Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld
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.
While the story, which uses real persons and events from WWI, is riveting, full of adventure and features a spunky hero and heroine, one of the most fun parts about reading Leviathan is the language.
Westerfeld has created a believable and catchy set of slang words that are required for a stint on the Leviathan, and indeed, in real life.
We can all be Deryn Sharps with this kind of vocabulary. For example:
1. Blister. You can use blister, much like certain swear words, in many ways. “Blister this.” “What in the blisters did he do wrong?
2. Barking. Much like blister, barking is used in many ways aboard the Leviathan. “Barking Germans.” “Barking clankers!” (Machines.) And one of my favorite lines from Leviathan: “Barking hard work, being a boy.” LOL
3. Clever-boots/Fancy-boots. As you might guess, an intelligent and/or impressive person, who might possibly be a little bit pompous about his or her cleverness/fancy-ness.
4. Bum-rags. A stupid person. Bum-rag definitely paints a picture for the insulted and random passersby.
5. Clart. Another word for the s-word that rhymes with chit. In the beginning of the book, Deryn’s older brother is described as having a “clart-eating grin” on his face. Another one of those paint-pictures-with-words slang.
Find out more about the second book in the Leviathan Series, Behemoth here. The third book in the series, Goliath, will be out in October 2011.