Author: Scott Westerfeld
Illustrator: Heith Thompson
Publisher: Simon And Schuster
The Clankers and the Darwinists are going to war - the Clankers with their heavy machinery weapons and the Darwinists with their airshops made of living fabricated animals.
Prince Aleksandar, a Clanker, is running from his own people as he ends up in the middle of this feud. Deryn, a Darwinist, is working on for the British Air Service disguised as a boy - when their ships crash lands, Deryn and Aleks' lives collide.
This book takes you on a fun and exciting adventure through an alternative 1914; it is a bubbly and easy read for anyone. It's aimed at a young adult audience, but I would say it veers towards the younger side of the young adult spectrum with books like the Percy Jackson series, which holds the same amount of fun adventure that makes you not want to put it down.
I found myself whizzing through this book, not only because of the spaced writing and illustrations, but just because it was a good read and kept me wanting more. It's just one of those books that (although I didn't due to work commitments) makes you want to stay up all night to finish it - everything about this book is audience pleasing, but in a simple way.
This alternate universe was a marvel to read about, I wanted to know more about the machinery, the animals, and how everything worked. The Clankers added a more steampunk element to it, and although I'm loving that vibe in books as of late, I was drawn in to the Darwinist ideas more. The Darwinist fabricated creatures to do things as machinery would - the airship that Deryn travels in is in fact a fabricated whale - I found this to be totally and utterly fascinating, and part of me wished that that it was delved a little deeper into than it was. This book always seemed to give you the gist of things rather than a full explanation, which is good for a quick and easy read, but I believe that if Westerfeld had explored the two concepts a bit more it would have created a more interesting read.
I am definitely going to read the sequel to this as a light exciting book but I don't think it will be anything more than that.