Carnegie Long-List 2011
I believe that this is my first time reading a science-fiction book that is set in the past. It’s a very unusual case as science-fictions are usually about the future and how technology developed but this one is (according to the author’s note at the end) based on actual history! To be exact, it is an ‘alternative history’. It is an interesting combination of genres, but I must say that it didn’t make the book any more interesting. Although it helped me learn about World War I, the plot sagged in the middle and focused too much about technological terms. Also, though it is packed with action, it lacks tension and excitement. Here’s what it’s about:
When a famous peacemaker and his wife are assassinated in Serbia, it definitely means war. Especailly between the Darwinists and the Clankers. The Darwinists are those who rely on their beasts made of intertwining animals together, ever since the famous Darwin discovered the mystery of DNA and its mixing. The Clankers rely on their steam-powered war machines with steel hard covers and machine guns. Alek (on the Clanker side), son of the assassinated couple and future heir to the throne, runs away from his people on a big war machine with a few men under his command. On the Darwinist side of the war, Deryn, a girl disguised as a boy, is aboard a large flying ecosystem. It seems unlikely that their paths will clash, until Deryn crash lands on enemy territory, where Alek is hiding…
The idea of the book itself is very interesting but I was disappointed at how it did not live up to its blurb. It does have a sparkle in some points so it is not that bad of a book as I am describing, it just was not to my taste. I give it 8 stars and recommend it for ages 12+. I do recommend it for those sci-fi and historic lovers.