5.0 étoiles sur 5
Leviathan, It's Really Big, July 4 2011
Technically, this is a juvenile. The protagonists are under age and
that makes it a juvenile. Supposedly this is steampunk although I
have to point out that steam engines appear nowhere in the technology
and it's set at the start of an alternate Great War. The Germans and
Austrians have giant robots, that run on internal combustion engines.
The French, English and Russian use genetically engineered air whales,
flechette bats, and probably rhinos or something instead of tanks.
It's awesome. Our protagonists are the mandatory one teenage boy and
one teenage girl. She's a cross-dressing royal navy crewman on board
an airwhale. He's a robot pilot claimant to the throne of
Austria-Hungary on the run from the Germans who killed his father to
start the war and want him dead as well. They fight crime! Or at
least the Germans.
Historically of course, this is inaccurate. The Germans didn't want a
big war and certainly wouldn't have killed Archduke Ferdinand to start
one. But alternate timelines mean never having to say you're sorry
for the liberties you take with history. I mean he had Darwin invent
genetic engineering after all. (The giant robots are blamed on the
interaction between this world's superior understanding of biology and
anatomy, and the Rule of Cool. Giant robots are cool. Therefore they
What I really love about this books is the description of the bizarre
British arsenal of weapons in operation. The bats that crap metal
flechettes when you shine a red light on them, the acid nets, the
aerial jellyfish and whales. I want to see more of them. I'm so up
for the sequel. Of course when I read the amazon reviews I noticed
someone from the target audience complaining about the discussion of
the politics of the breaking war when they wanted more action, but for
me this book is a model of how Weber and his ilk should be handling
such things. Even the developing mismatched relationship between the
two kids struck me as fun.
Of the books I've read this year, this is my favourite.