Saturday, July 30, 2011

Steampunk Saturdays!

I'm so excited for this Steampunk Saturday!  I received an ARC of Goliath at Book Expo America.  It was, honestly, a pretty fun adventure.  We got up at 4:30 AM.  Rode the subway into the city.  Walked the mile or so from the station to the convention center as fast as we could then waited in line at the ticketed signing counter.  I got one of the last four tickets for the Goliath signing.  We lined up for the signing- an hour before hand.  I read while we waited.  But when we finally got to the front of the line to get our ARC and have Scott sign it... it was SO worth it.  Scott has a million dollar smile and was SO nice.  Goliath was one of the books that I HAD to get at BEA.  My husband and I read them together which is always fun.  Although, he is a history educator so he sees them in a completely different light than I do.  But I digress, I'm so excited to be able to review Goliath now that we're about 7 weeks out from the US release... I can't help myself!  I have to review Goliath.  So, here we go.

If you've already read Leviathan and Behemoth, you should know what's been going on up to this point.  If you haven't read the first two books stop now: there are spoilers for the first two books ahead!  Deryn is a girl pretending to be a boy (Dylan) so that she can serve in the air force aboard the Leviathan.  Alek is the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria/Hungary who is on the run from the people who murdered his parents. Alek and Dylan become best friends even though Alek doesn't know that Dylan is actually a girl.  They've been to Istanbul and are heading to Japan at the beginning of Goliath.  Alek has several mechanics and his fencing instructor/his father's best friend with him.  Deryn has made herself useful to the lady boffin on the Leviathan and routinely walks the scientists pet thylacine, Tazza.  Deryn is also sort of friends with Newkirk, another midshipman, but mostly their friendship is made up of them ragging on one another which I have been told, is the basis of male friendship.  (Who knew, right?!)  At of the beginning of Goliath, we KNOW that Count Volger, Alek's fencing instructor, knows that Dylan is female but we are unsure of who else might have figured it out.  (Besides the girl from Istanbul who kissed Dylan in Behemoth knowing that he was a she.)  As WWI has broken out after Alek's parents' murder, Alek is determined to change the war in some positive way.
So that I don't slip some spoilers for Goliath on accident, here is the Goodreads blurb for Goliath:
Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies. 

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy

Now, my thoughts on Goliath:

Let's start with the cover.  It's really nice.  I love the colors and that you get a really clear picture of the two of them together.  There is so much detail in the cover, all the gears and the flying creature behind them.  Really pretty.  I LOVED this book.  Loved it.  There is only one thing about the book that irked me and I can't exactly say what it was because I want you all to feel the same way I felt when I first read it.  But basically, someone that I thought knew about Deryn/Dylan did not and it bothered me that someone so smart had not figured it out.  That's all I'm saying.  That being said, the book was still amazing!  I got what I wanted (kissing/romance) and my husband got what he wanted (insight into Westerfeld's re-working of World War 1 and action/adventure).  I was worried going into this book that Alek would muck it all up because he's male and he's a teenager.  BUT Alek actually handled it really well.  I was really quite proud of him for handling the reveal so well.  He does get mad that he trusted her and she lied but he thinks it all through and does the right thing.  Yeah for Alek!!  It just shows how much he has matured over the 3 books.  Bovril was also great in this book.  He always has funny little lines that have you laughing out loud as you read.  The count was alright in this book too.  He has been my least favorite character up to this point because he has been well, stupid.  He's trying to protect his best friend's son the way that he couldn't protect his friend.  I get that.  But I also think that he should have learned from Franz and Sophie.  I'm sure that if you could resurrect them and ask, they'd do it all over again.  Love makes the unbearable bearable and I think that they would want Alek to have what they did whether he is their heir or not.  But maybe I think that because I'm a woman and a hopeless romantic. Anyway, in the end, Volger ends up being decent and supporting Alek in his choices.  Which is great.  It really made me like Volger at a point when I was annoyed at Dr. Barlow.  Overall, Goliath was an amazing ending to the series and I was sad to see it end.  I read this one in one night, straight through because I just could not put it down. I'd recommend this one to readers over 12 as there are scenes of fighting and descriptions of injuries.  There is little to no sexual material- kissing is the worst you'll see.  I think that the Leviathan series are a great way to get into steampunk!

I really hope you'll go and PREORDER Goliath or ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS.  You can always find out more about Scott Westerfeld and his books on his blog and by following him on Twitter.  If you haven't read the Leviathan books, shame on you!  You should run- not walk- to go buy or borrow them right now.  I think you'll be glad that you did.  If you'd rather do audiobooks, Alan Cumming reads the Leviathan audiobooks and I LOVE HIM.  He has an amazingly yummy accent and he really does a spectacular job reading for Deryn and Alek.  As we approach the September 20 release date, there will be at least one more Steampunk Saturday post about Goliath and the Leviathan Series so stay tuned for that... I may even do a giveaway.  

Goliath gets 5 Fairies because clankers have heart! 

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