I make no hesitation to recommend the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. This is quintessential steampunk, and a good point for anyone wanting to get to know the genre and wanting to avoid the pitfall of simply gluing some gears on it and calling it steampunk. The blend of modern and futuristic technology set in a previous era’s aesthetic is wonderful, and this dramatic retelling of WW1 explores both actual history and the inventions that could have been in that world.
I read the series, and Megan got a copy of the Manual of Aeronautics for Christmas, and the pictures that had been drawn for Dr. Barlow didn’t quite fit what my mind saw, so I drew my own. I don’t consider myself the artist by any stretch of the imagination, but this image is closer to what I imagined. I apologize for the birdcage on the table. I spent most of my time in art class studying figure drawing.