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Goliath by Scott Westerfield
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Goliath (edition 2011)

by Scott Westerfield

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965798,958 (4.15)143
Member:jolerie
Title:Goliath
Authors:Scott Westerfield
Info:Simon & Schuster Canada (2011), Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Public Library, Read 2012, Completed, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:YA, steampunk, last in series, WWII, New York, United States, Siberia, Germany, alliances, war, machines, beasties, creatures, heir, Tesla, weapon, romance, love, disguise, truth identity, lies, honesty, friendship, allies

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Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

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» See also 143 mentions

English (77)  Japanese (1)  German (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Romance and steampunk is what I’m assuming go hand in hand in most works of fiction, and although I always tend to hope that science fiction novels stay as far away from romantic sub-plots as possible, I found myself looking for the opposite in this instance.

This series in its entirety has received relatively great reviews, but one of my most trusted book recommenders found she didn’t enjoy the trilogy as much as many others have. This may have influenced my take from Goliath as I found myself a bit bored with the plot and the “shocking” revelations.

I found myself firstly disappointed that the loris did not have any major political turning points because, throughout the series, I was led to believe they would play a major role. The book didn’t hold any funny aspects as the predecessors had and many characters held no meaning as they had in previous books. Volger, for example, did not have any repercussions about the final decision Alek made in the book; I don’t believe that one bit! I found myself skim reading the last bits of the book when I pretty much predicted all the happenings.

The story itself seemed like it had such great potential, travelling to Japan and Siberia and America with a madman while Alek and Deryn fight political instabilities alongside the rest of the Leviathan crew. At the end of it all, I’m not sure if I can get behind the fact that the privileged Prince Aleksander, who has always cared so much for Austria, basically threw away all his responsibilities.

One of the greater aspects was the first half when Deryn deals with the consequences of being found out from different people. I admire her for thinking far ahead with all her options and not letting her developing feelings take charge of her decisions.

So the book started off quite promising but lost me when characters started doing things they probably wouldn’t have done and the writing became too descriptive which is when I lost interest. I still think the drawings were perfect and a great aid to the storytelling, no doubt. ( )
  bubblyair | May 10, 2015 |
Continues in the same vein as the others, enjoyable. There is a nice afterward by the author, describing the actual events of the time. ( )
  themulhern | May 8, 2015 |
Westerfeld skillfully balanced the emotional development of the characters with the action-packed finale of the trilogy, all the while providing a satisfying amount of detail about the fantastic creatures and machines in this alternate historical reality. ( )
  TrgLlyLibrarian | Feb 1, 2015 |
Goliath is the conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy, an alternate-history WWI steampunk YA adventure series in which Franz Ferdinand’s fictional heir Alek attempts to stop the ongoing war while travelling around the world on the living British airship Leviathan, assisted by able young cadet Dylan Sharp – actually Deryn Sharp, a boy in disguise. Goliath greatly expands the scope of the story, with the Leviathan travelling across Siberia and Japan, crossing the Pacific and eventually reaching North America. It’s probably objectively the best book of the series.

Unfortunately I found the trilogy as a whole underwhelming. It’s competently written, and Westerfeld clearly has a marvellous imagination, but much of it too often feels like a publisher’s ideal YA series rather than something more original or daring. We check off all of the following cliches: noble child on the run learning to live amongst common people, girl who dresses up like a boy to serve in the military, fetishisation of British naval service, scheming journalists and foolish millionaires, an inevitable romance between the two leads, and cute animal sidekicks which eventually prove irrelevant to the plot. And the alternate history setting, which was put to good effect in Leviathan and Behemoth, becomes tiresome in Goliath, as Westerfeld takes us on a roll call of all the era’s famous figures. Nikola Tesla is integral to the plot and is put to good use, but by the time the Leviathan went on a Mexican detour purely, it seemed, for the purposes of meeting Pancho Villa, I was starting to get annoyed.

I suppose what I didn’t like about the Leviathan trilogy was that it never really surprised me. Can’t we have YA fiction where the main leads don’t fall in love just because they’re of the opposite sex? Can’t we have strong roles for female characters that don’t involve putting on trousers and doing boy stuff? Can’t we have characters’ fears about punishment or consequences actually realised, instead of everything turning out OK at the end of each book? We can, of course, and there’s plenty of YA fiction out there that does that (I feel like a broken record going on about Philip Reeve, but I’m also thinking of John Christopher – who, to be fair, had the benefit of writing YA fiction before the term itself was invented by publishers as a marketing angle). And I don’t want to suggest that genre subversion is a mandatory prerequisite for successful YA fiction. I’m just trying to put my finger on why, despite many points in its favour, I found the Leviathan trilogy ultimately unsatisfying.

Anyway, that’s just my take. Although I think it’s true that nobody’s ever too old to read YA fiction it’s also important to remember that I’m no longer the genre’s target audience. If you’re looking for fun young adult fiction, or are stocking a school library or your kid’s Christmas stocking, by all means give this series a try. I thought it was okay, and a lot of people loved it more than me. ( )
1 vote edgeworth | Dec 2, 2014 |
This is the first steam punk title I've read, so it took me A WHILE to wrap my mind around what was happening. But once it "clicked"--WOW! With issues ranging from gender identification to the ethicality of genetic engineering, this series is both entertaining and substantial. ( )
  CrystalAntoinette | Oct 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Westerfeldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thompson, KeithIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cumming, AlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosamilia, MikeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sammy Yuen, Jr.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To everyone who loves a long-secret romance, revealed at last.
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"Siberia," Alek said. The word slipped cold and hard from his tongue, as forbidding as the landscape passing below.
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Alek and Deryn encounter obstacles on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek's throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love.

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