There were three books in Scott Westerfeld’s awesome YA steampunk series — Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath. I loved these books and was very sorry to see the story end. So there was much joy when I discovered The Manual of Aeronautics.
Let me start off by saying that what I loved most about the Leviathan trilogy was the world that Westerfeld created. It is a fascinating steampunk, alternative history of the 1910s. But it isn’t entirely steampunk. Only half of his world relies on steam driven technology — nations that call themselves Clankers. The rest of this world is Darwinist, relying on genetically manipulated animals rather than machinery. Mr Westerfeld brought this divided world vividly to life in his three books. He was ably assisted in this task by the amazing accompanying illustrations from Keith Thompson. As I read the books I dearly wished for more of Mr Thompson’s work.
After reading Goliath I assumed it was all over. But it’s not — because August last year saw the release of The Manual of Aeronautics: An illustrated guide to the Leviathan series.
This book is a glorious showcase of Mr Thompson’s illustrations and Mr Westerfeld’s ingenious world — every page a full-colour glimpse into their imaginations. Clanker technology and Darwinist genetic creations are put on show, accompanied by some informational text. And the book concludes with a lovely quartet of portraits.
Whereas the illustrations were the accompaniment in the three novels, with this book it’s the other way around. Whilst you may only read the text once, the illustrations are worth going over and over again. So much beautiful detail!
If you liked the Leviathan novels and the world depicted therein, then YOU MUST get The Manual of Aeronautics.
Why not check out my reviews of the Leviathan trilogy:
Catch ya later, George
Check out my DVD blog, Viewing Clutter.
Latest Post: Blu-ray Review — My Neighbor Totoro