by Mary Z., October 14, 2009 11:59 AM
Scott Westerfeld's newest novel takes a different direction altogether from his wildly popular Uglies series. Leviathan, set in a fictional period prior to WWII, is an excellent blend of fantasy, technology, and adventure, reminiscent of Kenneth Oppel's award-winning novel Airborn. The two main characters, Alek (a prince of Europe) and Deryn (a cross-dressing London commoner), give tangible form to a young view of politics, Europe, war, and great personal loss. Each teen joins the fighting, learning discipline and strategy without the customary adolescent explosion. Many mistakes are made, however, and lives lost — the consequences of which Alek and Deryn feel bitterly. Leviathan is a perfect holiday present for the 10- to 15-year-old.