A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{May 31, 2011}   Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Plot:  Alek and Deryn continue their adventures abord the living airship Leviathan in Westerfeld’s steampunk version of World War 1. While flying over Siberia the ship rescues the mad scientist Nikola Tesla. Tesla claims that his electrikal device, Goliath, can end the war. But in order to accomplish his aims he will need to reach New York before the Germans can catch him and Alek is determined to help him.

This review is based on an Advanced Reader’s Copy received from Simon & Schuster at Book Expo America.

I had the great pleasure of meeting and having tea with Scott Westerfeld while I was at Book Expo America. I somehow managed not to gush like the fangirl I am. He’s a wonderfully nice and interesting man and I was thrilled by my luck. Still, even if he’d been horrid, it couldn’t have ruined the pleasure of this book. The Leviathan series has been consistently beautiful, fascinating and exciting with deeply human characters caught in impossible situation. And the final volume does not disappoint. I was riveted from the first page and the conclusion was very satisfying.

All the characters we have grown to love return. Alek and Deryn’s relationship continues to develop despite all the difficulties caused by Alek’s royal status and Deryn’s crossdressing. It’s really a strong, beautiful friendship slowly deepening into something more and that is the kind of romance that I love to read. Meanwhile a whole slew of new characters, historical and not join the cast. But of them Tesla really steals the show (both for the readers and within the world of the novel). He is unpredictable, showy and quite frankly insane.

In the afterword Westerfeld offers some fascinating historical tidbits to help us navigate through the historical fact and fiction in his novel.

Finally the art is breathtaking. Fans of Keith Thompson’s work will be glad to know that a Leviathan artbook is currently in the works.

Goliath goes on sale in September 2011.

Challenges: Futuristic/Sci-Fi Challenge (5), YA Historical Challenge (6)


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