Samantha The Escapist's Reviews > Goliath

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
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Dec 02, 11

bookshelves: favourites, steampunk

"I sure did like the first cover of Leviathan without the kids' faces on it more than these other ones."

I do still agree that this cover doesn't hold a candle to the first book (before they put on the face) But this book in almost every other way is just as good, better in a few respects. Actually, it's been quite some time since I nearly cried at the end of a book simply because it was over. I was very excited to read this but I didn't realize until halfway through (as the book seemed to simply MELT into my brain I was reading so fast) how entirely un-ready I was for it to conclude.

If I could kiss Scott Westerfield's feet for one reason only it would be that he never betrayed any of the characters or themes that we all adored. Maybe that is a pretty cynical view of story-telling at large on my part given that I always expect the things I love to be ruined by their own creators but I'm so jaded when it comes to falling in love with my heroes and heroines because there will always come a moment where the girl in drag gets stuffed into a corsett and dress or the dashing prince with a heavy concience gets petulant and whiney.

This actually doesn't happen. I should think it's hardly a spoiler that Alek does discover Daeryn's secret but what is so shocking is that, unlike anything before it and most impressively unlike what the actual characters in the book predicted themselves, he deals quite well. He loses none of his integrity, doesn't dwell TOO much on the girl thing (aside from a few genuinely cute notions) and it doesn't get stupid dramatic. These two young characters have their entire relationship rocked to its foundation but the never forget they're still in the middle of a barking war.

Additionaly, we NEVER find out how pretty Daeryn is. There is breif mention of the unfortunate existence of her breasts (from a practical stand-point) and otherwise the nicest compliment she gets (aside from valour) is that she makes quite a dashing boy.

I simply cannot get over how supremely satisfied I feel right now.

OH and of course the little stars of the show. When the Lorises first hatched in the second book I wasn't really sure what sort of tool they'd be to the story or how they'd be treated. Lets just say the Disney ages has taught me to be wary of talking animals. But they were perfect, adorable even. The two lorises may actually have been my favourite characters, and Westerfield did a fantastic job of including them JUST enough. They provided no major plotpoints but injected steady doses of entertainment in every scene and helped very much to paint us a mental picture for the moments that did not already have an illustration. Additionally they ARE important in a few ways and they always carry an air of mystery given that Alek basicaly owns one and does not entirely know just how smart they get.


Looking back I guess you could argue that there is a little less action in this one, at least less important action. Even the final climactic scene feels a little muted compared to the Ottoman revolution. I guess I could consider this point a little negative. I also feel the final book used Tesla as just a tiny bit too much but I love the ultimate role he plaeyed.

Finally and mostly I adored how the author treated our main characters. As I said, they were never ruined or betrayed and finally the fact that the two loved the adventure about as much as they loved each other, finally a novel with a love story that isn't the backbone of the characters' motivation. Normally I roll my eyes and scoff when an author decided to make a series longer than they planned (though on a whole I understand how stories can change when you get into them and it's not always possible to tell how long it will be) but in this case at the final pages continued melt before my eyes I found myself frequenting the front cover to verify that it does, indeed, say "The conclusion of the Leviathan Trilogy" And it does conclude...but I would be so happy to find out that he decided to do another trilogy in the same world following the leviathan story.
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Candace Pettit I'm amused that Deryn is *shorter* on the Goliath cover. I saw it and was like "Is she standing in a hole or something?"


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