Pages: 440, hardcover
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 6th, 2009 (First published September 22nd, 2009)
Genre: YA / steampunk / alternate history / adventure
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.Buy it From: Book Depository / Amazon
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
(Taken from Goodreads)
The first thing I have to mention here is the cover and the drawings. The cover just draws you in, making you feel like a part of the story. I won't lie, this cover is a million times better than their revised cover: ICK.
And the drawings add this whole new aspect to the story. They're beautifully done, and I could just stare at them for hours. They definitely added a lot to the story.
I should mention that the only issue I had with this book was the language. Bum-rag? Seriously? Now, I understand that this is a YA book aimed at the younger side of the spectrum, but it kind of ruins the flow of the story. It makes me roll my eyes and groan in pain.
Other than that, the writing was lovely and descriptive.
Now onto characterisation. I love Deryn. In summation, she's a steampunk Mulan and doesn't take shit from anyone. She has her dreams, and she follows them, despite her gender. She's smart, independent, and just a little bit stubborn.
Alek was also strong. For a boy who'd just lost his parents and has a whole empire thirsting for his blood, he handles the situation snd himself quite well.
The two different views, the Darwinists and the Clankers, they added so much depth. The way they were described--from both perspectives--it was just amazing. Deryn and Alek's views on the life of the other gave us so much insight. Alek thought that the Darwinist creatures were Godless beasts, and Deryn saw the Clanker machines as soulless pieces of metal. They each think that their own views are the correct ones, and it reminds me of certain religious groups, how they think they're so correct, and that anyone who disagrees is wrong and soulless.
This is an amazing book, one that I would recommend to everyone. Though written for the younger side of YA, I think even adults can get a lot out of this. I'll be reviewing the sequel, Behemoth, sometime soon.
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 5/5 stars