Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 537
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 as it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.
It’s not rare that I start a review right after finishing the book, my thoughts are clearer that way and usually the words come right to me. This is no different…except the words are a bit incoherent and more along the lines of squeals than actual sentences. So I’m going to take a deep breath and try to get through this…
As a note, while I try to keep spoilers to the absolute minimum this is the last in a series so if you haven’t read the previous two there is a chance you’ll find out stuff you might not be aware of.
I’m happy to say that this is a fantastic conclusion to Westerfeld’s series. It’s crafted with just as much care and detail as the previous two, and certainly satisfying in it’s end. The steampunk and fabricated animals have certainly made their impact on me in the first two and they certainly get cooler in this one as well. It’s such a cool take on historical events, and Westefled makes sure to add in some awesome twists to the mix. Namely Tesla…I don’t mean the few times it’s mentioned in the second one with the Tesla Cannon…I mean Nikola Tesla. I practically flailed when I found out he was going to actually be in the book as opposed to just a background character. I don’t have a particular love for the man, it’s just that he’s a rather interesting fellow and I love seeing how he’ll be portrayed. Westerfled makes him into a delightful yet frustrating character, and he’s inclusion really brought something fantastic to the story. And the of course there is Deryn’s little secret and the fact that we finally find out how it’s revealed, and I’m glad it came out the way it did. It fit perfectly and it adds tension. The conclusion itself is fitting and left me quite content, and even a bit giddy at Deryn’s future.
Deryn Sharp really deserves to get more credit as a main character. She’s strong, independent, funny, and capable. She doesn’t need someone else to do her job for her, and she’s not so caught up in herself that she won’t accept help when needed. She’s smart in her own right and extremely brave on all accounts. When things get tough she doesn’t run and she doesn’t hide behind anyone. I would love to see more people talk about her, I want more people to talk about her. Alek, is a lovely counterpart to her as well. I love how unlike so many other YA novels he doesn’t trip all over himself trying to impress her or anyone else. He’s a great guy, he’s is at times a “daft prince” but he’s just as brave as Deryn is. Bovril, the loris, is even cooler than I thought he would be in the second book and he turned out to be a rather key element to the book even if all he does is repeat things.
Overall I adore this book, and this series! If you haven’t read it yet I say give it a go. I know the whole World War setting is rather weird for a YA novel, but give it a try anyway. I think a lot of people will be surprised at how well this is written.
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