From the dust jacket- Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men. Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
Review- This book is very interesting and fun and has been on my TBR pile for far too long. The two main characters, Deryn and Alek, grow from the beginning to the end of the story and I look forward to seeing where they go. The chapters go from one viewpoint to the other in two chapters at a time from Alek to Deryn. The side characters help strengthen the story and make Alek and Deryn more solid in your mind. As far I know there is no magic everything is science based from the beasts of the Darwinist to the walkers of the Clankers just science. The illustrations help make the chapters and inside both covers is a beautiful map of Europe with all the nations personified as either Darwinist or Clanker. The action scenes are fast and intense but the only downside is that I did not believe that any of the main characters were in danger. That is the only real problem with the story is that I did not believe that anything really bad was not going to happen to the main characters. I am not sure why that is, maybe because I know that Alek and Deryn will live to the end of the trilogy. That maybe not be a bad thing but it definitely toned down the tension for the book. But other than that the book is very good, the prose is strong and so very readable. I would read a 100 pages before I knew it so I flew through this book. Westerfeld is doing good things for the Steampunk genre and I think that he is giving it a good, strong voice. So if you are looking to get into Steampunk I would start here.
I give this one Four out of Five Stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money a very long time ago.