mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Kraken! (54)

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, art by Keith Thompson.

Her pet thylacine
should be drawn yawning much more
fearsomely. I've seen.

SMASHING. G-R-A-T-E. I haven't gotten on the Westerfield bandwagon before now (a lesson by which you can learn I guess Giant Fighting Robots > Vampires) but I might have to reconsider. So this is an alternate history of World War I; only you know, muddled up with steampunk & such. Europe is divided: German & Austria-Hungary are Clankers, with kerosene powered walker-mechs on everything from two-legs to eight, zeppelins, all that; Britain & France are Darwinists, with fabricated chimera, giant elephantines & felinesques, immense airwhales that are less a living creature & more a whole ecosystem. What makes this sparkle is that Westerfield isn't kidding about imagining-- why be stingy? One character is the son of Franz Ferdinand. Why not! & the Darwinists muddle bats with moths, feed the bats flechettes, & then use spotlights to direct them as a weapon. Sure you would! The Clankers have mecha after all! Besides the big stuff though, he ain't stingy with the nooks & niches; even the curses the character's utter get a solid treatment. Oh, & the characters aren't contemptible-- a problem sometimes with YA. So yeah, I'm excited for the next one-- figure it has to be Kraken, right? Then the third I guess Behemoth, isn't it? Would make sense. Oh & the art? Spectacular.
Tags: books, haiku, leviathan, steampunk, westerfeld
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