Leviathan is a 2009 dystopian novel written by Scott Westerfeld and illustrated by Keith Thompson. First of a trilogy set in alternative version of World War I, it has Central Powers (known in-universe as "Clankers") using mechanized war machines opposed by Entente Powers (as "Darwinists") who fabricate living creatures genetically. The central protagonists are Aleksander, son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; and Deryn, a Scottish girl with dreams of joining the British Air Service with her brother. The sequels are Behemoth and Goliath.
Warfare technology used
Clanker machinesClankers made machines mostly large in order to have great effect
- Cyklops Storm-walker: a two-legged machine designed for combat. Alek and his men use one to escape to Switzerland.
- Zeppelin: a dirigible designed for air travel, transport and combat. The Germans use several to try and destroy the Leviathan.
- Dreadnought: an enormous land ship with side-mounted cannons. Essentially designed for combat, with a lower deck for its scouts, it can be used for travel thanks to its six legs.
- Aeroplane: a plane designed for air combat, used to attempt to take down the Leviathan.
Darwinist creationsDawrwinists created animal-weapons in order to do greater damage, have better agility.
- Leviathan: the name of a large, fabricated airwhale that Deryn and Alek travel on. It is a living ecosystem, using the whale cilia for flight, bacteria to make hydrogen, bees to make honey, and strafing hawks and fléchette bats for battle (see below).
- Minotaur: the name of an airship similar to the Leviathan where Deryn's brother Jaspert serves.
- "Huxleys": giant jellyfish-like creatures fabricated from the life threads of the medusa jellyfish. These creatures breathe hydrogen and are similar in function to hot-air balloons. Usually these are used to scout overhead. They are named after Thomas Henry Huxley, a renowned biologist known as Darwin's Bulldog for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
- Message lizards: fabricated lizards used aboard the Leviathan and other Darwinist creations and buildings. They only repeat what they hear.
- Strafing hawks: the Leviathan's main defence. When armed with acidic spider webs on their wings, they are capable of slicing through metal.
- Fléchette bats: bats fabricated with moth and mosquito threads. These bats are able to ingest and release metal spikes in "the usual manner".
- Hydrogen sniffers: dog-like creatures bred to sniff for hydrogen leaks on an airship.
- Kraken: a sea creature designed for ocean battles.
- Behemoth: a sea creature like a Kraken that is bigger and stronger.
- Elephantine: a large elephant like creature.