Simon Pulse, 2010
The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.
Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan’s peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.
Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what’s ahead.
I could not have imagined that the sequel to such an engaging book could actually be better than the first. Alek and Deryn are just the type of characters that belong in a story of war, espionage and international intrigue and politics. The setting is perfect, the characters are believable and fun, and the story is almost impossible to put down. Westerfeld has accomplished the perfect balance between telling a great, compelling story with lots of action and danger with character and plot development. Hats off!
For the Classroom
Even though this is arguably not historical fiction, and is really more like historical fantasy, there are so many imaginative elements throughout the text, such as the war machinery of the Clankers and the explanations of the symbiotic relationships of the creatures created by the Darwinists, that make it a fantastic classroom companion. Although it doesn’t work very well for a history class, it should work wonders for the imaginations of those in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering.