I was recommended this book by another teacher at my school. Her husband suggested it as a great steampunk!alternate history book of WWI.
Set in the ea...moreI was recommended this book by another teacher at my school. Her husband suggested it as a great steampunk!alternate history book of WWI.
Set in the early summer of 1914, "Leviathan" takes place in an alternate universe where in the 1800s Charles Darwin discovered DNA (called "life strands" in the novel) and began to experiment on them to create hybrids and crossbreed animals. In retaliation, other countries became more "mechanised", following the Japanese Anime style of 'mecha', mechanised warriors. These countries are divided by more than politics and borders.
In Britain, Scottish Deryn hides her gender and identity to join the British Air Force and somehow manages to find her way aboard the 'Leviathan,' the largest and earliest Darwinist creation of several living creatures to create a Zeppelin-type airship. Across Europe in Austria-Hungary, Prince Aleksander is awoken in the dead of night and kidnapped by four of his fathers' picks, unable to believe his parents have been assassinated in the dead of night...
The story follows both Deryn and Alek until the two finally meet in an exciting and well-thought out climax with a terrible ending that makes you reach for Book 2! The characters are well-written and their personalities change as their situations change and they grow up in the dawn of war. Political intrigue, mystery, sci-fi and fantasy, and even a bit of a stirring of romance keep you entertained for the 400+ pages this novel crunches out.
It is NOT a dull read. At all - this book is exciting in all the right places and anyone who has ever seen an episode of 'Gundam Wing,' 'Macross' or 'Neon Genesis' will be easily able to imagine the 'Clankers' that the industrialised countries have created, while fantasy fans will be able to picture the 'Beasties' the Darwinists crossbred.
A BRILLIANT alternate-history sci-fi series! 1632 begins with a small American "boom" town that has slowly watched its citizens leave and jobs slowly...moreA BRILLIANT alternate-history sci-fi series! 1632 begins with a small American "boom" town that has slowly watched its citizens leave and jobs slowly disappear from the community, leaving it feeling like classic boom town gone wrong.
A miraculous event then occurs - the Ring of Fire - and suddenly the Americans find themselves transported back to 1632 Germany, in the middle of the 100 Years' War.
Using their knowledge of the future, their technology, and their creativity, the Americans form a strong community and fight back against tyranny, the Spanish Inquisition, and general 17th-century war tactics while trying to carve out a bit of the "American way."
While generally not a fan of these 'gung-ho' types of novels, 1632 has a great sense of charm. You love the characters, particularly Mike Sterns (the leader of the Americans), Becky (the lovable cheerleader), and Alex, the bastard Scots general in King Gustav's unit. The plot, despite being a typical "sci-fi meets future" story, is well-written, intricate and has enough twists and turns to keep you interested and cheering the Americans on.
Downside? Can sometimes get bogged down with technobabble. (less)
Honestly, I HATED this book. Everything was great right up until about the end of it and I kinda went... "wow. Um, didn't expect that (and not in a go...moreHonestly, I HATED this book. Everything was great right up until about the end of it and I kinda went... "wow. Um, didn't expect that (and not in a good way)" and I ended up hating the author's idea of butterfly effect for the following spin-off series.
The characters are... alright. The plot, pretty good actually.
But the execution of both together? Things kinda got out of hand at the end of the novel with the 'battle' and the tribes in our modern-day Britain. The evil characters were just too evil and the good characters just too good. At least in 1632 people make mistakes and deal with them - here... not so much.
A good attempt at time travel with a populous, but... it didn't tickle my fancy.(less)
I certainly wouldn't say that this was the best book I have ever read - but I also wouldn't say that it lacked depth or interesting moments!
There was...moreI certainly wouldn't say that this was the best book I have ever read - but I also wouldn't say that it lacked depth or interesting moments!
There was a nice twist from Lydia's story, as well as Wickham's - but this novel was all about Darcy and Elizabeth and finding themselves after a "what if" scenario: what if Darcy told Elizabeth, upon that fateful ride into Meryton, just who George Wickham really was?
(view spoiler)[ The retelling of Pride and Prejudice was quite cleverly done, as was seeing some of the more infamous quotes periodically appearing in different - or similar - scenes from the original canon. There were nice nods to the original Austen text, as well as interesting twists and turns that the plot moved from. I did find there to be some historical anachronisisms that did bother me, including some of the language use and the book did often read like one very long romance novel (but sometimes not as nicely written as those lovely Regency texts).
Overall, I enjoyed the read. Would I read it again or something else of Ms. Adriani's? Probably not. She's a good writer, able to create interesting what-if scenarios and change the text around on its head to create a much more in-depth and suspenseful read, but since the plot was so familiar it was, at times a dull read and I did skip over some large chunks of the book.
She writes her characters well, but lacks in description of creating a vivid retelling of a Regency world that we, as readers, only know the basics of (probably, or the average reader would only know so much). She uses her vernacular nicely, but the plot points are often obvious and the overarching conflict of the novel - Wickham - was drawn on way too much. (hide spoiler)]
2 stars out of 5.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Wow - a really interesting take on the Marvel universe set in 1602. Not a re-write of the Marvel uni like you'd expect, it definitely presents some gr...moreWow - a really interesting take on the Marvel universe set in 1602. Not a re-write of the Marvel uni like you'd expect, it definitely presents some great twists and turns!
If you're not a super big Marvel fan, you'll need the extras at the back of the graphic to help you figure out who is who - because it doesn't just contain the X-Men universe, but the Avengers and Spiderman worlds as well.
A great story set to the backdrop of Queen Elizabeth's death, incorporating James's fear of the supernatural, the powers of the Marvel superheroes, as well as several other tidbits any history buff would like to see in a different light.
"The Midnight Palace" was the second of four of Zafon's "children's" collection. While not up to the standard that was "the Prince of Mists," MP did a...more"The Midnight Palace" was the second of four of Zafon's "children's" collection. While not up to the standard that was "the Prince of Mists," MP did add charm and mystery to a rather undeveloped locale and time frame. Set in Calcutta in the 1930s, the events of the story unfold over a two-day period and are filled with the same tragedy, charm, mystery, suspense and romance that all of Zafon's novel.
Easy to read and told with his usual poetic prose, Midnight Palace is 4/5.(less)
"Behemoth" is the second in Westerfeld's 'Leviathan' trilogy, a steampunk, alternative history to WWI. Picking up where "Leviathan" left off, "Behemot...more"Behemoth" is the second in Westerfeld's 'Leviathan' trilogy, a steampunk, alternative history to WWI. Picking up where "Leviathan" left off, "Behemoth" continues with Alek and Deryn onboard the Leviathan, heading to the Ottoman Empire, where the Austrians plan their escape. Alek makes new friends and enemies in the Empire, and he and Deryn even stage a revolution together.
I found 'Behemoth' to have a low start, especially for a jam-packed first novel that 'Leviathan' was; but the story admirably picks up and then hurtles down towards the climax. You feel for every character you meet, even the ones you don't like, and are eager to know where Alek and Deryn go next in the Leviathan as the story closes...
Westerfeld's writing of alternate history is fabulous as he ties in actual historical facts with the twists required for alternative history. Some tweaks and creative liberties are given, but overall the story is engaging and exciting to read.(less)
I read this book on two separate occasions, for both teacher training placement and thoroughly enjoyed it each time I read the short novel.
The book d...moreI read this book on two separate occasions, for both teacher training placement and thoroughly enjoyed it each time I read the short novel.
The book documents Dahl's childhood and his memories and experiences between his friends, family and schooling. It mentions antics and troubles he encounters around Cardiff and Radyr, and then further along in his life with Norway and his work experiences as a young adult.