I've had good experience with "steampunk" even though almost all I've read of it is by Philip Reeve... one of these days, I want to write a blog post about my Reeve-world travels. So I read Westerfeld's Leviathan out of curiosity and found a fast-paced, exciting, clean adventure through a richly-populated world of wonders. Behemoth, the sequel, in no way changed my opinions. And did I mention that I love the Perspicacious Lorix? Both as a character and as a way to get kids to learn a very interesting word.
Anyhow, here's the Amazon.com 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.
Well, I'm interested, aren't you? I've seen one ARC review that said it wasn't as action-driven as the first two, but I'm not concerned. I trust Mr. Westerfeld's storying ability, and I look forward to September 20th, even though I shall probably have to go on a holdlist for it.
Oddly enough, I consider this series to be MG as well as YA. There's language, but I don't mind it as much when it's "British-ized" slang. The romance (so far) is understated and treated with a light hand.
These books are good clean fun, and the illustrations are just added value.