Friday, April 29, 2011

Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld (2010)

Alek raised his sword.  "On guard, sir!"

Picking up exactly where first novel, Leviathan, left off, Alek spends six days with Deryn (or Dylan) aboard the airbeast.  For the first time, Alek feels like he is in a place where he belongs.  Even though he is a Clanker, he quickly becomes attached to the beasts of the Darwinists.

Alek and the rest of his Clanker crew have saved the Leviathan three times, but Britain has just declared war on Alek's granduncle.  Alek is now a prisoner.

The airship continues its journey east to Constantinople, but has a near-deathly run-in with two German ironclads - Goeben and Breslau.  But the Goeben has a Clanker weapon unlike any seen before, thanks to Mr. Nikola Tesla.  The Tesla cannon can shoot bolts of lightening, a devastating weapon to a hydrogen beast!

Istanbul (since 1453) is a Clanker city, but its machines are in the shape of animals, gods and goddesses.  Germans have been pouring into the city to share all of the glories of the mekanzimat:  projects, railroads, and wireless towers, run the newspapers, and even train the Ottoman army.  The sultan is half broke, but flexes his power when he feels threatened.  The people of the Ottoman Empire raised the money to purchase the dreadnought from the British.  Conveniently, Lord Churchill decided to keep the beast.

Join Deryn and Alek on this exciting adventure through Istanbul as they join in a revolution to help the Committee for Union and Progress rid the city of Germans.  Meet the Behemoth, the companion creature to the Osman.  Scott Westerfeld does it again with this novel that appeals to so many interests.  Rarely is the second book in a series as delicious as this!

Rating: 10 out of 10 stars