Leviathan, Behemoth, and Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
The first of this trilogy is nominated for the 2011-2012 VSBA. I LOVED these books. I listened to them on tape; they are read by the incomparable Alan Cumming! If you choose to read them, listen to them on tape because his Scottish and Austrian accents make it so much more amazing. Since I was listening to them on tape, however, it took me a while to discover the amazing artwork in these books. If you do listen to them on tape, pick up a paper copy when you're finished so you can see what you missed. Also, SW's blog is also a very enjoyable place for fan-fic artwork.
These are just the kind of story that always possessed my imagination as a child: girl does boy things and people are amazed to discover that she is really just an amazing girl. Dylan (Deryn) Sharpe disguises herself as a boy to enter the British Royal Air Service in an alternative pre-WWI 1914. At the same time, Alek, the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (whose death really did start WWI), must flee his palace after his father's murder. The story unfolds in alternating chapters from both protagonists' points of view.
If you read it: Which character did you view as the protagonist?
General Question: What are some great books for listening to (because of accents or readers)? I liked The Help for the strong Southern accents and Tom Sawyer for the dialect. I like listening to books read by Alan Cumming, Juliet Stevenson, Donada Peters, and Davina Porter (all from the UK...go figure!)