God, look at that cover. It's like a steampunk fan's wet dream, right? I've been wanting to read Leviathan forever, and finally, I got around to it this week. And you know what? It wasn't bad.
I'm not exactly a Scott Westerfeld fan. I tried the first Midnighters book back in the day, and found it seriously lacking originality. That experience put me off his Uglies series, and would have put me off this one, too, if not for that cover. *o* But against my expectations, Westerfeld's crafted a pretty solid alternate history steampunk adventure here. We've got political intrigue, genetic engineering, two likable young heroes, and a cool cast navigating the tumultuous events (some based on fact) leading up to what we now know as World War I.
The writing is engaging, and after the first few chapters, I was hooked. The dual-perspective formatting worked very well - I found myself ending each section anticipating what would happen to the character I was currently reading about, only to immediately get sucked in to what was going on in their counterpart's world. I'll admit, this is one of my favorite storytelling methods. When it's done well, it makes for quite the page-turner, and I enjoy the puzzle aspect to it, watching how each separate set of events intertwines to form one complete story. It helps, of course, having likable protagonists, and Leviathan certainly delivers there.
I know I tend to harp on this, but OH MY GOD STOP THE PRESSES, we have intelligent, driven, genuine teenage leads who undergo actual development...
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