can't keep this book on my shelves! Maybe someday I will get to read the series.

Anonymous said...

I adored the characters in this book and the plot was thrilling and very original. I wish I could actually ride in the Leviathan.

Jan from Pattonville Heights

Anonymous said...

I loved this book I enjoyed the suspense and action. It was a good take on WWI.

Mason from Hazelwood West MIddle School

Anonymous said...

The book was amazing. Really hard to put down. The book was a surprise, I thought the title meant something else.
Parkway Northeast Middle School

Rockwood South Middle School said...

Students really enjoyed the conflict between the Darwinists and the Clankers.
And they liked how the characters seemed like real people, and disguised themselves as other people.

Rockwood South Middle School

Anonymous said...

The author must be really creative to come up with this one! I love it.

Anonymous said...

really cool
hazelwood west middle

Anonymous said...

really cool
hazelwood west middle

Anonymous said...

Wow! This book, I could not put down! I think it is SO creative how the writer blended the past and the future into each other! You don't see those type of books everyday. I really like the fabricated animals! A little confusing at the beginning, but I finally grasped onto it. I love Deryn and Alexsandar! The illustrations are brilliant as well! They really gave me a good visual!

I loved this book!

~Hazelwood West Middle School

Anonymous said...

This book is a great blend of past and future. I had to finish the series.


aj28067 said...

omg! i love this book i might married this book.

Anonymous said...

Most people said this book was boring but I thought it was brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Hazelwood West Middle

Anonymous said...

I certainly enjoy this new genre that is used in this book!

~West Middle

Anonymous said...

such a great book!!!!

~Hazelwood West Middle

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