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Audiobook Reviews - Leviathan, Anthem, and Water for Elephants

Updated on August 31, 2014

The Audiobook Review

The Audiobook Review is a series of articles for anyone looking for good audiobooks to listen to. Each issue contains three reviews. Today's audiobooks are novels for teenagers and adults.

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld

Young Man in a Yellow Robe
Young Man in a Yellow Robe | Source

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld, and the sequel, Behemoth

Audiobook Review: Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld

Generally speaking, I love reading young adult novels. Leviathan, however, is of a genre I usually don’t delve into -- steampunk.

Steampunk is uber-popular with the kids these days.

Earlier this year I read Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series - and loved it! The books were imaginative and the characters believable and well-developed. I mentioned that to online friends and was told by a young woman that Leviathan was much better. Naturally I wanted to read it too.

A month ago I did just that... via audiobook. I am sorry to say I was not as fond of it as my friend, but I believe that she, as a member of the younger generation, is probably more qualified than I to say what is popular with young people today.

Leviathan’s characters didn’t seem as lively and ‘bubbly’ as those in the Uglies series -- but then, why should they? The Leviathan crowd were in the midst of war.

It starts with the young prince, Aleksandar, in his lofty palace, enjoying the life of luxury. Suddenly his servants waken him and say he’s to go on an unexpected trip. They entice him out of his chamber with the offer of piloting a Cyklop Stormwalker. This is a huge walking machine of war.

Along the way to the border he encounters similar machines that want to do him in. Eventually he encounters Leviathan, which flies.

Altogether it is a good read - I’d say, especially for teenage boys who might be more fascinated by steampunk than I was.


Are you wondering what steampunk is? Well, you'll get a huge dose of it in Leviathan!

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that includes alternate history and speculative fiction in the era of steam.

Leviathan is indeed an alternate history - imitating the events leading into World War I. The machinery used, however, is oddly evolved.

Leviathan - the book trailer! This gives a very good feeling for what the book is like!

Anthem, by Ayn Rand

Next audiobook: Anthem, by Ayn Rand

This is an absolutely touching novella by the princess of objectivism, Ayn Rand. It is short - an afternoon’s delight, and I highly recommend it to all, young or old alike.

Equality 7-2521 was raised in a suppressive future society. He's subject to compulsory labor conscription just like everyone else in the civilization. At the beginning of the book he's waiting to find out what his role in life will be. The job he is given is... well, not exactly what he's best fit for -- but he deals with that and finds ways to thrive anyway.

The first twenty minutes of this audiobook is an introduction. You'll learn how the novella's name came to be, and problems Ayn Rand had in having it published. Then there's a forward by the author.

There are at least three audiobook versions. I purchased the one narrated by Christopher Lane and very much enjoyed his reading. I will listen to this precious story again and again. This is one I'll want to listen to at least once a year.

Meet Ayn Rand and learn something about objectivism

Next audiobook: Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen


Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Welcome to the circus! If you choose this audiobook you’re on your way to join a rag-tag group of traveling circus workers. Get on the train and enjoy the ride!

This is an exceptionally well-written audiobook - for adults, not teens!

A young veterinary student learns of his parents’ deaths just before his senior year finals. In deep shock, he leaves school to endure his trauma elsewhere.

He jumps onto a passing train and finds out the other hobos are actually working for a circus. They get him a job and off he goes for the adventure of a lifetime. Though he had no official degree, he was accepted as the circus veterinarian and as such, given an exalted spot in the hierarchy of circus society.

No spoilers here, so I can only say read or listen to the book if this sounds interesting. It is a fascinating look behind the scenes of the bigtop crew on a path few of us have taken.

This book was made into a movie!


Thank you for coming by to visit this hub: Audiobook Review #2: Leviathan, Anthem, and Water for Elephants!

Prior issue:

Audiobook Review #1: Room, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Glass Castle


Audiobook Review #3: Hillinger's California, Siddhartha, and St. Iggy

This is the MP3 player I use to listen to audiobooks while I'm out walking.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)
SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)

There's a newer version of this MP3 player, but I really love this one. It is the second one I've owned. My first one (pink) lasted three years... then the screed went white... I don't know why. It took a lot of abuse including being washed, being dropped, etc. and always came back. Then suddenly after three years it quit working. Well, no problem, because these are relatively inexpensive. I also bought a Sansa Clip which clips onto my clothes, but I really like this one better as the internal battery lasts longer.


Your comments are welcome!

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    • Petrov profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the great reviews.

    • LindaJM profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Jo Martin 

      8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      We have a long drive to get from civilization to our home in the remote wilderness, and an audiobook always helps pass the time. I also listen to them while gardening, doing housework, walking, and at night while going to sleep! They definitely do make life more interesting!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks for the great reviews. Audio books come in real handy on a long drive. On one trip home from camping up north, when we were feeling tired and missing our lovely camp world, having an audio book and following the story made all the difference!


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