Did you know I tried to put off reading the end of this book to pace myself? I lasted about an hour. '_' ...then I picked up the book, finished it, was 80 pages into the second book before I could stop myself (and then quiiiiite reluctantly I might add), and realize I totally skipped updating anything on GoodReads because it was so engrossing. *___* I'm telling you. These books. One sound: Hng!
I know that I should be saying something about the flawless writing or the countless unique terms applied in this impeccable story, let alone the beautiful and enchanting world-building that Scott Westerfeld does like a regular man breathes. And Keith Thompson. Oh... my... muffins. This man illustrates for the story. And he does the artwork for the inside covers. IT. IS. Fantastic! His artwork is down to earth, real with the traditional fantastical elements that make so many old books absolutely entrancing. His style is far more sophisticated than your everyday doodles and sketches done for mainly younger audiences. Yet it doesn't completely shy away from this aspect either. His work is a blend of the storyteller's appeal and a clockwork element that allows the true nature of Steampunk to come to life the moment you first set your eyes on his work. Between the two of them, Westerfeld and Thompson have made a fluid, breathtaking path through a world we thought we knew but, in actuality, are only just beginning to understand.
It's such a wonderful transaction. Besides being an engaging story about World War I, I love the fact that Scott Westerfeld actually took the time to sit down at the end of the book and write out what in the story was taken from actual facts and had happened, and what was made up by himself. I love how there were some things you knew, others taht he told how much he took the original idea from or took his own liberties with, and then others taht you could have sworn he had made up that ended up being true! For whoever's read the book: Tennis court, anyone? How EPIC was THAT?!
Overall, this is an excellent book. I know I haven't done it a bit the justice that it deserves with my rambling and ranting, but do yourself this one tiny favor:
Pick up the book. Read it.
It'll speak far better for itself than I ever could. The characters, the story, the action, the art, the suspense, the deception--everything. It's so, so, SO good. And so enjoyable and easy to read. Just pick up this book, anywhere you find it, and read it~!