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by Scott Westerfeld; Keith Thompson

  Print book : Fiction : Secondary (senior high) school  |  First Simon Pulse hardcover edition

The Rousing Finale to the steampunk series   (2011-09-28)


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by charlesroth

"Barking Spiders!" The 3rd and final installment in Scott Westerfeld's steampunk trilogy only multiplies the creativity, plot complications, romance, and epic adventure of the first two books. The exiled prince, Alek, and the diguised girl/midshipman Deryn/Devyn continue their adventures in a World War I reimagined as a war between steam based machines, the "Clankers," and evolved Bio machines, the "Darwinists."

For me, the best part of the book is the way Westerfeld so skillfully weavest together actual history and people with alternate history and pure imagination. The result is the strongest of the three books. It's also a valuable history lesson not only on war and World War I, but the place of women in society and the role of technology.

These "life strands" are cleverly woven into the texture of a non-stop plot full of plenty of surprises and unexpected twists. The romance is handled well and the ending perfect.

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