Author: Scott Westerfeld
Illustrator: Keith Thompson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
Review: Despite thinking I wasn't gonna like this at first it turns out I really enjoyed it. I don't know what it is with me but I always think I'm gonna hate a Steampunk book and then I end up enjoying it. Lol. I thought this was a very well written and really interesting book. Ok, first of all it takes place during the time that is World War I. So they had the Darwinist's (Britain and its allies) against the Clanker's (Germany and its allies). I found the Darwinist's really cool because their airships and other machine were like part machine, part living animal. It made me think about how they could be possibly but hey, it added to how cool he story was. The Clanker's we're all machine so they weren't as interesting. Lol. The book starts out with Alek being on the run after his parents were killed and his own people turning on him. They take off in a Clanker from Austria trying to get to the neutral power in Switzerland. Getting there proves harder than it seems (well duh!!! there walking in lands where a war has been started. I'd assume it'd be hard to get there without trouble). They get attacked multiple times but manage somehow to get away and make it to Switzerland (though not without their Clanker taking damage). Meanwhile Deryn (Dylan) tests to be in the British Air Service. She passes and finds herself aboard the Leviathan as a middie (midshipman). What nobody knows though is that shes hiding a very big secret, shes not a boy like she claims to be (hence the Deryn(girl)/Dylan(boy) names). After picking up cargo in Britian the Leviathan comes under attack and comes crashing down in Switzerland. There, Alek comes to the aid of Deryn and the Leviathan and over a few days Alek's crew and the Leviathans crew work together to repair the Leviathan to get them out of Switzerland before the Germans can get a massive attack underway (since both of them needed to get out before the Germans could get them).
The whole book was so intense. Alek constantly trying to outrun the people after him and Deryn being in constant alert of being called into the war. You didn't wanna put the book down because you wanted to know if either of them ever make it to safety or if the Germans get to them, especially at the end. Not to mention you wanted to know how each of them progressed in the roles they were throw into. And don't worry, aeromechaniks and war wasn't the only think going on. You also learn about the web of secrets involved with Aleks family. It was so so interesting. After reading this I'm gonna make sure not to automatically think I'm gonna hate Steampunk (because so far of what I read of it I really like it). :) Not to mention many things in this book were based on facts. It was an awesome mix of history and future. I'd definitely recommend this to others!