It’s a husband and wife double feature!
Oh, and I totally read these on the same day. Now THAT was some cognitive dissonance…
Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan
Steampunk ahoy! Deryn Sharp is a willful Scottish lass who, with a little help from her big brother, disguises herself as a boy and joins the army so that she can fly! See, even though it’s Great Britain in the early 1900s, England already has an Air Force made up of living “beasties” (that’s what Deryn calls them) that were developed by Charles Darwin. Who discovered evolution and DNA .
Meanwhile, young Alek, the product of a morganic marriage between the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and a commoner (meaning he can’t inherit) is awakened during the middle of the night by his tutors. They want him to learn how to pilot one of the Austrian army’s giant metal Stormwalkers under cover of darkness. Why? No reason! His dad just thought it would be a good idea for the kid to get in some nighttime practice while he and his mother were off in Prague!
Alek’s parents have totally been assassinated, y’all. Welcome to World War I, steampunk style!