Violet's Reviews > Goliath

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
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** spoiler alert ** I can’t believe that it’s finally over. I’ve been reading and Leviathan book during October for three years. What am I going to do now that it’s all over?! But that’s not to say that this ending wasn’t satisfying.

But let me not get ahead of myself. I think I’ll start with the beginning: the cover. I know I’ve said it before in the last review, but I would like to say it again. These new covers are not my favorite. Not only are they not a gorgeous as the first version, the models that are supposed to be Alek and Deryn look nothing like how they are portrayed in Scott Westerfeld’s words and Keith Thompson’s brilliant illustrations and that just irritates the hell out of me. Covers matter, and for me they don’t do the book justice.

That leads me to another important point: the illustrations in question. They are still completely and utterly magnificent. So detailed, so imaginative, so just plain wonderful! They really make the world of the Leviathan series come alive. And the great thing is that I heard somewhere that they might come out with a book with just Thompson’s drawing of the layout of the Leviathan, the cities and more. I would love it if that happened, and totally run to the book store and eagerly snatch me up a copy as quick as I could. He is one of my favorite illustrators I do have to say.

Okay, now to the actual content of the book. I have to say I never believed that the Goliath was the reason for the fallen trees in Serbia. I at first suspected and then knew for sure that it was all caused by a meteor, because I knew that in the real world a meteor did actually hit a part of Russia during the turn of the century. It’s the only modern meteor strike in history, and I remember seeing pictures of it on Sunday Morning (the news program) and it was exactly what was described in the book. So I wasn’t fooled for a second. Sorry Scott, I’m too smart for you little trickery. But I do have to say I was surprised that Tesla was able to get so much acclaim and make the Goliath’s power so believable. So I’ll give you credit for that.

Speaking of Tesla…I absolutely loved the fact that he put him in the story. I just thought that the only real mention of him would be in the second book as the inventor of the Tesla cannon, but no, he had to actually become a part of the plot! That was so cool! I just love Tesla as a character, fictional, and real. He’s just such an interesting historical person. And this portrayal of him is not the only one that I’ve encountered, but this one was definitely a neat version. Well done.

But Scott didn’t stop there with the historical references. He went all out on this book, trying to fit as much as he could of his version of history as possible, making the plot take place on a grander scale. You could tell that he had a good time with it and that he really does love history. But was the great thing was that all this didn’t seem crammed in there. It was all done very well. And it was extremely cool to learn more about the world of the Leviathan. He answered my questions about how Japan, a Darwinist country, could’ve joined the Clankers in the Second World War. It’s because, like the US, Japan was a combination of the two, which I thought was a nice touch. And then there’s the US itself. I found it really interesting how the South is more Darwinist and the North is more Clanker and how the split really happened during the civil war. It makes so much sense! And then there’s Mexico, which is Darwinist but with German backing (all inspired by the Zimmerman Telegram, the real reason why the US entered WWI). From all this you realize that Scott Westerfeld’s world is very well thought out. He takes in account so much and fits the history and the world into his model so perfectly, creating an utterly brilliant and believable universe that you know couldn’t have dreamed up in a million years. God, I love that author.

Now to zoom into one exact part of that world: an annoying little pain in the arse reporter named Eddie Malone. God how I really dislike that man. He’s so nosey and so much of a problem to our main characters that I just want to strangle him sometimes. I had a feeling that he might show up again in this book (they’re going to America and he is American after all), but I didn’t realize how much trouble he was going to be! You know who he reminds me kind of? Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter. I mean Eddie Malone is not as bad as her, but he is equally annoying. Damn them fictional reporters!

Alright, now to another part of this amazing world: The Zoological Society. It’s sort of a secret society or a “scientific charity” that does things to protect peace and the British Crown. You know the usual. Dr. Barlow is a part of it, and you could a lot of other influential people are in it too. Sort of reminds me of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in a way. And I guess it is Scott’s version of it. But that’s just it. It’s his version, so it’s not extremely similar, but it sounds equally as awesome.

Okay, I guess there’s really no more avoiding it. I have to talk about the romance sooner or later. While I wasn’t all that into that part of the novel (hard to believe, me being a teenage girl and all), but I really like how it was done. It was gradual and subtle, meaning that its progression and appearance were all very realistic. I talked about this the first book, about how the characters all seem very well developed and believable. Well this continued throughout the series and stopped their romance from being sappy and cheesy ‘I can’t live without you’ crap that you see a lot in teen books (thank you Twilight).

And that leads me to the end. The end of the series I mean. It was done very well. It was kind of open ended, but there was still a sense of conclusion. Everything was wrapped up, the future of the characters was hinted at, and it had a nice feel of closure. He could’ve gone on and written an epilogue about their futures but that would’ve turned out unsatisfying and possibly a bit forced (like it did in Harry Potter). Yes, Scott did an extremely good job.

But, I’m still sad that it’s all over…*sigh* I guess everything has to end sooner or later. Now I’m wondering what the brilliant Scott Westerfeld has next in store for his readers.

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