My answer, Scott Westerfeld’s Goliath, was not only the best book I read in October (and I read some good ones), but the most highly anticipated. I was so glad to finally get my hands on it.
I’d known about the Leviathan series for quite a while, but I wasn’t sure I’d like steampunk. I’m usually pretty meh about alternate history stories, so I was reluctant to try Westerfeld’s series on that basis (despite being a big fan of his Uglies books).
Then I saw the artwork on his website and realized I really wanted to give it a try. I own a Kindle, and had planned to get the e-book. But then I was in an independent bookstore about an hour away from my house (we don’t have too many IBS’s nearby) and saw Leviathan. I realized the price for the paper book (trade paperback sized) was the same as for the e-book. Wanting to support the IBS, I bought Leviathan in paper.
I am so glad I did. I’ve learned in the nearly two years I’ve owned my very basic Kindle that it does have limitations. Reading an illustrated book just doesn’t work as well on the electronic device. Much better to see those detailed drawings on paper, at least for me. So reading that paper version of Leviathan was sheer pleasure, and prompted me to buy the second book, Behemoth, as trade paperback as well.
I was pretty bummed that Goliath wasn’t immediately available when I finished Behemoth several months ago. Then when Goliath came out in August, I was further frustrated because I wanted to purchase it in a brick-and-mortar IBS instead of from Amazon. But the store that’s an hour away from me was near where my son and daughter-in-law used to live. That made it somewhat convenient to shop there when I’d go visit them. But now they’ve moved out of state, so I have no reason to drive all the way to that store.
Then I was at a nearby news and gift shop and found out they can and will order in books. I requested Goliath from them (and while I was at it scheduled a book signing at their store for Tankborn). Once it came in, I went and picked it up, then proceeded to devour Westerfeld’s book (in the figurative sense).
Goliath is full of adventure, alternate history, extremely cool gadgets and exotic genetically engineered beasties, and wonderful characters. I’m sure it’s great fun for the young adults who are ostensibly its audience, but I think any adult lover of science fiction would enjoy the book. If you’re intrigued by history, particularly the events surrounding World War I, then Goliath (the entire Leviathan series, really) is absolutely for you. Scott Westerfeld, you are a god of the written word!
So what did you read this month? Something wonderful?