|Goliath by Scott Westerfeld|
Hardcover, 545 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster
Goliath is a magnetic beam weapon to encourage peace in 1914 alternative WW1 (between German mechanical Clankers and British Darwinist genetic animal/plant fabricators) by Serbian inventor Nicolas Tesla rescued from remote Siberia by organic 1K' British airship Leviathan midshipman Scottish Deryn Sharp, disguised as boy Daryl to join the Air Service, and her romantic interest, Prince Aleksander, secret heir to Austro-Hungarian throne. Grey-shaded sketches of fantastical contraptions, creative beasties, and impossibly slender characters adorn most of 44 chapters.The series has been one of the most imaginative that I have ever read. This finale completely does it justice, but could have used a little more action in the plot.
From Russia to Tokyo, California, and New York, the cast includes familiar mentors Dr Nora Barlow, London Zoological Society boffin (and Darwin granddaughter), and fencing master Count Vogel who warns Tesla may need to be assassinated. New faces are revolutionary leader Pancho Villa in Mexico, and newspaper and film mogul William Randolph Hearst showing first cliff-hanger episode from silent movie "Perils of Pauline". Hungry giant bears, ocean storms, attacking forces from sky, land, and underwater - how can the penniless royal and brave commoner achieve world peace and personal happiness?
We're thrown right back into the throws of the war and the Leviathan's journey. However, now the addition of young, and even forbidden, love makes the world even more complicated for Deryn and Alek. Thankfully a few events finally allow their relationship to get somewhere. It seems like they have been pent up for two books...oh, wait they were. The situation changes the entire dynamic of book, as it should have, and I loved watching the two of them grow up because of it. They both became stronger persons and that really upped their interactions with the other characters to supplement the plot.
Unfortunately, the plot didn't feel as intense as it was in the other books. There were a few times that I skipped pages until I could get to something that would speed it up a little bit. The random and odd incidents are there just like before but they seemed disjointed sometimes. To make up for this, the characters and illustrations were still phenomenal and provided just enough "oomph" to keep my attention to make it through. I did love how Westerfeld wrote the ending and tied everything up beautifully. It is not the perfect way you want things to end for the series, but it does leave you with a completed feeling.
This series has been a great ride. I would recommend it for children and adults alike!