Author: Scott Westerfeld (site)
Published: September 20th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Buy: Amazon/ Book Depo/ Powell's
Synopsis: Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.
The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.(Goodreads)
Review: I love Scott Westerfeld. Peeps was amazing (seriously, everyone, this series is tragically underappreciated), Uglies was wonderful, and his MG steampunk trilogy has been one of my favorite reads lately. The strange mix of history and crazy genetic mutations, steampunk, girls posing as boys to become bad-a airman, and princes who know a thing or two about mechanics (be still, my heart!) was so addictive that I'm sad to see the end of the trilogy. I LOVE this world. The story was great, the characters were great, but the world was amazing. It's World War 1- but the dividing issue is very different. Some countries believe in using genetic mutation, hybrid creature-airships (insane, right?) and basically biologically enhanced creatures in place of machinery. The other side thinks that those hybrids are an abomination, going for awesome steampunk machinery. The battles between these two types of aircraft (also between machine walkers and giant fighting animals) were so great- it's almost hard to wrap your mind around how very different this world is.
The only thing that kept me from putting this on my list of all-time favorites was the voice. It was (appropriately) a bit young for me. One of Westerfeld's strengths as a writer is being able to adapt his series perfectly for the intended age group. Some people make YA sound too adult, some people make it sound too young. He has managed to make three different series in three different age groups, all of them pitch-perfect. (Peeps may be older YA, but it feels like adult.) Yes, I know that he's got six series, but I've only read three (so far). I love his writing! This latest series had amazing illustrations by Keith Thompson. I am dying to get some of the prints available on his site. It was so much easier to picture the crazy creatures and contraptions in this series after I got a look at some of Thompson's pictures.
The writing was fantastic, the world was unique and amazing, and the artwork was to die for. Go read this series!