Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld + Q&A with Author

Title: Goliath (Leviathan #3)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR

Release Date: September 20, 2011

Source: ARC from Publisher

Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Alek and Deryn are aboard the Leviathan when the ship is ordred to pick up an unusual passenger. This brilliant/maniacal inventor claims to have a weapon called Goliath that can end the war. But whose side is he really on?

While on their top-secret mission, Alek finally discovers Deryn's deeply kept secret. Two, actually. Not only is Deryn a girl disguised as a guy...she has feelings for Alek.

The crown, true love with a commoner, and the destruction of a great city all hang on Alek's next--and final--move.

I couldn't wait to get started on reading Goliath and find out who the trilogy ended. This is a series I had enjoyed since the beginning, and if anything the final instalment was even better than the previous two. It was most definitely a great conclusion to an awesome trilogy.

After having played an important part in the Ottoman Revolution, Deryn and Alek are back aboard the Leviathan, which is now headed to the Far East. Alek's secret has been revealed to the entire world, and life aboard the airship has changed for him. At least he hasn't been declared a prisoner and can still roam freely on the Leviathan. Deryn has more than proven she is a great soldier and that she deserves her place aboard the great airship. But her secret has to stay hidden for that to continue. So when she reveals her true identity and her feelings to Alek, everything seems like it's going to fall apart. But this may turn out to be the least of her worries when things aboard the Leviathan take a turn for the interesting. With crazy inventors and reporters now on board the airship, Alek and Deryn will find out that keeping secrets may become more and more difficult.

I cannot even begin to describe just how much I love the story that Scott Westerfeld created in this trilogy. In Goliath, the story was taken to a whole other level, and there was never a dull moment. I just kept turning page after page. The story captivated me from start to finish and it was a truly great conclusion to the series. No matter how well I know the events and facts of World War On, Scott Westerfeld writes so well that I start having trouble distinguishing what he simply changed from what he made up altogether. That's just how good of a writer he is.

Oh how I love the characters in this series. Alek is so much more than an overprotected and spoiled prince. I have absolutely loved seeing him come into his own over the course of the three books. If anything, by the end of Goliath he was pretty much as far away from being a prince as he possibly could and his evolution and who he became just made me love him more. Though Deryn is the character that completely makes the book for me. Everything about her just makes her leap off the page and feel completely real. more than anything she just makes me laugh. What I loved more than anything was how the relationship between Deryn and Alek completely changed when the truth was revealed about Deryn, but at the same tim stayed the same. And that's how I could see they really cared about each other. I have to admit though, what amused me the most were the perspicacious loris; they just cracked me up every time they spoke. Too bad they don't really exist.

Goliath was a fantastic conclusion to an even more amazing trilogy. It was a truly incredible journey from start to finish. I know I will definitely miss these characters and this world. 

Q & A With Author Scott Westerfeld

You say in the afterword of all three books in the Leviathan trilogy that some elements of the story are true and others are fiction. How did you choose what to keep true to history and what to change or make up?

I keep the interesting bits and throw the boring ones away. The fact that the assassination of one aristocrat ignited the war is so tragic and strange, and the fact that Franz Ferdinand had a son (who might feel responsible for the entire war, given that his own family tragedy started it) was fascinating. So that was a keeper. The fact that armored vehicles didn't exist in 1914 was rather boring, so I ignored it and gave Alek an awesome walking tank.

Steampunk stories more often take place in Victorian Era Britain. Why did you choose to retell the events of the beginning of the First World War instead?

The Great War is a very strange era for technology. Many of the familiar components of modern warfare, like planes and tanks, appear in World War I, but the forms they took look quite odd to us now. (There are planes with three wings, for example, and the tanks looked like boilers on tractor treads.) So in a way, the fantastical machines of steampunk weren't too far away from the realities of that time, so this era makes steampunk more real, in a way. I also wanted to take the fanciful elements of alternate technologies and place them in a very serious context, a war that became the symbol of all that is wrong with war.

The way Goliath ends sort of leaves a door open and a possibility for more stories about Deryn and Alek. Do you think you will ever go back to their stories?

There will be a guide to the world called The Manual of Aeronautics, a full-color large-format collection of art from behind the scenes. Keith, my illustrator, created deck plans for the Leviathan, cutaways of the vehicles, and color rendering of all the uniforms and beasties. As for going back to Alek and Deryn as characters, I'm not sure. If I do, it will probably be in another medium, like manga or film.

Thank you to Scott Westerfeld for answering these questions and be sure to grab your own copy of Goliath, in stores today!

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  1. good to see this, I joined your blog

  2. You are the second rave review of this book I've read just in the last several minutes. I'm about half way through-- and I want to read! But I'm at work -- OH, wow, I feel a headache coming on. Wait, I also have a tickle in my throat.....

  3. Wasn't this book great?! Such a perfect ending to the series. I love Deryn and Alek so much.

    And very interesting Q&A. I love the bit about keeping the interesting and throwing out the boring. =D

  4. Sounds like a great trilogy! Thanks for the review...no idea where I've been hiding to have missed these from Westerfeld.


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