Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl 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 the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way - taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.
©2009 Scott Westerfeld; (P)2009 SImon & Schuster
Though I didn't dislike Westerfeld's book, I find that the writing style doesn't thrill me. I often found that I could guess where the story was going well before we got there. There was some interesting ideas but the execution of the plot was fairly mundane.
However, I would search out other books narrated by Alan Cumming. He offered a lot of colour to the voices of the characters and I really appricated his sense of pacing. Overall, very well done.
This is a hard question. I guess it depends on what my friends want a book. If they want some escapist storytelling, then this book does the job. I would also recommend this book to anyone who is interested in alternate history or steampunk. The imagry of the Darwin and Clanker "machines" is great.
However, I would not recommend this to my friends who enjoy "literature".
I read very quickly. Alan Cumming gives me a pace that ebbs and flows with a natural cadence to expand on what is written in the story. He also does very well giving personality to each character's voice.
Leviathan is the first part of a trilogy. As you finish the first book, it is clear that this was the intention of the author from the start. His formula for the book was quite obvious. I haven't finished the third book so I don't know if there are any plots left unresolved.
I enjoyed the book. The plot was fairly mundane but I found the imagery of the Darwin and Clanker machines worth the ride. I just finished Charles Darwin "Origins of Species" and have been watching Ted Talks on NetFlix. This book serves as an excellent "what if" story merging where we have been and where we could go as our society progresses.
Love to read, and love to hear a book read to me.
What a fun and inventive story, with engaging characters, and such an interesting take on the time period (WWI). Alan Cummings is an exceptional reader, which of course is no surprise. I really enjoyed this. I must read the sequel, Behemoth.
Alan Cumming does a fantastic job of performing this story. He has a great range of accents so you really get a sense of the characters when they speak. He effortlessly switches back and forth from narration to Scottish to German and back again. His narration is very nuanced, flowing very well.
The story itself lends itself very well to the audio format. Without getting into a lot of dense backstory or explanation, the author still manages to portray his fantastical alternate history of a British Empire based on genetic manipulation clashing with a steampunk "Klanker" German alliance for a new version of World War I. The story manages to stay "real" and grounded in its characters while staying true to its science fiction.
Accents, accents, accents! They were, if not true to life, exaggerated just enough to fit in with the story's sense of pulpy adventure (ala Indiana Jones).
"Not the World (War) You Know"
I loved this story. The characters might have had a little more depth to them, but for the most part I just loved it. The sheer creativity of the setting was wonderful. It was a fun ride from start to finish -- and the girl in the story kicked some butt without being cliche, which was a plus.
Alan Cumming's narration was perfection! He is definitely in my top picks for narrators along with John Lee and Jim Dale.
I down loaded this book after reading other reviews that applauded the story and narrator. I have to say, they were right. I loved this book and was quickly drawn into the plot and found myself engaged with the characters. Alan Cummings is one of the best narrators I have listened to and he was able to bring this story to life for me. At this point I have completed the other 2 books in the series as I had to find out how things progressed and ultimately how they would end. Excellent Series, would highly recommend. Don't let the alternate universe thing deter you, it just made me wonder...What if?
yes! couldn't stop listening
really identified with Darren, because she follows her dream in spite of cultural norms
He's mesmerizing. I don't know how he switches accents like he does so effortlessly and so convincingly!
I haven't actually finished listening to this story yet, but I'm enjoying the narration so much, I had to comment. So far, the story has been great fun - two very likable teenage protagonists and their adventures in the run-up to WWI. In this alternate history, the Austro-Hungarians have mechanized weapons like clankers, while the Brits have fabricated beasts (genetically engineered crossbreeds). If you like steampunk and modern European history, you should definitely enjoy this. And Prince Alec and Derryn Sharp (a Scottish girl posing as a young airman) should be a great hit with teens. But really, the best thing about this audiobook is Alan Cumming. He is stupendous. He nails all the different accents and conveys the characters' personalities so well through tone of voice -- and he reads the story with such obvious relish. It's a delight to hear. I want him to read ALL my audiobooks from now on. I might even like him better than Jim Dale and Stephen Fry. At any rate, he certainly joins them on my list of absolute favorite narrators.
I enjoyed this twist on WWI.
The Leviathan was my favorite. i thought it was a well thought out system.
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