Leviathan Audio CD – Import, 6 October 2009
About the Author
Alan Cumming is a Tony Award-winning actor whose theater credits include Cabaret, The Seagull, Hamlet, and The Threepenny Opera. His films include the Spy Kids trilogy, The Smurfs, The Anniversary Party, X2: X-Men United, Goldeneye, Emma, Circle of Friends and Eyes Wide Shut. On television he has appeared on The Good Wife, Sex and the City, Frasier, Third Rock From the Sun, The L Word, and many more. He has also written a novel, Tommy's Tale, and released an album, A Bought a Blue Car Today.
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- ASIN : 0743583884
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (6 October 2009)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 7 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780743583886
- ISBN-13 : 978-0743583886
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Item Weight : 191 g
- Dimensions : 13.02 x 2.54 x 14.61 cm
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Top reviews from India
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One night while his parents are away, Alek is pulled out to practice his Stormwalker skills -- only to find that his tutors are actually smuggling him out of Austria to Switzerland. His father the archduke has been assassinated, and all of Austria and Germany wants Alek dead. His only hope is for a Stormwalker and a small band of loyal men to smuggle him into Switzerland.
In England, a young Scottish tomboy named Deryn Sharp wants to join the Air Corps... except they don't allow girls in. Disguised as a boy and renamed "Dylan," she joins the British air forces -- and after a freak accident with a floating hydrogen-breather, she finds herself on the vast floating ecosystem known as the Leviathan, the British Empire's greatest airship. And as their newest middy, she ends up being the personal cabin boy to the mildly odd Dr. Nora Barlow and her secret cargo.
But when the Leviathan is shot down by German planes, it crash lands on a Swiss glacier... right near where Alek and his men are hiding. And when Alek goes to take them medical supplies, he finds himself taken prisoner by Deryn -- especially since it's obvious he's hiding who he really is. Now both the Clankers and Darwinists must reluctantly join forces -- because if they don't, they'll never escape the approaching German walkers.
Steampunk weapons, exploding walkers, icy glaciers, political subterfuge, a snow-encrusted castle, and a giant living ship filled with talking lizards and metal-munching bats. Not many authors could pull off such a brilliantly wonky book as "Leviathan," and while the set-up of the floating whale-airship is a little far-fetched (how do those messenger animals work again?), Westerfeld manages to spin up a truly brilliant fantasy story.
The first half of the story is split between Deryn and Alek's respective journeys, one a grimy desperate quest across Austria, and one a lighter story about taking to the skies. But the plot really takes off when the Leviathan crashes next to Alek's castle, and from there the story becomes all about the uneasy alliance between the refugee Austrians and the desperate British.
And Westerfeld sprinkles the story with plenty of plot twists, mysteries and political plots within the Hapsberg family, as well as the contempt that both Clankers and Darwinists have for each other's machines (including "ungodly"). There's also a healthy dose of fiery action -- lots of explosions, machine gunning, zeppelins erupting into flames, and lots of other fun stuff.
But the real focus is on Alek and Deryn, and their friendship, which might end up turning into something more. They're likable characters with realistic flaws -- Alek can be a bit stuck-up, but he's generous and selfless; Deryn can be reckless in a tough situation, but she's also loyal, smart and skilled. And Westerfeld fleshes out the cast with some excellent supporting character, such as the stressed-out Klopp and Volger, or the intelligent and mysterious Dr. Barlow.
Scott Westerfeld's steampunk debut is a richly-imagined, well-written story that leaves the door wide open for a sequel, and leaves you hungry for whatever Alek and Deryn encounter next. A brilliant book.
Top reviews from other countries
I tore through this imaginative, well-written book, and before I realised it, I had to buy book two in the series...
In this universe, it seems as if the conflict will be between the Clankers, with their diesel-driven walkers and zeppelins, and the Darwinians with their genetically engineered beasts. The usual political reasons for the war are in place as well, but the differing approaches to war machines really help the sides to stand out.
We have two protagonists; the first is the orphaned son of Franz Ferdinand, the second a Scottish girl masquerading as a boy within the Air Force. Their voices are distinct, their situations opposing enough to be equally exciting.
The Leviathan of the title, a vast living airship, is a great setting, and while this is obviously an introductory adventure, the world Westerfeld has created is fascinating enough to power a dozen such books.
Westerfield is a master at penetrating the adolescent mind, and his young heroes and heroines are so convincing, you can hear them speak in your head as you read. I particularly loved Deryn, the young Scottish girl who wangles her way into the air force. With her Amy Pond-style feistiness, young actresses from north of the border would kill for a role like this. Her kindred spirit from the opposing side is Alex - and he, too, has star quality as he quickly has to come to terms with loss.
The writing is masterful: direct, muscled, vivid. This powerful novel (and yes, it is a novel) is the first in a tour de force series that proves that teen literature isn't just for teens. As if all this weren't enough, the darkly menacing and atmospheric illustrations by Keith Thompson clinch the deal. At home, we gobbled up Leviathan, followed by Behemoth and now we're fighting over Goliath with greater urgency than when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out.
Leviathan. It's big.