- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 6, 2009)
I completely enjoyed Deryn's POV. For all of her life, she hated living that sheltered, Scottish life that she should've followed. Her father was a masterful Darwinist and taught her to fly at a very young age. With the help of her brother, she is able to trick the Royal Army into allowing her to try out in their ranks. I loved her language trying to pretend to be a boy when still having moments of being a girl.
Aleksander Ferdinand is home playing with his vast army of plastic soldiers when he is kidnapped into the night and told that his parent have been murdered and in order to save his life they must leave. Because of his father's marriage to a commoner, Alek is not considered royalty because of the bad blood between the Archduke and his uncle.
Through alternating two chapters, you learn about Deryn's adventures on a whale beast called Leviathan and Aleksander's adventured in a mechanikal walker. Westerfeld creates a wonderful world of the various cast of characters as well as the descriptions of the beasties (Deryn's world) and the Mechaniks (Alek's world).
Although it took me about two weeks to read, work, life and just tiredness, I'm glad I did stick with it. Westerfeld's books are always something to read. I'm a huge fan of Peeps and his Midnighters' Series. Of course, I fell in love with Tally Youngblood in the Uglies Series. Westerfeld creates a tight world. My only problem was that I feel he crammed a lot into this book and it could get confusing at times. Trying to understand the Darwinist and Clanker talk, took a little while. He followed the events following the real World War I, so he had a basis already set up for him, but the exaggerations could be a bit dragging.
When Deryn and Alek meet, you finally get to the crux of the story. Deryn seems a bit smarter than Alek, but Alek's upbringing is vastly different from Deryn. I did fall in love with Deryn. She is wonderful, fresh and sassy and she can swear with the best of the middies!