The worldbuilding remains Westerfeld's greatest accomplishment. The world of the Clankers and Darwinists seem grounded in our history despite some impossible technological advances. Although I will say some references of the time seem to detract from tension. Hearst's sabotage to get them to need Pancho Villa's help is teased as something more sinister but immediately deflates of tension once they meet the revolutionary. Westerfeld keeps the action going and the plot moving, but compared to Leviathan
much less actually happens.
Alek and Deryn are both complex and fully realized characters. The developing bond over the course of the previous books is a great foundation for their closeness here, stronger together in their alliance than their initial guarded allies. While I may be the rare fan that found the blossoming romantic relationship between Alex and Deryn to be a negative in my reading enjoyment, Goliath
did a solid job of keeping me entertained no matter what. Fans who might worry that their imminent hook up would veer the story off course don't have to fear the plot being sacrificed for it.
While not as strong as its predecessors in terms of action, Goliath
seems like a good, solid book to tidy all the loose ends. Definitely worth finishing.