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Behemoth (Leviathan) Paperback – August 9, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Leviathan (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416971769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416971764
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7 Up—The team of Scott Westerfeld and Alan Cumming keep the action literally flying along in this spellbinding sequel (2010) to Leviathan (2009, both Simon Pulse). As the story opens, Deryn (an English Darwinist) is still posing as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service and still dealing with her feelings for fugitive Prince Alek (an Austrian Clanker). The Leviathan is headed for Istanbul, and both Deryn and Alek hope they can end a bloody battle that has been brewing throughout Europe. Of course nothing goes as planned, and the two face great danger in order to save those they care about. Westerfeld's ingenious juxtaposition of factual events of World War II with the fantastic (steampunk) is brought to life with Alan Cumming's spot-on vocalization. He rivals the superb veteran narrator Jim Dale in his ability to take on all types of characters both human and inhuman. Though his German/Austrian accent is a bit on the theatrical side, it still works perfectly, and his ability to change his inflection for each character is incredible—from the sly and cunning Count Vulgar to the confused yet determined Alek. His Scottish brogue for Deryn, posing as Dylan, is also pitch perfect as he imbues the character with just the right amount of innocence and street smarts. Listeners are sure to be captivated and will be left clamoring for more.—Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Things slow down just a wee bit in this sequel to the WWI alt-history Leviathan (2009). Here, the focus shifts more onto wartime politicking than smash-dash battling, but Westerfeld maintains a steady influx of the series’ real strength—the superbly imagined mechanical contraptions and genetically crafted creatures. The bulk of the story takes place in Istanbul, as both the Clankers (Austria-Hungary and Germany) and Darwinists (England and Russia) are intent on swaying the Ottoman Empire in their favor. British midshipman Deryn (still disguised as a boy) and Prince Alek (heir-in-hiding to the throne of Austria-Hungary) continue to find themselves squarely in the thick of things en route to a nicely tied-together climax featuring the title beastie. Anyone needing a good visual for what makes steampunk so alluring should look no further than Thompson’s intricate illustrations—black, white, and gray rarely look so vivid. Although there are messages about the futility of war and a burgeoning love story, this is first and foremost a high-concept action series, and Westerfeld knows how to pound a pulse while tickling the imagination. Grades 7-10. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Scott Westerfeld's teen novels include the Uglies series, the Leviathan and Midnighters trilogies, and the so-called "NYC Trilogy": So Yesterday, Peeps, and The Last Days. Scott was born in Texas, and alternates summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City. His next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#78 in Books > Teens
#78 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I read the first book and loved it, so I waited and waited for this one to come out.
zdgittins
Westerfeld has accomplished the perfect balance between telling a great, compelling story with lots of action and danger with character and plot development.
Lindsey Miller
The characters are once again very well written, and I felt like there was more development to them in this book as compared to the first.
Blizzerd03

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Lee on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon this series after finding and devouring his Uglies series. Levathian was an awesome book, and I loved the concept of evolved animalesques versus the mechanical technologies of the world. Scott Westerfeld has a knack at bringing so many aspects of life now into question in his novels.

While Leviathan was great at introducing us to its alternative steam-punk culture, Behemoth helps develop the characters of Prince *ArchDuke* Alek and middy *MR. Sharp* Deryn. I especially enjoyed seeing Deryn growing up with new responsibilities, challenged loyalties, and blossoming love. It is also very amusing when another strong female character Lilit is added to create a convoluted yet innocent love triangle between the three main figures.

One thing I was a little disappointed in was the fact that this book was not based in the mind-blowing evolving world of the Darwinists. Reading about the complex eco-culture of the Leviathan gave me a huge thrill as to the possibilities of our own future. But I guess this is to be expected. Leviathan is devoted to the world of the Darwinists, it is only fair that Behemoth is immersed in Clanker-land, a place with its own technological wonders.

All I can say Behemoth has got me extremely excited for book three. And unfortunately Behemoth has JUST come out, so it's going to be a really long wait.

PS. did I mention this series is gorgeously illustrated? My Kindle does not do the graphics justice but even there the fantastical details are extremely alluring.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By EMAN NEP on October 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
[NO SPOILERS]

For those that have read the first book, BEHEMOTH brings the whale-airship Leviathan to a wonderful location to serve as a backdrop for the plot:

Istanbul.

Scott Westerfeld even went to Istanbul to get a feel for the city in preparation of this book. Having been to Istanbul myself, I felt he captured the essence of the city without making one feel like they're reading an over-detailed travelogue.

In a nutshell, the book deals again with Deryn/Dylan, Prince Alek and his retinue, Dr. Barlow and a few new faces, to include one that forms the third point of an interesting "Bermuda Triangle" of sorts.
Not much new is revealed about Deryn/Dylan and Alek, the two main characters, but the two draw closer in their friendship as they work together against the Clanker threats that surround them . . . and one particularly annoying journalist--American, of course.

The non-human elements are just as fascinating this time around as they were in LEVIATHAN, although this time they focus more on the Clankers as they are, after all, in enemy territory. But just to be clear, there are SOME new Darwinist creations, just not many of them.

The plot moves at a nice pace--although I'm a slow reader I finished this book in about two days and the last 200 pages I read in one sitting.

Of course, an Alternative History book like this one wouldn't be what it is without a little homage to the real history, which is briefly but sufficiently detailed in the AFTERWORD. It's truly amazing how authors can find little historical details and transform them into new magnificent stories!

Finally there is the wonderful artwork of Keith Thompson. Once again his artwork never fails to capture what is occurring on the page next to it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By E. Ambrose on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If Leviathan was setting up World War One with mechs and genetically engineered creatures, Behemoth was expanding upon the political ramifications. The book primarily centers on the political machinations between the Darwinist English and the Clanker Germans vying for the favor of the kind-of-sort-of Clanker Ottoman Turks in Istanbul. In the middle of this is Alek, son of the nobles whose assassination lit off the whole mess, and Deryn/Dylan the crossdressing girl serving on the English airship Leviathan and crushing over Alek.

I'm pretty sure that this could fall into the category of middle book syndrome for some people, but it didn't happen for me. I felt that the ending was a good spot to take a break. I also really like how the story is shifting locations from one aspect of the "war to end all wars" to another. I'm already decently familiar with the Western Front and it's nice to the see the scene shifting into more interesting and unfamiliar territory. Alek gets himself involved with some of the politicking using the time honored, traditional method of displaced nobles everywhere: revolution and rebellion.

The pace of action is pretty quick and there are quite a few new people introduced. It has a quite a bit of backroom dealing going on and the action doesn't get in the way of character development. Instead each big conflict is used to highlight an internal conflict as well, from Alek's and Deryn's differing reactions to the loss of a parent to what role each of them see themselves filling in the war. I especially want to see how Alek's suspicion that he could help end war the plays out.

The plotting was pretty good and made sense to me.
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