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Behemoth

Behemoth

Written by Scott Westerfeld

Narrated by Alan Cumming


Behemoth

Written by Scott Westerfeld

Narrated by Alan Cumming

ratings:
4.5/5 (80 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Oct 5, 2010
ISBN:
9781442334113
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

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.

A Simon & Schuster audio production.

Released:
Oct 5, 2010
ISBN:
9781442334113
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Scott Westerfeld is the author of ten books for young adults, including Peeps, The Last Days, and the Midnighters trilogy. He was born in Texas in 1963, is married to the Hugo-nominated writer Justine Larbalestier, and splits his time between New York and Sydney. His latest book is Extras, the fourth in the bestselling Uglies series.


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What people think about Behemoth

4.3
80 ratings / 88 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    The premise: ganked from BN.com: 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.My RatingMust Read: I will note, however, that this is a direct continuation of Leviathan, and it is not a book you can read without having read its predecessor, or you'll be a bit lost in regards to the differing sides and who's doing what and why. So if you haven't read Leviathan, go forth and read so you can hurry to this one, because it's a lot of fun. Not only is a fast, enjoyable read, but it's filled with such wonderful little details that I can't possibly list them all, other than to say I'm thoroughly engrossed in Westerfeld's world-building, as well as his alternate history (kudos for including the afterward that differentiates fact from fiction), and Deryn is simply a character to celebrate. I look forward to the conclusion of this trilogy, and I'm wicked glad I gave this series a shot. So far, it's been more than worth it.Review style: two sections, what I liked and what I didn't, but let's be honest, there's not much I didn't like. Short and sweet and no spoilers, so feel free to keep reading; HOWEVER, I don't recommend reading this review if you haven't yet read Leviathan. If that's the case, do NOT click the link to my review below. Everyone else, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)REVIEW: Scott Westerfeld's BEHEMOTHHappy Reading!
  • (4/5)
    Excellent steampunk - really interesting twist to World War 1, with a strong female heroine.
  • (5/5)
    I'm really enjoying these books. I've listened to them, with Alan Cumming narrating, and he's wonderful!
  • (4/5)
    Not as engaging as the first book. The first book was a constant assortment of wonders and details whereas this one takes it too much for granted that the reader gets the jist of Clunkers v Darwinists by now and strictly wants story instead of atmosphere and setting. There were far less of those "Willy Wonka opening the doors to the candy room" moments. I would have adored more exploration of the societies Westerfeld has created in this series - instead I got a fairly run-of-the-mill heir-to-the-throne running for his life story. Don't get me wrong, I still greatly enjoyed it - it just wasn't as much of what I was hoping for.
  • (3/5)
    3.5 stars. This is really my fault. It took me a long time to read this book and due to that, I didn't enjoy it as much. I got into a reading slump shortly after starting it and had to put it down...for more than 6 months. I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the first. I still enjoyed the world though. There are new characters in the sequel that I really like and hope to learn more about in the third book.
  • (4/5)
    In this fast-moving sequel to Leviathan, Prince Alek and Midshipman Derrin Sharp find themselves on a diplomatic mission to Istanbul. Things don't go well for the diplomats, and Alek and Derrin find themselves on their own.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely love this series, and the narrator is great! I read this originally about 7-8 years ago, and honestly a lot of it I couldn't understand at that point. I only remembered the basic premise, but I remembered enjoying what I did understand. Finally, I decided to check out the audio books and binged all 3 of them in 3 days. Love all the different voices and accents, definitely helps make it very immersive.
  • (5/5)
    Even better than the first book in the series. Awesome YA fiction and while an alternative history, teaches more about WWI than most people would probably ever otherwise be exposed to.
  • (3/5)
    I'm not in as good a mood as I was in October when I read Leviathan. This story was set on the ground more than in an airship, with more Clanker steel and diesel than steampunkesque Darwinist fabricated beasties, and so was less interesting; also I feel less forgiving of the author's cavalier attitude toward genetic interference. Vitriolic barnacles that can breed with natural ones? The first book didn't mention interbreeding, as I recall, so the hocus-pocus planet-fuckery didn't annoy me. Also I wasn't as easily annoyed.
  • (3/5)
    While I don't regret the enjoyable time reading about the wacky armies Westerfeld dreamed up (while the steam-powered walkers seem a sort of homage to Star Wars, the fighting ecosystems - that's what I said, ecosystems, including flying whales that host legions of shrapnel-pooping bats, six-legged dogs, fighting hawks, and more - are an imaginative reader's treat), I felt like the illustrations distracted from more than added to the story.Though deliberately woodcut-like in style, the pictures demonstrated a very cinematic sensibility, packed with action and trying to give a sense of scale to the enormous gizmos and animals of war, and that seemed to compete with the inventiveness of the story. I'm much more of a fan of N. C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle, who created images capturing the tone of the stories they illustrated. While they did depict a few climactic moments, many of their illustrations simply portrayed the meeting of two sets of characters, giving clues for the reader about the unfamiliar or sometimes just plain not described costumes and landscapes of the story. Keith Thompson, the illustrator for Behemoth, definitely had a chance to show the reader unfamiliar things and did do so, but most of the illustrations, besides being almost annoyingly numerous, depict the characters in action from a camera's eye view and with a camera's detail (the full-page illustrations are so dark that the print on the reverse of the page actually ends up being lower-contrast). In the Victorian era, there was a difference between woodcut illustrations in a classic and the frontispieces of penny dreadfuls, and Thompson seems to have done the latter.In fairness, Westerfeld didn't really help. The pacing of the book is cinematic, there is the apparently requisite unrequited teen love story (dressed up for the Victorian setting by placing the girl in drag, also a tired device), and while the characters mature somewhat in this second installment of the trilogy beginning with Leviathan, they are and have always been so - so - capable. Which brings me to my biggest problem with the entire genre of steampunk.The principal characters of the steampunk genre are the hero and the heroine (one or both are usually mechanically gifted), a gifted scientist/wizard (or two or ten), a British leader figure (or two or ten), and an unBritish leader figure (who rejects British technologies and imperialism). The plot, whatever it is (and it's usually about the British enlightening or conquering some 'luddites,' and that word, or some synonym thereof, is the demonized aspect of the antagonists), showcases British ingenuity, which of course has been given an enormous boost, either with advanced clockwork, inventive use of steam power or even petrol, and in Westerfeld's case DNA manipulation, and keeps a sensibility of Enlightening the Brutes.Problem: Who paid for the gizmos? Who mined the metal, built factories or laboratories, assembled the machines, risked death in unsafe working conditions, suffered from the industrial pollutants, wheezed in the smoky air, gave up forests and bogs for fuel, moved off the farm to live in the grime of the big city, succumbed to the diseases that always follow large rural to urban migrations, bought food at the inflated prices one would expect from a deflated agricultural sector or at regular prices made possible by virtually unpaid labor in a farm colony somewhere? Why didn't the 'luddites' or religious conservatives or social conservatives or the not insubstantial racial purist factions fight to suppress scary new sciences at home, even before the gizmos went out to fight abroad? Were women allowed to work in the factories, thus increasing the work force without significantly increasing the wage base? If so, did the family as an economic unit change more quickly? Where are the economics?And of course it's glorious to imagine a world with accelerated technology, but did conscience accelerate too? If so, then where are the trade unions, the suffrage movements, the colonial rebellions, the public and egalitarian educational institutions? Where are the recycling centers, the solar panels, the emissions caps? If humans tinkered with DNA, were there no consequences to the environment?I like technology. I like adventure stories. I'm going to recommend Leviathan and Behemoth, because they are good stories with some interesting minor characters (Volger=Snape), and they do actually address some ideological issues, if at a distance, and more importantly, they don't promote narcissistic, responsibility-free romantic relationships (coughTwilightcough). I'm also going to keep recommending Jay Lake's Mainspring trilogy, which remains the best work I've read in the genre and is, I would even say, more literary. Lake's books have a complexity that is mindful of religion, economics, sociology, and history, as some of these more popular titles don't.But basically, I've got this issue with a world in which technology lifts us up without pushing something down. Science can, when applied with wisdom and foresight, fix a lot of stuff. But for every action, guys. Remember? For every action. Which isn't a reason not to try to advance. It's just a reason to think about all the angles when you're imagining a world balanced differently from this one, whether for publication as fiction or for production in the world.
  • (3/5)
    Just started this recently - I like Westerfeld's writing and the illustrations are divine. Second in a series (I liked the first, "Leviathan" very well).
  • (4/5)
    Another well written adventure in the beautifully realised setting of the Darwinist/Clanker wars. I love the creature concepts here - especially the lorises (and I learned a new word too!) and I enjoy the growing relationship/friendship between Deryn and Alek. I cannot wait until Deryn's secret is revealed. That has so much potential for both embarrassment and future development.

    I have put Goliath on reserve already, and eagerly await its arrival.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent work, a worthy second part to the trilogy. Kept me glued to my nook well into the night finishing it.
  • (5/5)
    Adorably started, these children stole my heart right from the very start. Because I read all three of these novels in one week, they all kind of blur in my head. So I'm going to write them all one big review pretty much.


    This series is promising to become one of top ten my favorite mini-series I would read in the early part of this year/all of 2012 (so far, as we area only 1/3 of the way in). I was captivated with how things happened, the slow reveal, how our characters learned things, how they handled ending up places, what was more important morality among people or loyalty to a cause.

    The illustrations made my heart sore every time. I like that the children aren't super-people by the end, but still feeling their way through the world. I adore madly the Lady Boffin and The Count. I want to know ssssoo much more about the gifted pets, because you know they go, continuing to be awesome.


    If you have not read this series (and I was already one of the late, late comers, with the series already completely when I found it), You Should Be Now. Go, go. Get copies. Giggle and love it.
  • (2/5)
    I thought book two dragged a bit. It had the same feel as book one, but didn't leave any real lasting impression. Also here is about the time where I wanted to call bull crap on those perspicacious critters. They are a little too smart. I don't believe.

    Decent book. but not memorable. Two stars.
  • (2/5)
    A bit more interesting than the first part. Alot of action, along with the fantasy and historical fiction kept me reading to the end, and wanting to read the next book in the trilogy to find out what happens to the main characters.
  • (2/5)
    his is the second in the Leviathan Trilogy - the story of Deryn Sharp - midshipman on the fabricated airship Leviathan for the British Army at the start of WWl. Deryn is hiding a deep secret - he is a girl! But that is not the secret hidden away in this installment. Alek - future king of Austria - is also hidden away on the Leviathan. As are three eggs waiting to hatch with fabricated 'beasties' of some sort. The story picks up where Leviathan ended. The huge ship is making it's way to the Ottoman Empire to drop off the beasties. On the way they pursue two German ironclad ships - a seemingly simple task. After all, the Leviathan is a huge airship. But the German ships have a new weapon hidden on their decks - a Tessla cannon. We might call it a lightening cannon. One shot of that cannon an lightening strikes any and all metal surfaces. As the Leviathan moves closer to the Ottoman Empire the world becomes filled with Clanker machines - huge moving robots shaped like elephants, Gollums, waking beds and an Orient Express train that can walk and grab things. It's a world of machines belching black smoke and filling the air with their clanks and whirs. It is also a world on the brink of war. The streets are filling up with Germans as the Sultan decides whether to side with the Brits or the Germans. One side offers him fabricated beasts like the Leviathan and the other amazing machines like the Orient Express. With the help of Deryn and an escaped Alek the resistance forces help the new Sultan decide which side to join. This is a good installment. Full of action and intrigue. I like Deryn and I want her to succeed - but as she falls in love with Alek I don't really think there is any hope. Too many secrets. And... I would love to fly on the Leviathan - a hydrogen filled whale! Or the amazing human kite that Lillit flies away on...maybe sometime!!!
  • (4/5)
    Lives up to expectations as a sequel to Leviathan. The pacing is good, including the development of the characters and their relationships. Action-packed like the first. Leaves the reader eager for the third book.
  • (4/5)
    Behemoth is the second in the Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. This ingenious series is a mashup of alternative history, adventure, fantasy and steam punk. After loving the first book, I was worried whether or not this sequel would measure up. No disappointments here! The adventures continue as Alek and his loyal crew team up with the British in trying to put an early end to the Great War. This book moves the story to Istanbul and uses the exotic setting of the Turkish Empire to add some additional intrigue to an already good plot. I listened to the audio book AND purchased the book. The narration is very good - filled with a wide variety of accents to complement all the players involved in this war. But the beautiful sketches in the book of the Darwinist 'beasties' are not to be missed. Great series to be enjoyed by families, children and adults.
  • (4/5)

    This is a very, very enjoyable book.

    First world war. Add steampunk. International intrigue. Spies. Krakens, flying whales, airships and a dash of Hornblower. Shake vigorously. Enjoy!
  • (5/5)
    A brilliant novel! I like the fact that Weterfeld works hard to make his female characters action stars. I also really loved the build up to the reveal; it came at exactly the right time. Much better than the first novel in the series (and that one was pretty darn good). HIGHLY recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Oustanding book. God, this is so good I can hardly believe it. So interesting and packed full of twists and turns. The one thing preventing me from giving it 5 stars is Alek's sexist remarks throughout, I do hope he sees the error of his ways in the last book. Oh and that kiss at the end! I'm secretly in love with Lilit but don't tell anyone. Unputdownable, quite literally. I had tons of other things to do this weekend but couldn't leave this book behind, it stays with you, the world-building is terrific. So excited about Goliath!
  • (5/5)

    First of all, I want to apologize to everyone for the very long absence I've had on this site. I've recently moved and in the procedure, I completed Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan Trilogy completely. That being said, the books were not my own but were borrowed from the library, and in the end, I had to place them back before I was able to settle down on the internet and tend to status updates and more.

    Because of this, however, my status updates are incomplete for this review, and I will probably not edit or add them until a time when I sit down and reread this trilogy again, which--I strongly emphasize--I am definitely going to do! I do not want to write in status updates now, because I had not recorded any during my reading. There was really very little time to be afforded to keeping track of my own reading. This is why I'm only getting back into it all now.

    So while this will not be a normal review, and while I do plan on getting back into things and reviewing this book thoroughly once more in the future, I'm going to make it short and get back on track.

    In conclusion, if there's one thing that you have to take away from this review, it's this:

    I am buying this trilogy. I must have this trilogy!!!! I could not get enough of these books! So much so that I swept through the second book and the third without stopping! IT WAS DELICIOUS. It was WONDERFUL!!!! Seriously, if you're looking for something that has adventure, action, suspense, plot twists, and fantastic characters, character development, interactions and more-- you not only need to read this trilogy, I highly recommend you buy these books. They contain something in them that is classic, easy to enjoy, and yet has the complexities of a story that you can admire and grow with.

    It's so very easy to love this trilogy. If you're not the type to risk things on a "buy and then see what happens" spree, then at least take these out in library or borrow them from a friend that has them.

    Again, sorry for the horrendous review. I promise to get back on top of things shortly. In the meanwhile, as if I haven't repeated it enough: Check out this enjoyable trilogy! You won't regret it!
  • (4/5)
    In this fast-moving sequel to Leviathan, Prince Alek and Midshipman Derrin Sharp find themselves on a diplomatic mission to Istanbul. Things don't go well for the diplomats, and Alek and Derrin find themselves on their own.
  • (4/5)
    Had a bit of the second-book syndrome near the end, but was still just as fun to read as the first book alongside new secondary characters.
  • (5/5)
    Great 3rd book to this fantastic and fantastical series! Full of action and adventure. This book was a very satisfying conclusion to a great series.
  • (4/5)
    Scott Westerfeld really knows how to build a world. It's been a year and a half since I read Leviathan, but I didn't have any trouble slipping into his world once more. The characters were just as believable and likable as before.

    This book did exactly what a second book in a series should do. It carried on the story seamlessly, gave me plenty of action and questions to solidify my interest, continued to build tension and set me up for the next book.

    Now I can't wait for the last book to come out. How will Alec learn that Deryn is a girl? And will he really run a mile? That's my burning question!
  • (4/5)
    Fun and exciting. The afterword, which discusses the real history of the time, is quite interesting. However the romantic feelings of one protagonist are intrusive and annoying.
  • (5/5)
    Scott Westerfeld's imagination is phenomenal. I love the fabricated beasties! Mr. Sharp is so wonderfully cool under pressure. And Keith Thompson's illustrations are a grand addition to the book.I liked Behemoth even better than Leviathan. In fact, after finishing this one, I had to rush out and buy the third one, Goliath, the very next day, which means I had to drive for over an hour—one way—to get it! I was NOT going to wait three days plus for it to arrive in the mail.
  • (4/5)
    This is the second book in Scott Westerfeld’s inventive steampunk YA trilogy, in which World War I is reimagined as a swashbuckling adventure in which the Central Powers use enormous robotic fighting machines while the Allies use genetically engineered creatures for war, from the kraken-like beasts of the Royal Navy to the “fighting bears” of the Russian Army. Having escaped Europe aboard the Royal Navy airship Leviathan, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne Alek and his girl-disguised-as-a-boy friend Deryn find themselves in Istanbul, melting pot of cultures, a city and a nation on the brink of a revolution and being tugged both ways by the Clankers and the Darwinists to join the war.On paper these books are good – imaginative, swashbuckling, well-written and deftly plotted. It’s sort of hard for me to objectively judge them. I find my attention wandering, but maybe that’s my fault. I’d never say I’m too old to be reading YA fiction (because nobody is) but maybe I want something more complex than cliche dilemmas (noble boy in commoner’s clothing, tomboy in a man’s world) and sound and fury set pieces (lots of giant robots and crashing destruction). Or maybe I’m unfavourably comparing the trilogy to the masterpiece of YA fiction that is Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines series – which is also unfair, since my love of that series probably stems in part from nostalgia, i.e. the fact that I read it when I was actually a Young Adult. (The days, man. Those were the days.)So what can I say? Never mind my self-indulgent fretting. I can say with some conviction that Behemoth is a worthy successor to Leviathan, that it’s solid YA adventure fiction, and that if I’d read it in high school I would have loved it. Adult readers – your mileage may vary.