Book Review: Worldshaker

August 05, 2012

Worldshaker Book Review |
I had originally wanted to read Maze Runner by James Dashner last month, but all the copies at my library were checked out and on hold for the next few months. So, I started browsing the YA Sci-Fi section and spotted Worldshaker by Richard Harland. I had never read a steampunk novel before, but the cover art caught my eye and the story sounded interesting so I gave it a shot.

SUMMARY:The story is set in an alternate reality about 150 years after the reign of Queen Victoria. The major superpower countries of the Victorian Era have fled the ground and taken to the sky in gigantic airships called juggernauts. The story follows Col, a 16 year old boy who is set to inherited control of Great Britain's juggernaut, Worldshaker. He lives a cushy life on the Upper Decks, never questioning the things he’s been taught about the caste system on board Worldshaker, until he finds a Filthy girl, named Riff, hiding out in his bedroom. Riff is nothing like the Filithies Col had always learned about – the slow, stupid creatures that work below the ship. She is clever, quick, and cunning and as Col secretly spends time with her, he begins to question and reevaluate everything the people of Upper Deck have been taught. Col finally sees the truth that the elites have been hiding and joins Riff’s plans for a revolution, risking both his life and his position on board Worldshaker.

WHAT I LIKED:Once the story picked up, it was very adventurous, with lots of action and dialog that kept me turning the page to find out more. Col is a well-rounded main character who actually learns, changes, and develops into an even more dynamic character as the story goes on. There is a bit of a love story, but it’s not the main focus and it doesn’t happen abruptly. Col gradually develops feelings for Riff as the story progresses, but it’s always in the background not distracting from the main story too much.

It took me a while to really get into the story. It started out kind of abruptly, with Riff hiding in his room in the first chapter, and I felt rushed into the story- like I didn’t really get to know the surroundings or the characters before the story started unfolding. This was quickly remedied a few chapters later, but what I was learning about the settings and characters seemed so ridiculous that I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like the story at all. I kept going though, and found that as Col matured so did the story. So, even though it started out on the silly and slightly unbelievable side, the mood became much more serious and darker as the story progressed.

I ended up really liking Worldshaker and I plan on reading the sequel, Liberator, soon. It was a fun adventure set in the steampunk universe. I would recommend it to those who like that genre and I think it would especially appeal to younger boys.

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