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. (Goodreads)
Okay, I'll admit, I've put off reading this book for ages and ages. I love Westerfeld's work, his creativity, and his clean writing, but I knew this one was going to bug me. Why? Because I really couldn't get behind the whole using GMO animals in WWI. Yeah, my inner scientist seriously had a snit-fest. Does that make me a science-snob? I honestly can't help it... (I have always been curious what might have happened if Darwin and Mendel exchanged ideas during their day and how much further we might have advanced, but Mendel is totally left out of this book. Come on! He'd my historical science crush--don't leave him hanging!)
So, once I forced myself to get past the whole "this is so far-fetched and may happen in 100 years--from now" bit, I did enjoy the story. Westerfeld has a great way with pacing. Things are constantly happening, and WWI definitely provides a great backdrop for anything going on in Europe. Throw in a girl dressing as a guy to enlist, an escaping prince, and there's tension galore. And explosions--those are always good too :) If I can snag the other books used somewhere I'll probably read them, just because I'm curious (another of Westerfeld's talents), but I'm not dying to read on.
My questions for you: have you read this series? Ever read a book about something you know a lot about and have some serious issues about the way it's approached?
Also, I wanted to give a massive shout-out and THANK YOU to the awesome Stephanie over at Author Tracker. She reviewed both Colors Like Memories and The Chemistry of Fate in such a sweet way it made me cry. Check it out here and tell her hello!