Truth be told, if I had to introduce Scott Westerfeld to new readers, I would choose his Uglies series first—but, as luck would have it, my copies are with a friend of mine at the moment. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to showcase one of his brilliant works here. If we dealt with nature and puzzles before, this time the theme is steampunk. Please welcome the Leviathan trilogy! Like the previous series I introduced here before, this series also has illustrations between its pages, done by Keith Thompson. It depicts the first World War in an alternate universe, where the blocs are divided into the Darwinists and the Clankers. The Darwinists are those who use fabricated animals as their weaponry, while the Clankers use steam-driven iron machines loaded with firearms. The story is told from the point-of-view of Aleksandar Ferdinand, an Austro-Hungarian prince on the run, and Deryn Sharp, a girl-disguised-as-a-boy in the British Air Service. Circumstances throw them both aboard the Leviathan whale airship, where their friendship slowly grows—despite their opposing positions in the war.
The Leviathan trilogy is one of those solid fantasy worlds, which offers not only adventure, friendship—and ultimately romance—but also a strong background into the world, separate from the characters. I absolutely adore the Darwinists and Clankers idea—for the record, I think I would've fit into the Darwinist circle—and love how much consideration was taken into account to decide which country would fit into which bloc. This is one of those series that I find difficult to put down because every chapter is begging for me to continue and find out what happens next. The flow of the story is also easy to follow and there isn't a lull in between at all. Keith Thompson's illustrations really excel at bringing this strange world to life. The map even shows the blocs in such a unique way. I actually like the steampunk covers as well—wish my sister had gotten the steampunk Goliath as well. If you're a fan of fantasy, steampunk, adventure and romance, this might just be the series for you. Or have you even read it? Let me know what you think!