Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steampunk Saturday: Behemoth

Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld

Publisher: Simon Schuster
Pages: 481

Reading Level: 12 and up *Books for Boys*

Enjoyment Level: High

I’ve been a huge fan of Scott Westerfeld for a long, long time. I’ve loved everything of his that I’ve read and after Leviathan, I couldn’t wait to read Behemoth. Then I found out that I’d get an interview with him. *Squee* Of course, I was super-professional and we had a good time. You can check out my interview with Scott Westerfeld on the podcast.

From GoodReads:

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what's ahead.

I love this book! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Leviathan, but I loved that one, too, although it’s not as action-packed as some books. Behemoth delivers the action and tension that people might’ve missed in Leviathan.

The story continues with Alek and Deryn, though this time they’re in the grand city of Istanbul (Constantinople). It’s a brilliant backdrop for the story with its vivid inhabitants and tense political undercurrents. The descriptions of the city made me want to go there. The details of the fictional story meshed so well with the true history of Istanbul that it seemed like the events in Behemoth could’ve really happened.

All of the characters jump off the page. The development deepens and people who were interesting in Leviathan are even better in the sequel. The tension for Deryn’s character (pretending to be a boy) is very heightened. I found myself biting my nails in some parts because I just knew she’d be discovered.

And I can’t do a review without talking about the amazing illustrations. How happy am I that someone thought to put artwork in a book like this? I figured I’d grown out of enjoying art in books, but now I think it’s just because it hasn’t been an option. I love seeing the beautiful illustrations in Behemoth. They enhance the story and give me intricate details I might otherwise miss.

Because I love this so much, and because of my interview with the author, I want to share the story with you. You can win a signed copy of Behemoth. Here are the rules:

  • you must be a twitter or blog follower
  • you must tweet, blog, or facebook about this giveaway
  • you must leave a comment on this blog entry giving us your name, age, and links to where you tweeted about the contest

Deadline to enter is 10/31/2010. Good luck!!

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate


  1. I am mathsie (RL name does not go out where people can find it, sorry), I turned 26 five days ago, and my tweet can be found at on 23 October, 18.35 GMT. (Sorry, cannot figure out how to link directly to a tweet in New!Twitter). :(

    I am all excited to get a signed copy of Behemoth, since my copy of Leviathan is signed (I met Scott in person and we squeed over steampunk together).

  2. My name's Stephanie, I'm 23 and have read almost everything by Scott Westerfeld (except Behemoth--and I'm dying to read it!). Thanks for the giveaway!

    Here's my tweet:

  3. Ha! Figured it out! Amending comment above to say my tweet is:

  4. Congrats on scoring the interview! Nice!!

    And thanks for the giveaway. I'm a blog follower, Twitter follwer, and here's my tweet:!/lhartness/status/28649151892


    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic
    CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

  5. My name is Lesley, 27 and I'm a GFC follower of your blog. I posted about your contest on my FB here!/profile.php?id=1775340232


  6. My name is April and I'm 15 years old, I am a GFC and twitter follower. Thanks for another awesome giveaway :D
    I tweeted:!/ramen_addict/status/28944225030

  7. I'm Aik, a teenage book reviewer from Malaysia. I'm a follower via GFC. I tweeted here:

    aikychien at yahoo dot com