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
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.
It's a YA novel, but a great one. The reader makes it even better. I enjoyed the tale much more than I should have as an adult. It's just fun. I try to point my students who are reading Hunger Games toward this excellent story. It has a wonderful female protagonist, plenty of action and amazing creativity.
I love the world of the book. The way things from actual history show up and make sense in a world of mad-science and general steam-powered coolness is so fun!
The characters are great, especially Deryn. She may start out like your typical
They were all fun, but Deryn is my favorite. My new favorite phrase is
I wish I could have listened to this one in one sitting and then listen to the next two right after.
The Leviathan series is great fun no matter what your age. It's also a great introduction to the world of steam-punk.
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