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Leviathan Audiobook

Leviathan

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Publisher's Summary

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2128 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jaime 08-26-13
    Jaime 08-26-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Bought it for the Narrator, then Bought the Rest"

    I resisted buying any of the Leviathan books for years. Steampunk always seemed just too kitschy for my tastes. Then I saw that one of my all-time favourite narrators, Alan Cumming, had voiced the audiobook. I thought, 'okay, well, one can't hurt.' Ha. I forked over the cash for additional credits because I didn't have the patience to wait for a month to listen to the next two books in the series.

    Alan Cumming, as always, puts in an incredible performance. His natural Scots brogue gives life to Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy serving on the Darwinist air beast Leviathan, pride of the British Air Service. Just as easily, however, Mr Cumming switches to a German accent for the other main narrator, Alek, the Austro-Hungarian prince-in-exile. I'm not in a position to call it flawless (lacking the necessary ear for the language), but I certainly found it entirely believable. He even manages (in later books) to pull off a passable American accent, without going too far overboard, as is the wont of most Brits. But I digress. It is Mr Cumming's amazing vocal talents that truly bring this series to life. So much so that I couldn't imagine reading to books myself, not without his voice to waft me along in the telling. It is a rare narrator that can do that; I can't think of another one with that sort of compelling performance.

    Now, I DID say that I avoided the books on principle due to the genre, right? Yes, I will likely get hate mail for saying this, but steampunk, to me, always seemed to be trying too hard - 'what can I make even more complicated by tossing in a few gears?' Mr Westerfeld, I am pleased to say, mostly skirts all that, instead devising two amazing forms of 'technology' - Darwinist (which is to say, biological) and clanker (technological) - and then goes on to examine the natural divisions and strange unifications of these technologies, and applies geopolitical and historical understanding of the WWI era to the examination. It's not a book about the _technology_ (though it features prominently enough that some might be excused for thinking so), it's a book about history and humanity, seen through a radically different lens. If Mr Westerfeld should ever decide to write another book (or series!) set in this same world, my name will be at the top of the waiting list. I only regret that I waited so long to read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott A. Minar Chillicothe, Ohio United States 08-23-13
    Scott A. Minar Chillicothe, Ohio United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A steam punk, well plotted winner. Cummings rules!"
    What did you love best about Leviathan?

    Takes just a wee bit to take off (not long), but very well plotted, wonderfully read by Alan Cummings. You'll really like this a lot.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-20-13
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    "Good clean adventure book for a wide age range"
    If you could sum up Leviathan in three words, what would they be?

    Fun Clean Interesting


    Any additional comments?

    nice to read a youth fiction book that isn't all about hormonal relationships

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Lyme, NH, United States 06-30-13
    David Lyme, NH, United States 06-30-13 Member Since 2007
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    "One of the best-read audiobooks ever!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse United States 06-27-13
    Jesse United States 06-27-13
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    "Fairly good. Not too many complaints"
    Would you listen to Leviathan again? Why?

    Yes. It has a great alternate-history storyline. Fun setting and interesting take on Machine vs. nature.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I didn't have a favorite character. Maybe as the series progresses I'll find one that I'm attached to but not yet.


    Which character – as performed by Alan Cumming – was your favorite?

    I loved his accents. The Scottish accent and the Austrian accent were great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Sadly. It was good but had so much more potential.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 06-10-13
    Joey BREWER, ME, United States 06-10-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Alternative History meets SteamPunk - AWESOME!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greg 04-25-13
    greg 04-25-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great all-family listen"
    Would you listen to Leviathan again? Why?

    I'm not a re-listener, but my children have listened to it again more than once.


    What does Alan Cumming bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Alan Cumming is absolutely amazing in this experience. His pan-european accents were enjoyed by myself and my children. They have insisted for me to get more audiobooks that he has narrated.


    Any additional comments?

    Even though we have gone through many other audiobooks together, this series stands out with my children and me. We still repeat quotes to each other from this book from time to time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela georgetown, ky, United States 03-29-13
    Angela georgetown, ky, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Not Technically Steampunk, but still good."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I have friends that like other books by the same author that like alternate histories.


    Have you listened to any of Alan Cumming’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I really enjoyed it.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Driver Ann Arbor, MI USA 03-26-13
    J. Driver Ann Arbor, MI USA 03-26-13 Member Since 2014
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    "A Household Favorite!"
    What did you love best about Leviathan?

    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!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character is Deryn, the female lead.


    Have you listened to any of Alan Cumming’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    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?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Palo Alto Resident Palo Alto, CA 02-11-13
    Palo Alto Resident Palo Alto, CA 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Performer's Accents Hard to Understand"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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