I am a HUGE fan of Scott Westerfeld. His worlds are fantastically imagined, his writing style doesn't talk down to you, and his stories stay in my head long after I've finished the book.
This latest book is set in a World War I alternate history, with fantasy that is not too complicated to get into. Prince Alek has lived his whole life in a Clanker society, where giant machines give man incredible fighting strength and power. After receiving awful news of his parents, he flees his country and tries to find safety amid a brewing war. Deryn Sharp longs to be an airshipman for the Darwinists, scientists who have altered the genes of wildlife to create extreme ships for transportation. The only problem is, she's a girl. When both of these brilliant kids meet aboard the Leviathan, they realize they are caught in the middle of something that is much bigger than they first thought.
LEVIATHAN is packed with action for boys and girls alike. Detailed drawings throughout reinforce just how complete the world has been created. It will also be good for bringing up discussions about the battle between animal technology and steam-powered machines. This book is bound to be a heavy hitter as the steampunk genre rises in popularity.
This is the first in a planned four-book series, and I can't wait for the next one!