Title: Leviathan

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Summary: The first book in a new series by the author of Uglies is a fast-paced alternate history of World War I. The nations of Europe are divided: The Clankers favor mechanical, steam-powered fighting machines and the Darwinists use ‘fabricated’ living beasts created from manipulated DNA as their weapons.

On the eve of war, we meet Aleksandar, a headstrong prince sent into hiding after his parent’s assassination, and Deryn, an ambitious girl who has disguised herself as a boy in order to join the air corps. When Deryn’s ship, the immense blue whale called Leviathan, crash lands near Aleksandar’s hideaway a fantastic adventure begins. This exhilarating story is great for all readers, and is a terrific introduction to the alternate history and steampunk genres.

Who will like this book?: Fans of this popular author. People who like alternate histories and gadget-filled fantasy.

If you like this, try this: The sequel to this book, Behemoth. The Mortal Instruments series by Philip Reeve.  The Temeraire books by Naomi Novik.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Full Metal Alchemist


Title: Fullmetal Alchemist

Author: Hiromu Arakawa

Summary: Edward and Alphone (Al) Elric have been cursed ever since they tried to bring their mother back through transmutation. Edward has as an advanced-metal arm (automail) and leg, while Al is trapped inside a hollow suit of armor. The land they live is dominated by a military presence, ruled by the State Alchemists. When Ed is recruited, he and Al are drawn into a whirlpool of danger and discovery.

The Philospher’s Stone has the ability to make anyone the strongest person on earth – the catch is that it requires the death of hundreds of humans. The seven humunculi (the results of failed transmutations) are after the stone, as well as a mysterious Ishbalan named Scar. No doubt that Edward has joined the military at the right time: the country’s on the brink of another war between the Ishablans and the Military, the homunculi control the strongest people in the country like puppets, Scar’s on a killing spree, and Ed simply cannot get people to stop calling him short. Looks like it’s going to be another tough day for the Full Metal Alchemist.

Who will like this book?: It’s shonen (but I like it and I’m a girl). It’s kind of like action/fantasy. As depressing as the summary is–it’s a rather sad plot–there is a rather large amount of humor in it as well. Great for the violence & magic/alchemy lovers, and people who enjoy really in depth and twisting plots and historical metaphors, in this case World War II. (Note: Definitely not recommended it if you’ are strictly religious or don’t like stories that question or critique traditional Protestant/Christian ideas.)

If you like this, try this: Inuyasha, D.Gray-Man, Trinity Blood, Trigun, Phantasy Degree, Spiral, Black Cat, Hellsing.

Recommended by: ZZ, resident of Fairfield and avid reader