The Manual of Aeronautics

An Illustrated Guide to the Leviathan Series
2012. 64p. 978-1-41697-179-5.
Gr 7 Up–Fans of Westerfeld’s “Leviathan” books (S & S) will already be familiar with the steampunk story that blends history with fantasy, as well as with Thompson’s amazing illustrations. The series begins in an alternate 1914 Europe, in which 15-year-old prince Alek (son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand) plays a key role in the war between the Clankers and the Darwinists. The Clankers use mechanized objects to do battle, and the Darwinists use genetically engineered beasts. The story takes place in a world in which objects that readers would usually expect to be inanimate, like ships, weapons, and even maps, are often living creatures. While the novels are mostly filled with Westerfeld’s narratives, interspersed with Thompson’s occasional black-and-white illustrations, Aeronautics puts Thompson’s artwork front and center, now in full color. Fans of the series will appreciate the intricately detailed pictures of the airship Leviathan, as well as beasts of all shapes and sizes, uniforms, weapons, vehicles, and people. This volume might also serve as a gateway for curious readers into the novels, or even to the history books so they can learn about what really happened during The Great War.–Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
This companion to the innovative steampunk Leviathan series takes a closer look--in full color--at the ships, fabricated beasties, machines, and clothing of the books' Clankers and Darwinists. Each expertly rendered illustration in this handbook is accompanied by a helpful description. A useful introduction to the series for new readers or an attractive keepsake for established fans.

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