Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan Cover



This review applies to the audio book version of Leviathan.

First, the audio for this book is very well performed by Alan Cumming. I always think it's a success when the performer disappears into the background and the story and characters come to the fore. This was generally the case here. And the cast of characters certainly presents its challenges with German and British languages and accents for both men and women present in the story line.

The story takes place on the basic framework of real historical events leading up to World War I. However, this is a very different and unique re-imagining of events with genetically engineered animals (from the Darwinists) and amped up machines of war (from the Klankers) casting a fresh light on these European events.

The story follows the two young protagonists, Deryn Sharp and Prince Aleksandar as they move through their first inexperienced attempts at soldiering and leadership. The cast includes unique and well-drawn supporting characters and a compelling plot that moves forward at an engaging pace. This, my first experience with Westerfeld leaves me looking foward to more. Only on occasion did I find myself struggling to accept some of the character trajectories. In other words, I didn't always believe that Mr. Sharp (or another character) would behave in the way the story portrays. But this is far more likely to fall to my own internal sense of consistency and motivation then to an actual blemish on Westerfeld.

In short, this is a rousing tale of alternate history/steampunk well deserving of its awards nominations and postive reviews. Very enjoyable.