Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, a Best Book for Young Adults
Aleksandar Ferdinand is a prince and heir to the throne — but that doesn’t mean a whole lot when your own people want you dead. On the eve of the Great War (WWI), the Austro-Hungarian Empire uses their Clankers, great steam-driven iron machines filled to the brim with guns and ammunition, while the British Darwinists get their fabricated animals ready for war.
Clanker Aleksandar is on the run with nothing but his clanker, a crew of loyal men, and an unknown payload to keep them alive — but he’s not the only one with something to hide. British Darwinist Deryn Sharp, a brilliant airman, has a secret as well… mainly, that she’s a woman hiding in an all-male navy.
The British Leviathan, the most formidable being in the sky, is a living airship — and it soon finds itself in the middle of more than its creators ever dreamed of it as a Deryn and Aleksandar, sworn enemies by country, cross paths, bringing them both on board the Leviathan and praying that the world as they know it does not fall into the Great War.
–Joe Kaufeld, Allen County Public Library Teen Advisory Board