Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

November 3, 2011
By Sam N. BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Sam N. BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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Deryn Sharp is a girl, a girl disguised as a boy, who just so happens to be an airman on the airship, Leviathan, which just so happens to be a flying whale. Most people probably haven’t imagined anything like this, and I hadn’t either before reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Now Goliath, the third and final book in this trilogy, makes a fabulous closing on the series.

Now, one may be confused about flying whales and such before being properly introduced to the universe of Goliath, so here’s a short summary. All three books take place during early World War I, though this isn’t your average military novel. Instead of battleships the British use monstrous krakens and instead of airships they have huge flying whales. They are Darwinists, nations that use biotechnology to fabricate creatures of war. On the other hand there are the Clankers, people who create huge mechanical walkers in the place of tanks. Now, in the midst of a chaotic war between these two factions Deryn, a girl serving as an airman for Britain, and Alek, a clanker prince being hunted down by his own country, have made an unlikely bond aboard the airship, Leviathan.

Goliath is an exciting adventure full of action and suspense. I often found myself unable to stop reading as the airship and it’s crew are beset upon by enemy zeppelins or when a fierce storm threatens to fling Deryn and Alek off the side of the ship. Not only are these moments and others amazing by themselves, they are further accentuated by beautiful illustrations that set the mood perfectly. One of the most alluring factors of the book is the setting. As explained before, the book takes place during an altered World War I where beasts combat machines. The concept in itself is amazing and Scott Westerfeld does a wonderful job of fleshing it out. Another thing I loved was the characters. In the previous two books I highly enjoyed reading about Deryn and Alek and how they developed, and now in Goliath I have come to be even more attached to these two characters as they make realizations, get through difficult times, and come to be who they are at the books end.

In my opinion Goliath could be appealing everyone from 12 years and up. If you enjoy fantasy or science fiction this book is definitely a must read, though make sure to read Leviathan and Behemoth, the first two books in the series. All in all Goliath is an amazing book that provides a great finish for the series. Now, I can only hope that Scott Westerfeld decides to delve once more into the wonderful universe of Goliath to produce another fabulous book.

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