From School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-After vanquishing one of four powerful witch sisters who control the world's essential elements in Mistress of the Storm (Random, 2011), Verity Gallant and her friends have enjoyed an idyllic summer in their cliffside hometown of Wellow. Strange events soon shatter the peace, however: the earth is eroding away beneath their feet, causing hazardous conditions, and insidious white sand suddenly seems to be covering everything. It soon becomes apparent that these are the machinations of the Earth Witch, turned to stone and smashed into millions of pieces long ago by the cruel-hearted Wind Witch, and now determined to re-form into a vengeful whole and wipe out every "happy-ever-after" along the way. Relying once again upon hard work (including library research and brilliant code-cracking), danger-fraught investigations, and hard-earned insights, Verity and her compatriots must put together the pieces of a twist-turning mystery and try to stop this formidable new enemy. Built upon a bulwark of intricately wrought backstory and mythology, this satisfying fantasy combines fast-paced adventure with slow-brewing suspense that is both spine-tingling and delightfully unsettling. The characters are multidimensional, with heroes who experience moments of jealousy or selfishness, and villains capable of remorse. Enhanced by funny banter and believable emotions, Verity's relationships with her peers-including a budding romance-are deftly drawn, as are her own insecurities and revelations. Reading the first book first is not necessary, but those who have will better appreciate this well-written and richly imagined offering.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journalα|9781416971795|9781442454125WESTERFELD, Scott. The Manual of Aeronautics: An Illustrated Guide to the Leviathan Series. illus. by Keith Thompson. 64p. (Leviathan Series). diags. CIP. S & S/Pulse. 2012. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-7179-5; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5412-5. LC 2011038924. ~Gr 7 Up-Fans of Westerfeld's "Leviathan" books (S & S) will already be familiar with the steampunk story that blends history with fantasy, as well as with Thompson's amazing illustrations. The series begins in an alternate 1914 Europe, in which 15-year-old prince Alek (son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand) plays a key role in the war between the Clankers and the Darwinists. The Clankers use mechanized objects to do battle, and the Darwinists use genetically engineered beasts. The story takes place in a world in which objects that readers would usually expect to be inanimate, like ships, weapons, and even maps, are often living creatures. While the novels are mostly filled with Westerfeld's narratives, interspersed with Thompson's occasional black-and-white illustrations, Aeronautics puts Thompson's artwork front and center, now in full color. Fans of the series will appreciate the intricately detailed pictures of the airship Leviathan, as well as beasts of all shapes and sizes, uniforms, weapons, vehicles, and people. This volume might also serve as a gateway for curious readers into the novels, or even to the history books so they can learn about what really happened during The Great War.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
’s first book in the Leviathan trilogy was the winner of the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. His other novels include the New York Times
bestselling Uglies series, The Last Days
, So Yesterday
, and the Midnighters trilogy. Visit him at ScottWesterfeld.com.Keith Thompson
’s work has appeared in books, magazines, TV,video games, and films. Se his works at KeithThompson Art.com.