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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

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Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

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Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

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Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

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Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

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Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
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MINI REVIEW | Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan is delightful Steampunk and WWI alternative history blending that comes off gripping with its rapid-pace. Europe is divided into two factions. Austria-Hungry have advanced weaponry called Clankers, which can cause devastation in their many walking tank-like forms. Britain and its affiliates are Darwinists adhering to an advanced genetic science.

Leviathan doesn't contain your typical airships as Westerfeld's best innovation is the Darwinist genetic created Beasties, which include dozens of imaginative types that fill the world with creatures raised from the ocean into the skies. The Clankers are fun as well, especially when you get into the mechanics.  The illustrations strewn throughout the book help greatly and nail the descriptions.

The story is split from two points of view that you know from the start will intersect and is at turns very predictable, which feels a bit done before. An unwanted Priceling is escaping capture and a girl does her best to pass as a boy in the military. The world-building is what saves the book as it is so beautifully realized keeping up wasn't a problem. Leviathan is marketed as a YA read, but felt a little more like a middle-grade reader, but it can be easily digested in a couple of sittings.

Leviathan is as Steampunk as you can get, but is a little on the popcorn side of things and has a very cinematic style. There isn't a lot of depth to the story or characters yet, but hopefully they'll come more alive in the next volume. I give Leviathan 7.25 out of 10 Hats. The illustrations by Keith Thompson are gorgeously done and the whole production reminds me of the quality of Subterranean Press's work. I have bought books for art alone before and for that reason alone I'll be picking up the follow-up Behemoth later this year.

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Rabid Fox said...

A fair assessment as the popcorn vibe is quite apparent. Still a fun read and I too am looking forward to a more engrossing story with the sequel.

Mad Hatter Review said...

It was my first Westerfeld so I'm not sure if he gets better as a series develops, but I'm hoping.