Goliath is written by Scott Westerfeld and was published in 2011 by Simon Pulse. It is the third and final book in the Leviathan trilogy (my reviews of the first two books, Leviathan and Behemoth, can be found here and here, respectively). Westerfeld’s website can be found here.
Genre: Steampunk, Middle Grade(ish)
“Alek and Deryn are aboard 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 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.”
“She and Newkirk were over the straightaway now, safe from treetops. The Trans-Siberian Trailway was one of the wonders of the world, even Alek had admitted. Stamped flat by mammothines, it stretched from Moscow to the Sea of Japan and was as wide as a cricket oval—room enough for two bears to pass in opposite directions without annoying each other.
Tricky beasties, ursines. All last night Mr. Rigby had regaled Newkirk with tales of them eating their handlers.”
“All the other instruments had come to life, filling the theater with light. The glass tubes were filled with rainbows of color, the metal spheres covered with a thousand needles of electricity. The antennae on Klopp’s black box had erupted, sending shoots of lightning climbing up them, only to sputter out in the air. The officer at the telegraph still tapped away, the buttons on his coat alight with tiny sparks.
Gradually the countless fingers of light began to align, all of them pointed to the left. Deryn could feel the hairs on her head pulling in that direction.
“North-northeast,” Dr. Barlow muttered. “Directly toward New York, by great circle.”
“As you can see,” Tesla cried above the buzzing, “I am able to control the currents in this room, even from ten thousand kilometers away. Imagine a thunderstorm brought to heel at such a distance. Or even the electrical charges of the earth’s atmosphere itself, focused and aimed like a searchlight!”
Warnings: None, except some mentions of kissing.
Recommended Age Range: 12+
What I Liked:
This book really focused much more on the romance aspect, but it still had a lot of fun steampunk action, shenanigans, and cool gadgets. The perspicacious loris is as perspicacious as ever. Deryn and Alek’s relationship was well handled; it didn’t grow too fast or come out of nowhere. Deryn said one corny line in the middle and Alek said one really corny line right near the end, but other than that, it was fine. I forgot how old the characters are (sixteen, maybe?), so I have nothing to say about their relationship in light of their ages.
The map wasn’t as cool as the first two, but it still had some cool-looking things on it, like the eagle.
Illustrations=awesome. I noticed them a lot more this time; there always seemed to be an illustration that went along with a really action-heavy scene, which really cemented that scene in my mind.
What I Didn’t Like:
I didn’t really like the ending in regards to Goliath and Tesla. Not what happened to those two, but to what really happened in Siberia. Westerfeld was basing it off of true events, of course, but for some reason I just didn’t like it.
Goliath is a great finish to an overall great series. Fans of steampunk will definitely enjoy these books, as will anyone who enjoys action, a tiny bit of romance, or simply the girl-disguised-as-a-boy plot point (Bloody Jack, anyone?).
Coming Up Next: Ashfall by Mike Mullin