- 101 in 1001
July 31, 2010
Labels: Book Reviews
Date Finished: July 31, 2010
Summary: It's 1914 and World War I has just started. On the one side, it's the Clankers, who giant war machines are built from metal. Alek is the prince of Austria-Hungary, whose mother's common heritage renders unable to inherit anything. In the middle of the night he is on the run. On the other side, it's the Darwinist, who use fabricated animals created with various purposes. Deryn is hoping to be a middy, but can only do so as a boy. She now goes by the name Dylan and after a storm sends her floating around half of England, she is rescued by the Leviathan, a giant living whale ship with a whole ecosystem to keep it in the air. With the war in full swing, Alek and Deryn find themselves in the midst of a strange alliance.
Likes: The worldbuilding of this novel is fantastic, one of the best in my opinion. It just throws the reader right into the midst of everything and we learn through the characters, dialogue, and action about what the world is like. It doesn't bog the reader down with useless info dumping, but weaves it almost seamlessly through. The the alternate history fascinated me. Most of the things that were changed didn't seem hokey or strange. Everything in the novel, however outlandish it may have been, seemed entirely plausible to me because it gave just enough scientific evidence to be grounded in reality without seeming overdone. The art was simply gorgeous.
Dislikes: I want to learn more about the characters. There is so much action that I don't feel like I got any downtime to get to know Alek and Deryn as well as I wanted to.
Overall: Easily one of my favorite fantasy/sci-fi novels I've read this summer. It took me a long time to get through because I was so inspired, that I had to stop reading, so that I could write. (lol) That's a good thing. It's not many books that can positively inspire me to do that. (and if they do inspire me, it's usually because I was disappointed by something in the novel and it's something I wanted to fix.)
Recommended by: I just did some research on steampunk and this novel came up. It's been on my reading list for a while as have many of the authors other books.
Acquired: Library. (I might actually buy this trilogy though)