Dec 1, 2011

Book Review: Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Keith Thompson

by Scott Westerfeld
illustrated by Keith Thompson
9781416971771, $19.99, Simon & Schuster

The completely-lives-up-to-it-thank-god conclusion to the Leviathan trilogy! For my review of Behemoth, book 2 in the series, click here.

 Mr. Westerfeld & Mr. Thompson continued to do a magnificent job of giving us both text and pictures to illustrate this alternate world history. It's a little difficult to write about this book without spoilers but I'm going to try.

At the opening of the novel, Alek & Dylan/Deryn are still aboard the Leviathan, making their way toward Japan to wave the British flag. Redirected to Siberia for a rescue mission, they meet the fanatical scientist, Mr. Tesla, the inventor of the Tesla cannon that did so much damage and created such a problem for Alek & Dylan/Deryn at the end of book 2, Behemoth.

Mr. Tesla claims to have created an enormous Tesla cannon, named Goliath; he predicts the mere threat of using this super-weapon will cause the Germans to surrender and will herald the end of the war. Alek believes it is his destiny to work toward peace, so feels he must side with Mr. Tesla, despite whatever misgivings Alek and Dr. Barlow, the lady boffin, have about him and whether his weapon even works. Dylan/Deryn has her own misgivings, but mostly she's concerned about continuing to keep her identity a secret from Alek who is not only her best friend, but who she definitely has romantic feelings for.

With Mr. Tesla taking over the direction of the Leviathan, they all find themselves on their way to America by way of Mexico. The land of opportunity awaits - opportunity for fame, opportunity for fortune, and opportunity for secrets to be revealed. No matter where they go, even to neutral America, the crew and guests of Leviathan can't seem to outrun the war. When Alek and Dylan/Deryn are separated and danger befalls them both, they both must make hard decisions about who and what is most important - duty, honor, promises to themselves, or promises to each other?

Readers who are looking for a true conclusion to the series should be 100% satisfied. Exciting up to the very last page, Goliath truly delivers. While I'm clamoring for more, it is simply because the author and illustrator have created such a complete alternate world that I believe there could be many more books written in this setting.

Watch a trailer for the book that began the series:

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