Leviathan

By Scott Westerfeld
Read by Alan Cumming

The Leviathan Series: Book 1

8.27 Hours 10/06/2009 unabridged
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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 wayÉtaking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

Winner of the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Fiction

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 wayÉtaking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A tightly paced young adult novel set in an alternate version of the First World War and a welcome addition to the steampunk genre…The Darwinist and Clanker jargon crackles with an authentically techie feel.”  New York Times
“Westerfeld steadily builds a world that we soon accept as totally real and palpable. His inventiveness with the details of the competing imaginary technologies renders the rival paradigms sharp and bristly, with the complex stakes involved plain to see.”  Barnes & Noble, editorial review
“Gripping…The author’s fully realized world has an inventive lexicon to match—readers will be eager for the sequels.”  Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Westerfeld’s brilliantly constructed imaginary world will capture readers from the first page. Full of nonstop action, this steampunk adventure is sure to become a classic.”  School Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

by Jennifer 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Alternative history at its best

Having read this book before listening, I was worried I would miss the artwork that accompanies the print edition, but once Alan Cumming started speaking, I immediately found myself entranced and could vividly see the world Westerfeld creates without wanting to refer back to the printed pictures. It was far more fun to create my own version of this brilliant world. Alan Cumming is always a great actor and his voice is great for both Deryn and Alek, but Westerfeld does such a good job constructing this steampunk reality that his narration takes a backseat. If at all interested in alternative histories, get this audiobook. Be ready for a ride that will have you biting your nails with anticipation. The whole series is awesome!
by Samuel 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

An unexpected pleasure

From time to time I do enjoy a "young reader" listen (particularly the excellent City of Ember series, as well as His Dark Materials) but generally I don't expect too much in terms of story, setting, and character. Here is another fine exception to that expectation. "Leviathan" was amazingly brought to life here by Cumming, as we follow the stories of Aleks (a prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on the run for his life) and Deryn (daughter to a ballooner, she enlists in the British Air Services as a boy in disguise) at the outbreak of The Great War as set in a wonderfully detailed and re-imagined alternate history, where "Clankers" (steam-powered mechs) power the German forces, and crossbred animals (tiger-wolf hybrids to pull carriages, amazing engineered jellyfish and whale airships) are the basis of the "Darwinist" forces of England. All in all a thoroughly satisfying listen which I enjoyed immensely.

Author

Author Bio: Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld is the author of the Leviathan series, the first book of which was the winner of the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. His other novels include the bestselling Uglies series, The Last Days, Peeps, So Yesterday, and the Midnighters trilogy.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 8.27
Audience: Children (8–12)
Language: English