Though a young adult novel, Leviathan is one of the most fun books I've read in a while. Its alternate universe version of Europe on the eve of World ..Show More »War One imagines the major powers equipped with cool steampunk technology. The British and their allies have fantastical genetically-engineered creatures, such as living airships, on their side, while the pickelhaube-clad Germans clank about (naturally) in giant, armored walkers. Such concepts have been done in fiction before, but Westerfeld creates a thoroughly enjoyable world, filled with likable characters, drama, wit, sci-fi speculation, and some real history. It's written on a level accessible (and appropriate) to middle school-aged kids, but I think many adults will like it just as much. Can't wait for the sequel! PS. If you get the audio version, be sure to check out the grotesquely cool map of Europe on Westerfeld's web site.
More complications. More adventure. Well worth it!
In case you hadn't noticed this series revolves around a love story, but a bit of an odd one. No surprise there for a YA book. The friendship between ..Show More »Deryn and Alek that began in Leviathan has unleashed feelings of a more complicated nature... at least for one of them. Deryn still manages to keep her gender a secret from Alek, but not from all others. And despite the obvious direction her feelings are leading her she continues her ability to conceal that particular secret from even herself.
Oh, and the world is still at war too providing an opportunity for further excitement. This time around the Clankers and Darwinists vie for the allegiance of the Ottoman empire. Our intrepid heroes find themselves separated for a time pursuing their own paths as they try to find their own place in the world as anyone their age longs to. Inevitably their paths reunite them in Istanbul. Here Westerfeld decides to take a further detour from history and throw Deryn and Alek into a hotbed of revolution that just may lead the Ottomans down a different path from the one we read about in our history books. Ever the loyal midshipman, Deryn focuses on finding a way to use the events to fulfill her duty to king and country while staying loyal to her friends. Alek seeks an opportunity to use what resources are left to him to aid a cause he can believe in.
Their enterprises are exuberantly related yet again by Alan Cumming, still one of the best readers I have had the pleasure to listen to.
Barking spiders! What a fantastic, breathtaking finale to this great series! If you enjoyed Leviathan and Behemoth, you will not be disappointed with..Show More » Goliath. This is edge-of-your-seat, high-stakes, nonstop adventure, with plenty of humor, drama, history and everything fans of this series have come to expect. If you have not read or listened to Leviathan or Behemoth, DO IT NOW!
Alan Cumming gives another virtuoso performance in this third installment, and his ability to give a different voice and accent to every single character (human or otherwise) - while maintaining Westerfeld's lightening-fast, witty dialog and downright cinematic action sequences - continues to be astonishing.
I also recommend picking up print versions of this series, if you can, because Keith Thompson's intricate illustrations add a whole new dimension to the books, providing great visual aids. I actually read this in print first, and then listened to the audio version afterward.
The only downside is that now the trilogy is complete, unless Westerfeld decides to continue the adventures of Deryn, Alek & Co. in a new series (which he certainly leaves the story open for...fingers crossed!).