Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

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Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Sommer Leigh » 04 Oct 2010, 18:07

Oh honestly, you'd think at 31 years old I'd stop going all fan girl about books and authors but oh no! No no, there's no dignity in middle age my friends. Go on, ask me if I own a pair of goggles and secretly dream of joining Her Majesty's Royal Air Navy. Go on. Ask.

When Leviathan came out, I was having near constant heart flutters. I remember when Scott Westerfeld showed off his new steamy blog and the teasers of beautiful artwork for the book. I was already a pretty big fangirl after the Uglies series, but I'm a huge fan of steampunk and the awesome marriage of visual storytelling with written storytelling. While I'm not really sure Leviathan counts as steampunk (maybe? I don't know. Can we get a ruling here?) it sure has all the elements and it has a pretty great retelling of a point in history that is completely ignored in YA.

And the book trailer for Leviathan? One of only three that I think are done to the credit of the book and actually work hard to sell people on it. Really, it's worth watching because it uses artwork pulled right out of the book itself. Did I mention Leviathan is illustrated? Love it.

When I picked Leviathan up (with its gorgeous cover, I so wish they hadn't changed the style) I didn't put it down until I was done. But here's the thing- I went into Leviathan thinking it was a stand alone book. I don't know why I thought that, it just seemed like a stand alone book. It even read like one. Until the last page. I swear I read the last page and turned to the next and...I swore and threw the book down and stalked around the house almost in tears. It leaves us off on a cliffhanger that I couldn't possibly stand a whole year worth of waiting to find out what happens. I mean, I love Scott-freaking-Westerfeld and his work, but I was so mad! I don't think I've ever been so mad at an author or book in my life. It's not really fair, I should have been paying more attention. But still.

So tomorrow, October 5th, the sequel finally comes out. Behemoth, and while there doesn't seem to be any fantastic book trailer to go along with it this time, that's ok. I'm jumping around super-excited-can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-it. My husband and I are going straight away after work to pick it up and then I will be completely lost to the world until I'm doing inhaling it. My poor husband is not going to get dinner tomorrow night.

Anyone else? I know a lot of people passed on reading Leviathan because the premise is kind of crazy, but I assure you it really is brilliant.

Who else has read Leviathan? Anyone buying Behemoth tomorrow?

"The year is 1914. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand has just been assassinated and Europe is on the brink of war. But put your history books away, this is not the war you remember. There is something else at stake. Who will triumph: The Clankers who put their faith in machinery? Or the Darwinists who evolve living creature into tools and weapons? Fighting Kracken, living airships, and all manner of dangerous beastie. And at the center of it all: Alek, son of the archduke is running from those who murdered his father. He collides by chance with Deryn Sharp, a girl passing as a boy to serve in the royal air navy. One is a clanker, the other a darwinist. One's in hiding, the other is hiding a very big secret. As the adventure begins, the intrigue heightens and the stakes grow. The question is, do you oil your war machines? Or do you feed them?"

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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Mira » 06 Oct 2010, 14:29

I have not read these! Sommer, this is the second time you've gotten me to buy a book. You're so in love with it - how can I not buy it!??
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Down the well » 06 Oct 2010, 15:33

Sommer Leigh wrote:Oh honestly, you'd think at 31 years old I'd stop going all fan girl about books and authors but oh no! No no, there's no dignity in middle age my friends.


Middle age? Hahahahahahaha!!! Just wait.


I still need to read Leviathan. It looks amazing.
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Sommer Leigh » 06 Oct 2010, 18:47

Mira wrote:I have not read these! Sommer, this is the second time you've gotten me to buy a book. You're so in love with it - how can I not buy it!??


Well then my job here is done!

I immediately assume that if I loved a book, everyone needs to read it and love it too. Right now. If you check it out, I hope you like it!

As it turns out, I still do not have a copy of Behemoth. For some reason my local Borders hasn't get their copies in yet, so I had to order it on Amazon. It will be here tomorrow, but the waiting is killing me.
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby J. T. SHEA » 06 Oct 2010, 19:23

31 is nowhere near middle age, Sommer! I'm older and definitely a Westerfeld fan boy. LEVIATHAN is Steampunk, but perhaps more accurately Dieselpunk, a subset of Steampunk, but inspired by the early twentieth century more than the late nineteenth. I have the UK hardcover LEVIATHAN, which lacks the map, but has all the other Keith Thompson internal illustrations, two of which are reused on the covers.

There is indeed no indication anywhere, except in the Afterword, that LEVIATHAN is not a standalone. Does the US edition have the Afterword?

My own WIP is a three book YA Steampunk/Dieselpunk series, with a similar structure, i. e. the first two books complete distinct phases of the story, but the third completes the overall arc. So I don't call it a trilogy, and I am completing all three books. So nobody should have to wait. Though I wouldn't mind seeing the books published, say, two months apart, long enough to create anticipation but not frustration.
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Sommer Leigh » 07 Oct 2010, 08:35

J. T. SHEA wrote:31 is nowhere near middle age, Sommer! I'm older and definitely a Westerfeld fan boy. LEVIATHAN is Steampunk, but perhaps more accurately Dieselpunk, a subset of Steampunk, but inspired by the early twentieth century more than the late nineteenth. I have the UK hardcover LEVIATHAN, which lacks the map, but has all the other Keith Thompson internal illustrations, two of which are reused on the covers.

There is indeed no indication anywhere, except in the Afterword, that LEVIATHAN is not a standalone. Does the US edition have the Afterword?

My own WIP is a three book YA Steampunk/Dieselpunk series, with a similar structure, i. e. the first two books complete distinct phases of the story, but the third completes the overall arc. So I don't call it a trilogy, and I am completing all three books. So nobody should have to wait. Though I wouldn't mind seeing the books published, say, two months apart, long enough to create anticipation but not frustration.


I don't really feel middle age anyway, but "Not quite middle age but certainly older than 20 somethings" doesn't have the same ring to it.

Oh I love the map. It's beautiful. The whole book is beautiful. I wish more people would put illustrations in their books.

I don't recall if there is an afterword, I will have to double check when I get home.

Oh man, YA steampunk/diselpunk series? If you ever need a reader I am totally your girl. I hope to see more steampunk and sci-fi come to YA and give the paranormal/fantasy a bit of a rest. Not that I don't love them, but I'm kind of interested in seeing more of this other great stuff too. And steampunk is one of my favorites.
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Mira » 08 Oct 2010, 08:37

Sommer Leigh wrote:I immediately assume that if I loved a book, everyone needs to read it and love it too. Right now. If you check it out, I hope you like it!


Me too. I'm a book 'pusher' to the max. :)

So, have you read it yet? Is it good?
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Sommer Leigh » 08 Oct 2010, 10:01

Mira wrote:
Sommer Leigh wrote:I immediately assume that if I loved a book, everyone needs to read it and love it too. Right now. If you check it out, I hope you like it!


Me too. I'm a book 'pusher' to the max. :)

So, have you read it yet? Is it good?


I have it sitting next to me but I haven't started reading it yet. I had planned to read it this morning while I waited for my car to be fixed. But it is too noisy and I can't concentrate and the chair I've been sitting in for four hours has to be the most uncomfortable chair ever built.

So when I get home!
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby J. T. SHEA » 08 Oct 2010, 18:46

Thanks, Sommer. I hope to finish the third (final) book of my series early next year, though I may post the first chapter of the first book on the Bransforums before then.

May I also recommend, if you don't already know it, Kenneth Oppel's YA steampunk/dieselpunk trilogy, AIRBORN, SKYBREAKER, and STARCLIMBER, also set in an alternative early twentieth century.
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby dios4vida » 15 Oct 2010, 13:54

Okay Sommer, J.T. Shea, you guys have almost sold me. One thing will determine if you actually succeed:

I HATE WWII stories. Hate hate hate them. Can't stand them. Passionately.

But I love me a good steampunk.

Will I still like Leviathan?
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Sommer Leigh » 15 Oct 2010, 18:03

dios4vida wrote:Okay Sommer, J.T. Shea, you guys have almost sold me. One thing will determine if you actually succeed:

I HATE WWII stories. Hate hate hate them. Can't stand them. Passionately.

But I love me a good steampunk.

Will I still like Leviathan?


Yes. Because it is about WWI, and not II. But also because it isn't even really about the war at all. It's a re-imagined version of the war and it has steampunk and history and fantasy kind of swirled all together.

I'm in the middle of Behemoth right now. I'm kind of really loving it. So far it has mostly taken place in the Ottoman Empire (Istanbul!) and it's all daring escapes, sultans, and mechanical elephants, fantastical beasts and airships and a FREAKING TESLA CANNON.

*so in love*
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby dios4vida » 16 Oct 2010, 08:34

Sommer Leigh wrote:I'm in the middle of Behemoth right now. I'm kind of really loving it. So far it has mostly taken place in the Ottoman Empire (Istanbul!) and it's all daring escapes, sultans, and mechanical elephants, fantastical beasts and airships and a FREAKING TESLA CANNON.


Yup. You sold me. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Sommer Leigh » 20 Oct 2010, 06:10

Oh my oh my. I just finished Behemoth last night and I was completely blown away by how good it was. I liked Leviathan, but Behemoth nailed the setting and characters so completely. The majority of the book takes place in Instanbul and between mechanical elephants and sultans and spice bombs and mechanical goddesses and daring escapes and oh man. I was just in love from the beginning to the end.

Even if you don't like historical novels, you should check out this series because it is truly unlike anything else out there. It isn't historical, it isn't steampunk, it isn't fantasy...it is something unique and in-between and kind of magical.

My only complaint is that Behemoth appears to be made out of a special paper? Maybe because it is filled with beautiful artwork, but the special paper makes the book feel like a lead ton. It's mass almost seems improbable when you pick it up. Or maybe awesome is just a heavier unit of weight. Who am I to judge?
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Heather B » 29 Oct 2010, 02:53

I finally got my copy of Leviathan today, in it's amazing hardcover edition - Australia doesn't have Behemoth yet. It is currently sitting on my bookshelf, taunting me with it's awesomeness. I have work tomorrow, then I have to finish Crescendo (which sudden;y doesn't seem so great) and then I can finally start the darn thing.

Sommer, you're a good salesperson. I read this thread ages ago and it's been nagging at me since. Today, without even realising what I was doing, I got up and went out to buy it.
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Re: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, sequel to Leviathan

Postby Down the well » 29 Oct 2010, 06:38

I've had Leviathan for two weeks but still haven't read the whole thing. I got two chapters in when my son stole it from me. Something about needing a book for school. *Sniff* I did like the illustrations, though. What I saw of them.
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