Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (unabridged audiobook read by Alan Cumming; 10.5 hrs on 9 discs): This final installment of the Leviathan trilogy had me on the edge of my seat pretty much the entire time. If Deryn’s secret wasn’t on the verge of being discovered then Alek was in danger or the engines were smoking or some other calamity. This part of our story takes us from Siberia to Japan to the USA, introducing a number of memorable new characters and visiting old friends along the way. And Bovril the perspicacious loris was endlessly adorable. There were far more historical figures this time around, making Westerfeld’s “what actually happened” epilogue even more interesting. You know, I don’t really care for steampunk or alternate histories or books about war – fictional or otherwise – but I really, really loved this trilogy. I loved the characters, how you’re never quite sure who knows what or whom to trust. I loved the technology, the mix of science and fantasy involved in these genetically engineered critters. I loved the story, the adventures, the romance, the suspense. And the ending was quite satisfying, which is saying a lot considering how many loose ends were flapping about prior to it. Highly recommended.

A note on the audio: Cumming is a master of a wide variety of accents – American, German, Scottish, and numerous forms of English – but Russian, alas, is not one of them. It was a little painful listening to his Russian characters. But that’s a pretty small complaint, considering he remained simply fantastic for the rest of the book. It’s also worth noticing that since I was listening to this in my car, I did attempt to make up excuses to drive places.

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