Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Goliath is the third book in Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy. The stories follow an alternate steampunk history at the beginning of World War 2. On one sidw of the war are the Darwinists (England, France, Russia, and the US) who use Darwin's theory of evolution to create their own war-beasts and airships made out of the lifethreads of thousands of different organisms. Their machines are literally alive. On the other side are the Clankers (Germany, Austro-Hungary, etc.) who use machines made and guns made out of metal and gears that use oil and steampressure to move. The main characters are Deryn (also called Dylan) who is a 16 year old girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service. She is a midshipman aboard the Leviathan, a giant whale air-beast that breathes hydrogen. Her secret is at constant risk for discovery and not being able to fly aboard the Leviathan would kill her. The other main character is Alek, the orphaned son of the Arch-Duke of Austro Hungary and heir to the throne of that country, who is on the run from his own allies. He is also hiding aboard the Leviathan quietly trying to mastermind a way to end the war. Alek and Derny meet in the first book and become fast friends, and since then tey have fought battles and gone on missions together. But only some secrets have been revealed. Deryn knows who Alek is but he has no idea that his best friend is really a girl. In this book, thy are flying all over the world, from Istanbul to Siberia to pick up the insane inventor Nikola Tesla, who thinks he has a weapon powerful enough to stop the fighting, to Japan on a top secret diplomatic mission to Los Angeles to Mexico and New York all trying to stop the great Clanker and Darwinist powers from destroying each other. Also making an appearance in the books are Dr. Nora Barlow, a scientist decendant of Charles Darwin, and Adela Rogers, a girl reporter who works for the Hearst Newspapers, and the Pinkerton Spies. Secrets fly everywhere and friendships re put to the test in an stunning conclusion to one of my all-time favoritie series.
I really like how the relationships between all of the characters and the countries they represent were done in this book. It is really well written and the whole thing is just really fun to read. I also enjoyed that there was a character who had the same name as me!!! Even though Adela Rogers is a very annoying character she adds to the story. The whole thing is a joy to read because each of the characters have their own accents and have so much personality.
This book would be great for anybody 12 and up. It is totally intruiging and interesting and well written with beautiful hand drawn illustrations. The book is so well done and really really fun to read. The whole series has you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and it is a fun portayal of how the world could be if everything was more steampunk and more awesome. I read it in less than a day because I was so excited to find out what happened at the end. SO GOOD.