Behemoth by Scott WesterfeldBehemoth by Scott Westerfeld


byScott WesterfeldIllustratorKeith Thompson

Paperback | August 9, 2011

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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.
Scott Westerfeld was born in Dallas, Texas on May 5, 1963. He received a degree in philosophy from Vassar in 1985. Before becoming a full time writer, he held several jobs including factory worker, software designer, editor, and substitute teacher. His works for young adults include the Uglies series, the Midnighters series, and The La...
Title:BehemothFormat:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 inPublished:August 9, 2011Publisher:Simon PulseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1416971769

ISBN - 13:9781416971764

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good Not as good as the first book but continues the story nicely.
Date published: 2017-06-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty decent sequel Not bad, but the first book was more fun.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Sequel The Leviathan trilogy is well worth the read! Exciting and adventurous follow-up to the first book.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great I love the character of Deryn so much. Lilith is awesome too.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE IT SOOOO MUCH! It's a really great way to continue the trilogy. Love it so much!
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous I love all the twist and turns that makes your heaft stop. You coukd never pedict the ending.
Date published: 2015-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastical 2nd part of a trilogy Mini Book Review: I was surprised how much I enjoyed this 2nd book to the Leviathan trilogy. Behemoth has plenty of non stop action that kept me hooked. I am in awe of Westerfeld's creativity in describing such a fantastical steam-punk world, done is such a thoroughly believable way. As a mom I also appreciated the background history that he puts at the end of each story, really encourages the reader to do some reading into such a momentous time in history. As I mentioned in the review of Leviathan I loved Deryn/Dylan with all her feisty behavior and her delightful way of speaking. Strangely even-though I know the treatment of women is portrayed realistically I do still bristle when women are talked of in a condescending tone by some of the characters. Sorry can't help myself but I cannot wait until Alek figures out that Deryn is a girl - it will be so much fun. The artwork is outstanding even on this kobo edition, so I will also be purchasing a hard copy for Jake to read in a couple of years. I look forward to reading the final installment of the series. I would seriously recommend this as a class book to be read by the teacher and than discuss the real history with the students . I think it would be a fabulous and fun way to learn history. 4 Dewey's I have this on my Kobo and did not have to review it
Date published: 2011-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book This book was quite exciting. Once I started I could not put this book down, as like the first in the series. It was a great sequel to the first book, and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. The illustrations in this book are great as well. They do help you imagine the world that is being created.
Date published: 2011-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Stunning! What I usually hear is that, in trilogies, the second book usually has the hardest time living up to expectations. This is because they have the hard job of bridging the first and the second book - that is, expanding on the first book while setting up for the finale. So this book didn't entirely escape those flaws, but damn, does it do an excellent job! it didn't just expand from the first book - it added an explosion of new things, building on the world's characters, politics, and values. The part where I feel that it falls short is that it didn't really seem to move the plot on - the characters kind of end up back where they started in terms of growth. This fault is really easy to forgive though. This book is just one big good time, and will be more than enough for any adventurer to enjoy.
Date published: 2011-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely wonderful! This book was just absolutely brilliant and thrilling. Westerfeld brings creations unimaginable to life and putting a steampunk twist to World War 1. With the Allies as Darwinists, a force that uses genetically enchanced beasts as super weapons and the Axis as Clankers, a force that uses machines that walk and are loaded with guns to fight the action and supense in this book never seem to end. Westerfeld also puts his main characters in the most thrilling events ,a revolution in the Ottoman Empire , a daring escape and an encounter with the deadly Tesla cannon. Also, Westerfeld puts his characters mainly into the long forgottenempire of the ottomans and describes vividly how the residents are and how life for the charactyers are. i recommend this book for the ages of 10 and up. Well, what are you waiting for? Go and read Behemoth and the series while you can!
Date published: 2011-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fantastic and Fantastical Read! Westerfeld has created a very engading fantasy world inhabited by genetically engineered "beasties" and wonderously enhanced walking machines. I really look forward to reading more in this series.
Date published: 2010-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dreaming of Books Review You know when you start a series and read the first book was good but wasn't great and then you read the second book and it completely blows you away—Behemoth is that book for me. I liked this one way better than the first book. It was fast paced with lots of action. There was always something going on or some threat to the characters that many times had me on the edge of the seat. Both Alek and Deryn develop a lot over the course of this book. Deryn is getting more conflicted over her feelings towards Alek. She’s keeping a big secret from him while he’s revealed everything about himself to her. Also Alek only sees Deryn as a great friend while Deryn is hoping for more. Another thing that drew me to these two characters is how fearless they are. There were many instances where they’ve put their lives at risk and put themselves in a dangerous position but always manage to come out unscathed. I’m liking the secondary characters as well, especially Count Volger and Dr. Barlow. They always have plans of their own whether it’s for the interests of Britain or for Alek’s well being. Dr. Barlow has her precious eggs that have at last hatched. It turns out be a loveable creature that is instantly attached to Alek. It’s still not clear what their purpose is or what role they’ll have in the future. One thing for sure is that Dr. Barlow knows more about them than is letting on and is keeping mum about it. The book ended with a big revelation so I’m excited to find out what happens next. It also looks like the Leviathan is leaving Europe and heading east so I wonder what new kinds of machines and fabricated beasts we’ll see in the next book.
Date published: 2010-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Fantastic Scott-la book What is it with Scott Westerfeld. He keeps surprising me. I never thought I would like this new series of his to be honest. It didn't seem like my thing. War and Ungodly darwinist creations. It didn't sound like the kind of books by scott that I love. Boy was I wrong. I loved Leviathan; maybe not as much as Uglies or Peeps but it was a good book. Now that I've read Behemoth this series is just so much better. I don't think I'll be able to wait a whole year to find out what happens next. When will Alek learn Dher secret? So many questions! Scott is an amazing author, and this book is a great read.
Date published: 2010-10-12

Read from the Book

ONE Alek raised his sword. “On guard, sir!”Deryn hefted her own weapon, studying Alek’s pose. His feet were splayed at right angles, his left arm sticking out behind like the handle of a teacup. His fencing armor made him look like a walking quilt. Even with his sword pointed straight at her, he looked barking silly.“Do I have to stand like that?” she asked.“If you want to be a proper fencer, yes.”“A proper idiot, more like,” Deryn muttered, wishing again that her first lesson were someplace less public. A dozen crewmen were watching, along with a pair of curious hydrogen sniffers. But Mr. Rigby, the bosun, had forbidden swordplay inside the airship.She sighed, raised her saber, and tried to imitate Alek’s pose.It was a fine day on the Leviathan’s topside, at least. The airship had left the Italian peninsula behind last night, and the flat sea stretched in all directions, the afternoon sun scattering diamonds across its surface. Seagulls wheeled overhead, carried by the cool ocean breeze.Best of all, there were no officers up here to remind Deryn that she was on duty. Two German ironclad warships were rumored to be skulking nearby, and Deryn was meant to be watching for signals from Midshipman Newkirk, who was dangling from a Huxley ascender two thousand feet above them.But she wasn’t really dawdling. Only two days before, Captain Hobbes had ordered her to keep an eye on Alek, to learn what she could. Surely a secret mission from the captain himself outweighed her normal duties.Maybe it was daft that the officers still thought of Alek and his men as enemies, but at least it gave Deryn an excuse to spend time with him.“Do I look like a ninny?” she asked Alek.“You do indeed, Mr. Sharp.”“Well, you do too, then! Whatever they call ninnies in Clanker-talk.”“The word is ‘Dummkopf’” he said. “But I don’t look like one, because my stance isn’t dreadful.”He lowered his saber and came closer, adjusting Deryn’s limbs as if she were a dummy in a shop window.“More weight on your back foot,” he said, nudging her boots farther apart. “So you can push off when you attack.”Alek was right behind her now, his body pressing close as he adjusted her sword arm. She hadn’t realized this fencing business would be so touchy.He grasped her waist, sending a crackle across her skin.If Alek moved his hands any higher, he might notice what was hidden beneath her careful tailoring.“Always keep sideways to your opponent,” he said, gently turning her. “That way, your chest presents the smallest possible target.”“Aye, the smallest possible target,” Deryn sighed. Her secret was safe, it seemed.Alek stepped away and resumed his own pose, so that the tips of their swords almost touched. Deryn took a deep breath, ready to fight at last.But Alek didn’t move. Long seconds passed, the airship’s new engines thrumming beneath their feet, the clouds slipping slowly past overhead.“Are we going to fight?” Deryn finally asked. “Or just stare each other to death?”“Before a fencer crosses swords, he has to learn this basic stance. But don’t worry”—Alek smiled cruelly—“we won’t be here more than an hour. It’s only your first lesson, after all.”“What? A whole barking hour … without moving?” Deryn’s muscles were already complaining, and she could see the crewmen stifling their laughter. One of the hydrogen sniffers crept forward to snuffle her boot.“This is nothing,” Alek said. “When I first started training with Count Volger, he wouldn’t even let me hold a sword!”“Well, that sounds like a daft way to teach someone sword fighting.”“Your body has to learn the proper stance. Otherwise you’ll fall into bad habits.”Deryn snorted. “You’d think that in a fight not moving might be a bad habit! And if we’re just standing here, why are you wearing armor?”Alek didn’t answer, just narrowed his eyes, his saber motionless in the air. Deryn could see her own point wavering. She set her teeth.Of course, barking Prince Alek would have been taught how to fight in the proper way. From what she could tell, his whole life had been a procession of tutors. Count Volger, his fencing master, and Otto Klopp, his master of mechaniks, might be the only teachers with him now that he was on the run. But back when he’d lived in the Hapsburg family castle, there must have been a dozen more, all of them cramming Alek’s attic with yackum: ancient languages, parlor manners, and Clanker superstitions. No wonder he thought that standing about like a pair of coatracks was educational.But Deryn wasn’t about to let some stuck-up prince outlast her.So she stood there glaring at him, perfectly still. As the minutes stretched out, her body stiffened, her muscles beginning to throb. And it was worse inside her brain, boredom twisting into anger and frustration, the rumble of the airship’s Clanker engines turning her head into a beehive.The trickiest part was holding Alek’s stare. His dark green eyes stayed locked on hers, as unwavering as his sword point. Now that she knew Alek’s secrets—the murder of his parents, the pain of leaving home behind, the cold weight of his family squabbles starting this awful war—Deryn could see the sadness behind that gaze.At odd moments she could see tears brightening Alek’s eyes, only a fierce, relentless pride holding them back. And sometimes when they competed over stupid things, like who could climb the ratlines fastest, Deryn almost wanted to let him win.But she could never say these things aloud, not as a boy, and Alek would never meet her eyes like this again, if he ever learned she was a girl.“Alek …,” she began.“Need a rest?” His smirk wiped her charitable thoughts away.“Get stuffed,” she said. “I was just wondering, what’ll you Clankers do when we get to Constantinople?”The point of Alek’s sword wavered for a moment. “Count Volger will think of something. We’ll leave the city as soon as possible, I expect. The Germans will never look for me in the wilds of the Ottoman Empire.”Deryn glanced at the empty horizon ahead. The Leviathan might reach Constantinople by dawn tomorrow, and she’d met Alek only six days ago. Would he really be gone so quickly?“Not that it’s so bad here,” Alek said. “The war feels farther away than it ever did in Switzerland. But I can’t stay up in the air forever.”“No, I reckon you can’t,” Deryn said, focusing her gaze on their sword points. The captain might not know who Alek’s father had been, but it was obvious the boy was Austrian. It was only a matter of time before Austria-Hungary was officially at war with Britain, and then the captain would never let the Clankers leave.It hardly seemed fair, thinking of Alek as an enemy after he’d saved the airship—two times now. Once from an icy death, by giving them food, and the second time from the Germans, by handing over the engines that had allowed them all to escape.The Germans were still hunting Alek, trying to finish the job they’d started on his parents. Someone had to be on his side.…And, as Deryn had gradually admitted to herself these last few days, she didn’t mind if that someone wound up being her.A fluttering in the sky caught her attention, and Deryn let her aching sword arm drop.“Hah!” Alek said. “Had enough?”“It’s Newkirk,” she said, trying to work out the boy’s frantic signals.The semaphore flags whipped through the letters once more, and slowly the message formed in her brain.“Two sets of smokestacks, forty miles away,” she said, reaching for her command whistle. “It’s the German ironclads!”She found herself smiling a little as she blew—Constantinople might have to wait a squick.The alarm howl spread swiftly, passing from one hydrogen sniffer to the next. Soon the whole airship rang with the beasties’ cries.Crewmen crowded the spine, setting up air guns and taking feed bags to the fléchette bats. Sniffers scampered across the ratlines, checking for leaks in the Leviathan’s skin.Deryn and Alek cranked the Huxley’s winch, drawing Newkirk down closer to the ship.“We’ll leave him at a thousand feet,” Deryn said, watching the altitude markings on the rope. “The lucky sod. You can see the whole battle from up there!”“But it won’t be much of a battle, will it?” Alek asked. “What can an airship do to a pair of ironclads?”“My guess is, we’ll stay absolutely still for an hour. Just so we don’t fall into any bad habits.”Alek rolled his eyes. “I’m serious, Dylan. The Leviathan has no heavy guns. How do we fight them?”“A big hydrogen breather can do plenty. We’ve got a few aerial bombs left, and fléchette bats …” Deryn’s words faded. “Did you just say ‘we’?”“Pardon me?”“You just said, ‘How do we fight them?’ Like you were one of us!”“I suppose I might have.” Alek looked down at his boots. “My men and I are serving on this ship, after all, even if you are a bunch of godless Darwinists.”Deryn smiled again as she secured the Huxley’s cable. “I’ll make sure to mention that to the captain, next time he asks if you’re a Clanker spy.”“How kind of you,” Alek said, then raised his eyes to meet hers. “But that’s a good point—will the officers trust us in battle?”“Why wouldn’t they? You saved the ship—gave us engines from your Stormwalker!”“Yes, but if I hadn’t been so generous, we’d still be stuck on that glacier with you. Or in a German prison, more likely. It wasn’t exactly out of friendship.”Deryn frowned. Maybe things were a squick more complicated now, what with a battle coming up. Alek’s men and the Leviathan’s crew had become allies almost by accident, and only a few days ago.“You only promised to help us get to the Ottoman Empire, I suppose,” she said softly. “Not to fight other Clankers.”Alek nodded. “That’s what your officers will be thinking.”“Aye, but what are you thinking?”“We’ll follow orders.” He pointed toward the bow. “See that? Klopp and Hoffman are already at work.”It was true. The engine pods on either side of the great beastie’s head were roaring louder, sending two thick columns of exhaust into the air. But to see the Clanker engines on a Darwinist airship was just another reminder of the strange alliance the Leviathan had entered into. Compared to the tiny British-made engines the ship was designed to carry, they sounded and smoked like freight trains.“Maybe this is a chance to prove yourself,” Deryn said. “You should go lend your men a hand. We’ll need good speed to catch those ironclads by nightfall.” She clapped him on the shoulder. “But don’t get yourself killed.”“I’ll try not to.” Alek smiled and gave her a salute. “Good luck, Mr. Sharp.”He turned and ran forward along the spine.Watching him go, Deryn wondered what officers down on the bridge were thinking. Here was the Leviathan, entering battle with new and barely tested engines, run by men who should by all rights be fighting on the other side.But the captain didn’t have much choice, did he? He could either trust the Clankers or drift helplessly in the breeze. And Alek and his men had to join the fight or they’d lose their only allies. Nobody seemed to have much choice, come to think of it.Deryn sighed, wondering how this war had got so muddled.© 2010 Scott Westerfeld