I was a little hesitant about picking up Leviathan, because I wasn’t a fan of Westerfeld’s Uglies series. It didn’t grab my attention as much as I thought it would. I decided to pick up the audio for Leviathan, because my commute had just been extended by 40 minutes, and I discovered that Alan Cumming was the reader.
I’m a sucker for anything Steampunk, so I was intrigued from the get-go. I immediately fell in love with the story. It was richly detailed, and the world that Westerfeld constructed was one that I couldn’t even begin to imagine. Cumming did a great job giving the characters their own voice throughout. It’s the first in a young adult fiction trilogy set in an alternate version of World War I, wherein the Central Powers (Clankers) are characterized by their use of mechanized war machines, while the Entente Powers (Darwinists) are characterized by their use of living creatures evolved specifically for war. In the middle of it all there is Deryn and Alek, 15-year old vulnerable sweethearts who only want to do what's right. Both are very new to the ways of the worlds they've been thrust into: Deryn, the floating home of the airshipmen; Alek, the politics of being the heir to an empire.
I even loved the instrumental music that was at the beginning of each disk! It fit the story perfectly, and it didn’t feel like it was a piece that was either picked and thrown in or rushed just so they could have something. The only thing that I had an issue with was discovering that the book has illustrations and obviously, you can’t see the pictures when you’re listening! I quickly grabbed the book and looked at the pictures. They helped solidify what I was imagining- Westerfeld redeemed himself in my eyes with this series! I couldn’t wait for the next one, Behemoth!