Goliath - Scott Westerfeld, Keith Thompson SCOTT WESTERFELD, WHY YOU SO AMAZING? Like, seriously. It's not fair.I don't think I've ever been disappointed by a Scott Westerfeld book. Sure, some are better than others, but they always have such awesome world-building, they're always exciting, and they're always a ton of fun to read. It's hard to beat his previous series like Uglies and Midnighters, but I think he just may have done it with the Leviathan trilogy.First of all, the premise is so freaking awesome I want to explode when I think about it. In case you haven't read these books and know nothing about them (shame on you), they're about an alternate WWI, fought between the "Darwinists" and the "Clankers." The Clankers use machines as airships/weapons, while the Darwinists use giant, fabricated animals. The story takes place on one of the "airbeasts" called the Leviathan. Our two main characters are Alek, the prince of Austria whose parents have recently been murdered, and Deryn, a girl pretending to be a boy named Dylan so that she can fight in the air service.Well, I guess that's about all I can say without giving a rundown of the entire plot. But it already sounds awesome, yes?So let's just say ... These books rock my socks off. And they just get better as they go along. I really liked Leviathan and Behemoth, but I LOOOVED Goliath. It's such a wonderful book and such a terrific ending to the series.First of all, as I've already mentioned, Westerfeld's world-building never disappoints. And he really steps it up with this series. It's awesome how he draws inspiration from actual history and puts such an original spin on it. The machines and creatures he creates are super cool, and the books in general have a very distinct, gritty atmosphere to them that separates them from his other novels.Secondly, the illustrations are just ... the bomb. A lot of credit for these books' awesomeness must go to Keith Thompson, because his drawings are stunning. Sometimes I would just want to sit there and stare for five minutes. He draws everything in such amazing detail, with so much to look at. There's already a lot of great world-building in the prose, but the illustrations really help to bring the story to life.Thirdly, the characters. Ahhh, I love them! I think Deryn is a slightly stronger character than Alek––both literally and figuratively. (I feel like Westerfeld's female characters are always more kickass than his male characters. Which is awesome and all ... I just happened to realize it. :P) But anyway, they're both still very likable characters and you can't help but sympathize with them.And I have to say, the romance is just ... perfect. YA literature needs more romance like this! I'm tired of all the books where the girl is all wimpy and the guy has to come and save her butt. In these books, it's pretty much the opposite. ;) Not only that, but the relationship actually takes time to develop. Sure, there's the whole "Oh dear, he thinks I'm a boy" thing standing in the way, but even so it's a carefully crafted romance and I appreciate that. I didn't really know how it was going to play out, and I was afraid it was going to be too dramatic or whatever, but it wasn't. It was great. Gah, I don't want to give too much away. But basically, if you've read the other books and haven't read this one yet, YOU NEED TO READ THIS ONE. And I'm pretty sure it'll make you happy. :) If you haven't read these books at all ... well, read them.And now I'm going to run around shouting "BUM RAGS!" and "BARKING SPIDERS!"Good day.