This is the first book in an excellent three-book series, telling a fantastical story of alternate history, set at the beginning of World War I. It's really about two unlikely heroes, a 14-year-old Austrian prince and a 14-year-old Scottish girl. They both harbor a deep secret, and the three books pair them as partners in one adventure after another. The story is fun, the alternate steampunk history engaging, but it's Alan Cumming's reading that makes these books so fantastic. As the sole reader, he nonetheless breathes life into the varied characters, with accents ranging from German (Austrian) to British (both aristocratic and workingman) to American to Russian to Arabic. I've listened to dozens of Audible books, literally, and Cumming may be the best reader yet!
Yes. It has a great alternate-history storyline. Fun setting and interesting take on Machine vs. nature.
I didn't have a favorite character. Maybe as the series progresses I'll find one that I'm attached to but not yet.
I loved his accents. The Scottish accent and the Austrian accent were great.
No. Sadly. It was good but had so much more potential.
The characters were often frustrating instead of endearing. I think that this will become less of a problem if the characters mature a bit. We'll see.
Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan is a wonderful book. I have read many books with alternative histories and 'Historical Fiction' - this one is one of the better ones. Throw in the steam (and diesel) punk alternative methods of powering technology and I find this book to be fascinating. I'm so excited by this that I'm already downloading the second book! The detail level is just right - believable but not over done. The performance, great. In short - if you like historical fiction, steam punk, or both, get this book!
Yes, I have friends that like other books by the same author that like alternate histories.
No, but I really enjoyed it.
Not strictly "Steampunk" this actually falls more inline with "Dieselpunk", both in function of the machines (using diesel as opposed to steam power) and in timeline. Steampunk is usually firmly in the Victorian era. The Great War and the Roaring 20's usually are Dieselpunk.
That being said, this was amazing alternate history that has quite a bit of science fiction. the characters are likeable and colorful.
The story is quite original. Scott Westerfeld has built an entire steampunk universe that is so interesting that my ten year old son now wants to study biologoy so he can be a Darwinist!
My favorite character is Deryn, the female lead.
I had never heard Alan Cumming previously do an audiobook, but he really makes the stroy and the characters come alive. Very nuanced and compelling voices for each of the characters. He even gets the American characters spot on.
In an alternate timeline, where animals are as man-made as machines, can one girl and one boy meet, fall in love and end World War I?
My California ears lost many of the German accented words especially when they were spoken softly. If it weren't for that I might have liked the story itself more.
Bought this book on sale and was not expecting too much. I was surprised. It was well written and very entertaining. The odd premiss was developed well and the characters were also well developed. I will definitely continue the series.
WWI What if?
The suspense of will the secrets be uncovered by others? or by him?
When she almost tells him.
Laughed out loud many times
I really enjoyed the The Uglies series, and this book did not disappoint. A little difficult to understand the "beasties" in the beginning of the book, but by the middle it all made sense. I'm starting the second book in the series right away.