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Leviathan (Leviathan #1) - Scott Westerfeld, Keith Thompson Prince Aleksander’s world has been turned upside down in a single night. His parents were killed and now he’s on the run from his own people and his enemies. As the sole heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Alek is to stay deep in the cold hell that is the Swiss Alps until the threat of war is over. But fifteen years of planning his safety retreat could never account for a Darwinist ship to fall from the sky right in front of them. Alek is too good for his own good, and decides to help the crew of the Leviathan. Deryn Sharp enlisted in the British Air Service disguised as a boy. Deryn is not afraid to fly; she’s witty, smart, and very creative in her ways of getting around the ship. It’s her quick thinking that saves two of her crew mates, and herself when the Leviathan goes down after being severely damaged. She’s woken up by a strange boy who seems to have appeared out of nowhere, bringing medicine and supplies for the stranded crew. As he refuses to say where he came from, she has no choice but to take him hostage! Much talking and promise keeping will be made before these two see eye to eye. Deryn suddenly feels like this strange, well mannered boy, should know she’s really a girl. But there’s no time for that! The German airships will be closing in on them soon, and they have to fix the Leviathan. Full of beasties, action, and machines, Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan is steampunk at its most creative!The world building blew me away, with the Clankers on one side and the Darwinists on the other I never new what to expect! What new beastie or machine would make it’s appearance at the turn of a page. It was especially delightful to have Keith Thompson’s illustrations along the way. I swear, I read faster and faster just to get to all the drawings! Charming characters abound, starting with our heroes Deryn and Alek. They’re both young, brave, and a little bit reckless. The story is told in alternating chapters between these two, and I liked that I could always distinguish whose chapter it was by the language used. Deryn curses a lot, Alek—being a prince and all—is more formal. I love how by the end of this book they’ve both achieved considerable growth and learned from their ordeals. Dr. Barlow and Tazza were also favorite characters, and I hope to see more of them in the other books, because I’m sure she is hiding some very classified info. Other characters that stayed with me were the messenger lizards, the fléchette bats, Huxleys, and the Leviathan itself! Fast paced and full of action, Leviathan is book one of the series and I’m already buzzing with energy for the other two books…which better arrive home soon! I can’t wait to be immersed once more in this steampunk world Mr. Westerfeld has created. Because it truly is a thing of wonder!