by Scott Westerfeld
Published on September 20, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Historical, Steampunk, Young Adult
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Alek and Deryn are abroad the Leviathan when the ship is ordered to pick up an unusual passenger. This brilliant/maniacal inventor claims to have a weapon called Goliath that can end the war. But whose side is he really on?
While on their top-secret mission, Alek finally discovers Deryn's deeply kept secret. Two, actually. Not only is Deryn a girl disguised as a guy...she has feelings for Alek.
The crown, true love with a commoner, and the destruction of a great city all hang on Alek's next--and final--move.
The first thing I thought when I finished Goliath was “wow.” There is just something about Scott Westerfeld’s writing that captivates me from page one. Whether it’s the Uglies Seriesor the Midnighters Series, and even now with the Leviathan Trilogy, I’m hooked from page one. And although I wish this wasn’t the end of the story, Goliath was an excellent way to conclude this trilogy.
I’ll try not to reveal too much, although it may be a tad harder as this is book 3 in the series. Goliath picks up on the airship Leviathan with the two main characters, Deryn (a.k.a. Dylan) and Alek. World War I is still in full throttle and Prince Alek wants to stop it more than anything–even if it takes flying over Siberia and halfway across the world to do it. And Deryn just wants to fly which requires keeping her gender a secret from not only the crew but her best friend and ally, the prince. Between a false identity, adventures aboard the Leviathan, battles with Germans, and having feelings for the one person she can never be with, Deryn has her plate full. Meanwhile, the crazy Nikola Tesla is ready to stop the war with his weapon Goliath. With the ability to destroy cities, he thinks to use its publicity to end the war. If only it were that simple.
This book had the action I’ve come to expect from these books. From flying through thunderstorms on a living ship that could explode at any second, rebels-turned-movie producers, Goliath met my expectations and more. It was nice to see Deryn and Alek develop even more from their initial meeting in the mountains, to becoming friends, and finally to a partnership that not even the war and distance could destroy.
The steampunk genre is making more and more of a name for itself. The Leviathan Trilogy is a great example, showing the different takes on science and progress with the biological Darwinists and mechanical Clankers fighting w war set to change the world. The tension between countries, between cities, and between people of opposite sides creates a nice contrast that represents the two sides of the war well. It also makes the characters that much more interesting and multidimensional as Deryn is a Darwinist and Alek a Clanker (although he has a soft spot for a certain Darwinist creation named Bovril). All in all, a great read and I definitely recommend Leviathan and Behemoth .
I’m sure I’ll catch myself saying “Barking spiders!” over the next few days.
(And because I somehow overlooked this, here’s a BONUS GOLIATH CHAPTER!)