Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld.  The second book in the Leviathan series which is a steampunk version of WW1.  I enjoyed the first book, and so when wandering around Barnes & Noble the other day I picked up the sequel.

Book Stats

481 pages


Second book in its series, sequel to Leviathan


The book follows the same two primary characters from the first novel, Deryn and Alek.  The characters are once again very well written, and I felt like there was more development to them in this book as compared to the first.  This works as it helps to make the second novel more capable of being enjoyed on its own as opposed to just a stopgap between the first and third books.  Both characters gain experience and become more competent in this book which helps move it along quickly.  In addition, the fact that Deryn is a girl pretending to be a boy played a larger part in this book than in the first book, where I thought it didn’t matter at all.  The book suggests more of a love story as an overall theme for the third book and also uses Deryn’s true identity as a girl to get a few laughs towards the end of the book.


The world is the same as the first book, but this book has the adventurers in Istanbul (or Constantinople) which is more of a Clanker based area than the first book mostly exploring the Darwinist world.  Although the book focuses more on Clanker tech rather than Darwinist beasties, there are still a few interesting animals introduced in the book.


The book begins with splitting up the two protagonists to tell of their own separate adventures before reuniting them later in the book.  At this point in the war, Constantinople was still neutral and in the story they are trying to sway the city towards preventing the war rather than encouraging it.  Deryn and Alek both use different methods to help prevent Constantinople from siding with the Germans, and it’s interesting to see how everything comes together at the end.


Just like the first novel, the book was a quick read that had a lot of fun aspects to the world.  All of the characters are interesting and it’s fun watching them interact with the two main characters.  The illustrations in this book are wonderful just like in the first book and have a very distinct style that works well with the type of story being told.

Overall Grade

I enjoyed the book and I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series which is due out in September this year.


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