Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan #2)

Behemoth - Scott Westerfeld, Keith Thompson

Apparently, The Infernal Devices is also considered steampunk, but I consider that to be more of a historical fantasy/paranormal genre. So, that is why I’m going to consider Leviathan the very first steampunk novel I’ve ever read.


People should seriously read this series. I feel bad that I put off Behemoth for so long until I was scanning my shelves and realized that I hadn’t continued on with SO many series that I’d started.


After the events of Leviathan, the ship is now headed into Istanbul, and this alternate world was SO good to read about, I think that one of the best things about this series—aside from the funny and clever characters—is the amazing worldbuilding! I think Scott Westerfeld has done an AMAZING job with combining the alternate history with facts and representation.

“I know we can’t use beasties here in Clanker-land,” Deryn said, “but why make a walker look like an animal?”


“Diplomacy is all about symbols,” Dr. Barlow said. “Elephants signify royalty and power; according to legend an elephant divined the prophet Mohammed’s birth. The sultan’s own war machines are made in this same shape.”

This literally makes my historical fiction side feel like a million bucks.


While the events that do happen in Istanbul aren’t really in the favor of our beloved characters, the way they manage to get themselves out of these situations is pretty fun to read about! We have Alek, who has unfortunately split up with Volger and is on the run; and then we have Deryn—or “Dylan”—who accompanied Dr. Barlow to Istanbul but the Sultan has seemed to crush their eggs based on previous issues with Winston Churchill. But DESPITE all of this political mess, Scott Westerfeld still manages to make this situation so funny!

Count Volger stared at her for a long moment, and Deryn realized that she’d let her voice go all squeaky. That was what came out of thinking too hard about Alek—it turned her pure dead girly sometimes.  

 And although Alek isn’t my most favorite character . . .

But if a girl could pilot the monstrosity, it couldn’t be too difficult.

(I mean, the problem isn’t the girl thing, a lot of people thought like that in that time, it’s just that he assumes that as the “destined one” he has to be able to do everything and has the greatest secrets) He did eventually grow on me :D

“Shush!” Alek looked about. Fabricated beasts might not be strictly illegal, but there was no point in drawing attention to himself. Besides, it as insufferable that the creature’s own accent was better than his own.

He does have his moments. :D


I want to take a moment to talk about Keith Thompson. OMG. Like, how long did it take for him to create such amazing pictures! I was impressed with the illustrations in Leviathan, but for some reason, in Behemoth, I was blown away! I think it’s because we got to see SO many things, like a Clanker city. We got to see Deryn and her comrades jumping off the Leviathan, and holy moly, we got to see. The. Behemoth. That thing is HUGE! Like, has Keith Thompson illustrated anything else?! Because I am going to check it out! :D


My favorite part of the book:

“But she can’t like me,” Deryn said. “I’m a . . . barking airman!”

Overall, Behemoth is much better than Leviathan, and now I am really starting to see how the events that were building up in Leviathan played out! I am so glad that I gave this a read because it was so interesting and so many things happened in this that gave the feel of war. The fights between the machinery, and the political alliances. It was interesting to see Scott Westerfeld’s note on alternate history. I think all historical fans need to check this out!


Thanks for reading my review everyone, and hope you all have a great day! Until the next one!