Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review- Worldshaker

Col lives on the Upper Decks of the juggernaut Worldshaker, a mobile city as big as a mountain. He has been chosen as next Supreme Commander - but then a girl, Filthy, escapes from Below and appears in his cabin. "Don't let 'em take me!" she begs. 

Will he hand her over, or will he break all the rules? Col's safe, elite world is about to fall apart as he learns the terrible truth about the nature of his society in this steampunk novel by Richard Harland. 

This is probably the first steampunk novel I've read ever. I think there may have been one other book but I'm not sure. I've yet to read Scott westerfeild's Leviathan series so those don't count. 

Although I found this book in the YA section of my library, I think it is meant more for pre-teens. Or at least, it kinda seemed that way. Though Colbert (Col) is sixteen there were, at times, I thought that he acted younger. Maybe it was his innocence and his lack of knowledge about the world, but something about him screamed "fourteen year old!". While Col seemed younger I thought that Riff acted older. It must be because their experiences and knowledge of the world. Riff is not innocent while Col is until the end. 

I thought that this book had some slow parts to it. While the beginning was good I thought that the first part of the middle was slow, right before he was pushed into a tube. While Col did go down into the Below I was also hoping to see more of it. That part disappointed me. While Mr. Harland did a good job describing things, I would have like to see more descriptions of the other rooms and people in the Upper Decks. I couldn't really remember how a lot of the people were described eailer in the book or if they had been described at all. 

Mr. Gibblet was clearly the comical relief character and I think he fulfilled his job nicely. He was funny and I love how he really didn't know what he was teaching at all. I mean the whole thing was so ridiculous it was funny. "Proper angles" puff. Silly Mr. Gibblet! Even his name is amusing. While he is clearly funny, I'd hate to have him for a teacher. Plus he has the insane cat-thing which I'm not sure what it even was.  

I did not like Col's grandparents all at. Actually I hated most of his family expect for his dad. Col's grandfather was cruel and cunning, while his wife straved her faovirte mutes for entertainment so that she'd have something to feel sorry for. And then she tried to kill Col in the end! Well...not before Riff and Col killed her.

While I liked Riff, she was a strong heroine, I thought that Col was okay. I sympathized with him and I understood where he was coming from. Overall I enjoyed reading about Col, he seems like he'd be a nice kid if he were real. I liked how Prince Albert repeated almost everything he said. That amused me. Although Riff was my favorite character besides Mr. Gibblet,  I thought Mr. Harland was trying a little to hard to make her seem tough. Sure, there were some quieter scenes with her, but I would have liked to see more. Maybe some more background story of Riff too. I think Col's mother was suppose to be another comic relief because fainting and being very fragile seemed to be what she did best in any situation. 

And although I clearly understand where Col's sister is coming from with it being unfair that she can't become the Supreme Commander, I thought that she was unnecessarily cruel to Col. I mean, what sister arranges for her brother to be beat up and makes death threats to him? 

I did like the background story that was clearly put into this. The clearly screwed up part about Noah's Ark and then the research that Col's old teacher and his friend finally did were cool. I thought that that part was neat. An explanation of how the juggarnauts and the Filthies came into being.

Overall: I enjoyed it. I thought it was an entertaining read but I'm not sure if I'll read the next one. The plot was interesting, but I thought that the characters were Mr. Harland's strong suit. 

So, what would you do if you lived on a giant ship your whole life? 



  1. I'm currently writing a steampunk novel so this was interesting to read! I can't decide whether I want to read other steampunk books or not, because there is always the risk of "borrowing" ideas.

  2. That's cool! :) What is yours about? True true, but you can "borrow" ideas from any book. I realized a couple weeks ago that I accidently took an idea from a another book and I had to go revise it. (I swear it was unintended. As I was writing my brain was like "oh this would be a good idea!" and I had read this book several years ago too)


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