Patricia Burroughs's Reviews > Goliath

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
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Sep 27, 11

bookshelves: british-isles, historical, science-fiction, steampunk, young-adult, favorites
Read from September 20 to 27, 2011 — I own a copy

A list. That's the best I can do. A list of things I love about this series.

Deryn/Dylan One of the most delightful characters I've read in years. Sure, the girl-masquerading-as-boy has been done and done and done, but never have I read one who is more comfortable as a boy--complete with wonderful swearing (bum-rag! barking spiders!) and a fearlessness that is a joy to experience. I can't imagine her in a dress, and yet she truly is a girl. And her Scottish dialect is bliss. I adore her.

The Lilit/Deryn "relationship." Enough said about that, but it was great.

The beasties. Perspicacious Lorises! The Leviathan itself. Message lizards! Sniffers. The Tasmanian Tiger! I am definitely a Darwinist, not a Clanker!

Alternate History. In each book, I was surprised to discover through the author's note at the end that some of the more bizarre elements of the story were actually facts. I love that in a book.

This falls into spoilers and I really don't want to do that, but I'll just say that a couple of things I saw coming from a great distance--didn't happen. And that thrills me, that Westerfeld surprised me.

I'm sure other things will come to me, but for now, this is it. I've listened to all three books with Alan Cumming's fabulous narration, and all three hardcovers await a closer read. This is something I don't do. But for these books? I will. And I can't wait.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Brenda Clough Here's a slightly spoiler-ish question for you: Is it convincing, Aleck's final decision? Do you believe it'll stick? I could easily see a second series in which he is driven, or called back, to the imperial duties.


Patricia Burroughs I would LOVE it, if he could make the story work. I think that was kind of a YA-end-with-a-HEA-kiss thing that could have worked a littler better. [Hmm, one would think that "Rome" would have their own records, too, so your scenario... interesting!]


Brenda Clough Professionally speaking, the -very- end of the book, told in newspaper-article format, was distancing and not properly emotionally satisfying.
Have you read THE LOST PRINCE by Frances Hodgson Burnett? I could imagine that sort of plot for the next set of books: where essentially he achieves the throne by acclaim, all other contenders having sullied or killed each other or themselves. It would of course be after the Great War, part of the partition of the A-H empire negotiated by the Allied powers.
(spoilerish stuff to follow!!)
I feel that, as it stands, Aleck is false to his heritage and duties. He is not a private person, free to indulge his heart -- just as his father was not. He has a duty to his people. Perhaps the postwar reboot of the Empire will allow him to marry anybody he likes, thus allowing him to have his cake and eat it too.


Patricia Burroughs I think this was more of a "happy ever after" than the book required, tied up too neatly in a big red bow. Knowing that they were together for each other no matter what happened, and that he would NOT let anybody change that would be enough, even if we didn't know how he'd manage. We'd believe he would, and the best endings leave room for daydreams after. (Why I absolutely despised the "19 Years Later" in Harry Potter, which was way worse than this ending.)


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