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Goliath

Review

Goliath

No more secrets. Prince Aleksander Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian empire, vows to stand by this statement as he becomes further embroiled in the politics of World War I. After essentially being taken captive by the British aboard the mighty flying airship, the Leviathan, and taking part in a mini-revolution in Istanbul, Alek believes it’s finally time to let the world know that he’s tired of running, ready to take the Austrian throne, and fight back against the Germans. Simply announcing to the world that you are a missing prince, though, isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when everyone is ready to take advantage of you.

"GOLIATH is an excellent conclusion to the world [Westerfeld has] created.... Westerfeld has saved the best for last."

No more secrets. Mr. Dylan Sharp, the lowly midshipman, has been harboring a deep secret for as long as he can remember. Or rather she can remember. Deryn Sharp, posed as a boy, managed to secure a position onboard the Leviathan and thus far has fooled everyone. Almost everyone, that is. One of Alek’s closest advisors has figured out the truth, and he’s ready to tell everyone that Deryn has been lying this whole time. Besides being disgraced from the British air service, Deryn is most terrified that Alek won’t trust her anymore. And there is one other little secret she can’t tell just yet --- she’s in love with Alek.

No more secrets. On the way to Japan, the Leviathan stops off in Russia and picks up a mysterious man with a mysterious package. Apparently, a man by the name of Telsa has discovered a weapon that is so powerful it can flatten entire cities. He’s on his way to New York City for a little demonstration and plans to gain a lot of supporters and fame along the way. Despite promises that his weapon has the potential to bring the war to a swift end, no one can figure out whose side he’s on. Should Alek throw his support behind Telsa in order to help Austria repel the Germans? Can the British and Americans trust that he won’t attack them? Mr. Telsa isn’t telling.

The problem with secrets is that they are meant to be kept. As the saying goes, though, the truth will come out. And watching what happens when it does is half the fun. In the final book of the Levitathan trilogy, everything will be revealed.

Fully reimaging a pivotal moment in history is hard enough, but reimagining it with fabricated beasts and complex machinery can only be done by a master storyteller. Scott Westerfeld has proven once again that he’s more than up to the task, and GOLIATH is an excellent conclusion to the world he’s created. Keith Thompson’s illustrations should be framed and hung in a museum, especially the ones at the beginning and end of the book. If you haven’t read this series yet, start with the first book as each one builds upon the other. Westerfeld has saved the best for last.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on December 18, 2011

Goliath
by Scott Westerfeld