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Worldshaker (Worldshaker #1)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  2,147 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
In this gripping fantasy, Col lives on the Upper Decks of the juggernaut Worldshaker – a mobile city as big as a mountain. Chosen to be the next Supreme Commander, Col’s comfortable life is upset when a ‘Filthy’, who has escaped from Below, appearsin his cabin, begging for help. Will he hand her over, or will he break all the rules? Col’s safe, elite world is about to fall ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Templar (first published January 1st 2009)
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Ranting Dragon
Aug 28, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: michelle

Richard Harland’s Worldshaker is a dystopian steampunk adventure aimed at young adult readers. Although it is targeted at a younger audience, I found this novel to be an entertaining and worthwhile read that I finished in one sitting.

A steampunk coming of age story
Worldshaker tells the story of Col Porpentine, grandson of Sir Mormus Porpentine, Supreme Commander of the industrial juggernaut Worldshaker. Col lives a privileged yet sheltered life on the elit
Kate Forsyth
I should probably declare that Richard Harland is a good friend of mine and so I really, really wanted to like this book. Luckily, I loved it! I’ve been told it’s a YA steam punk novel – steam punk is not a new genre but it’s hot at the moment and once I realised it simply meant books set in a sort of alternative Victorian world with lots of steam-propelled gadgets and frockcoats and corsets, I knew I’d enjoy it. It’s an action-packed novel full of humour and drama and Dickensian characters and ...more
Karen Kaiser
The fair thing for me to do would be to give this book three stars, not two. It's not a bad book. It's actually a pretty good book. But...
well, there's so much to say. I just hope I can remember everything I was thinking.

Col...I wasn't a huge fan of his character. He's a wealthy, sheltered, naive teenage boy who didn't really have any personality, and none of that inspired affection in me. Then he meets Riff, and he morphs into this sappy kid who's experiencing his first love. 'He remembered the
BAYA Librarian
Worldshaker is a Romeo and Juliet love story set in steam-punk world where “civilized” people live on massive steam powered vessels. Colbert Porpentine is the Romeo of this tale and also the grandson of the supreme commander of the Worldshaker dreadnought. Col as it turns out, has been chosen to succeed his grandfather as supreme commander of Worldshaker. However, an encounter with a Filthy (or lower class) girl causes Colbert to question his life on the Worldshaker. The Filthy girl Riff (or Jul ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Lydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was quite young but I did really enjoy it.

It's Young Adult, and it's about two kids who are living on a huge airship, and it's presented as a microcosm of the United Kingdom.

I really liked it because this author actually presented issues of class and gender and those relationships in quite a thoughtful way. It felt like a mature book to me, and I appreciated the idea that just because it's a Young Adult novel, doesn't mean it can't be serious or present big ideas.

This was my f
Kristin Madelaine Hanna Hansen
It was for school. So yeah.
Jan 15, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, tweens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2012 Indrani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been having difficulty writing a review for this book, though I'm not sure why.

In short, I thought it was an enjoyable romp, even if many of the elements were rather familiar. Mr. Harland captures the stuffiness of Victorian principles well, and yet manages to make some of his upper-class characters empathetic. His writing is crisp, and he generally kept things moving forward at a good clip, while managing to toss in some character development.

Are there cliches involved, and has Mr. Harland
May 17, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to give a rating to this book because I disliked the beginning and enjoyed the end.
There are a few things that bothered me that I can overlook, the length of the chapters being an example (short chapters are one of my biggest pet peeves, in this book the chapters average 5 pages which makes them less annoying but still bothersome). One thing I could not look past was the way Riff was portrayed. I felt like she didn't fit with the romance idea that the author was trying to create. Her s
I picked this up in the adult book reading section and really think it needed to be over in the young adult section as I think the book would sit better there.

It was enjoyable read.

The world Harland has created has a great deal of interest and there was enough smattering of a back story to understand how this place came into being. There are lot of themes/views/politics running slyly through the book which includes colonialism, communism, class struggles, and exposing the voice of the 'other'.
Sep 06, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A similar concept to Mortal Engines. Where M.E. focused more on the wider world beyond the steampunk-juggernaut-city-on-wheels, Worldshaker focuses on the city itself, allowing for greater depth and development of ideas. I had no interest in reading a sequel to M.E., but I would read a sequel to this. Worldshaker was far better written and better executed than M.E., with a better plot and better characters - at least in my opinion.
Oct 03, 2012 bird rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first time in my life that I couldn't finish a book. I skimmed the second half because I found the writing style really annoying. The plot really made no sense and I was confused half the time. Even when I got to the climax I was bored. And books usually don't bore me. I hated how the author portrayed Riff and certain other characters. I felt like the author told us everything instead of showing us. Plus the excessive use of exclamation points annoyed me.

I did like a few things howe
Sam S.
Oct 27, 2014 Sam S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it!
Apr 25, 2016 XEOHE rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Worldshaker was not my cup of tea. I would love to add more steampunk books to my shelf, but this did not do it for me. I've read it a long time ago and thought about having a second go at it to provide more points for this review, but realized I would not be trudging back through those pages even if I had been paid my weight's worth in cheesecake. So forgive me if my insights aren't spot on.

The story wasn't awful in it's entirety, but I did have huge problems with the writing and character deve
Melody Daggerhart
Apr 06, 2016 Melody Daggerhart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Notes of Interest:

The last book review I did was on the steampunk novel Boneshaker. It is therefore necessary to mention these books have nothing to do with each other and were written by two different authors.
I chose to read this book because I was looking for something steampunk to read. I didn't realize it was YA because it was a borrowed book, rather than a purchased book. But as soon as I started reading that became apparent through both the character depictions and the writing style. (Not
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Das Cover:
Ich bin so begeistert von diesem Wunderschönen Cover. Als ich das Buch zum ersten mal in meinen Händen hielt war ich so glücklich. Das ist für mich einfach Steampunk pur!

Die Protagonisten:
Colbert ist 16 und in einer der angesehensten Familien auf dem Worldshaker, den Porpentines. Er ist ein Typischer Reicher, der auf den Oberen Decks wohnt und Anfangs kommt er sehr naiv rüber. Er hat nicht viel Ahnung was außerhalb seiner kleinen Welt passiert. Trotzdem hab ich ihn vom Anfang an gern g
Ea Solinas
Q: What do you get if you take the Hungry City Chronicles and remove most of the subtlety from them?
A: "Worldshaker."

Yes, Richard Harland's steampunk adventure "Worldshaker" does not manage to do much that is new, but it does a fairly decent job exploring the setting of a vast, moving country. Hs lead characters are likable and well-developed, but unfortunately the morality ends up being too black-and-white for most teen readers.

Col Porpentine has just been named the successor of his grandfather
Aug 18, 2014 El-jorro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bookworm Speaks!

Worldshaker by Richard Harland


Steampunk is considered to be alternate history by many of its enthusiasts and it is. It describes an age of the past that diverted from our own timeline into a different time. Often times there is tipping point that branches one timeline from the other. Often times it is a war, something goes down differently than what is written in history books and everything changes. But some books take it to another level and not just tell a story of the sa
Alison Todd
Col who is wealthy meets a filthy (Poor) girl whose name is Riff. Col's grandfather want him to be the next supreme commander. Col's grandfather takes him on a tour of the whole juggernaut which its name is Worldshaker. Col has to start regular school at Dr. Blessamy's Academy instead having a private tutor. Riff escaped the people who trying to make her a slave, and now she cant find a way to get back down below where she lives. Col finds a way, down a food chute. Col takes her to the food chut ...more
The story at first was boring and I was about to let it go and read another story. But I didn't and I finished it with satisfaction. Like I said the first part of the story is dragging but at the middle of the story, it became interesting until the last page.

Aside from the intensity(?) of the story, the story is very interesting. It talks about a society where the dominance of men over women and the dominance of men and women with power over men and women with none. How the Worldshaker is hea
May 20, 2014 Lydia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The great juggernaut, Worldshaker has stood the test of years. For Colbert Porpentine, or Col, it has been home all his life and as a member of the first family and grandson of the supreme commander (who is second only to the Queen), that life has been a very easy one. However, when his grandfather announces his intention to name Col his successor, the world that Col thought he knew begins to change as things that have been in the shadows and only whispered about away from the ears of "polite" s ...more
Claire McNerney
Mar 10, 2016 Claire McNerney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worldshaker is a steampunk dystopia set on a ginormous boat filled with lies. The people on the Upper Decks have an opulent life filled with parties and education. They consider the Filthies, who live below, to be simple animals who keep the ship going. Then Col, the grandson of the ship's captain, encounters and escaped Filthy girl, and the plot begins. I liked this book because it felt familiar, like something I would write. For a long time, the book felt like all exposition, (I love expositio ...more
Steampunk! If you're really desperate to read about giant travelling mechanical cities, Phillip Reeve's Mortal Engine series is better, but this is a pretty good adventure story for middle school boys. It sort of deals with colonialism and class structure, but only in the most simplistic way possible--the city is fuelled by the work of "Filthies," the lower class, and literally crushes native populations as it rolls over land.
Amy B
Jul 27, 2016 Amy B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Made it about halfway through before skimming it. :\ I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy it more, maybe it just wasn't for me? It felt perhaps a little static and I was expecting just a little more oomph. A little more to like in the characters of Col and Riff - they were almost TOO consistent in their characters if that makes sense. Anywho, enjoyed the concept but didn't feel like I could really get into it.
Wall of Words
Sep 15, 2015 Wall of Words rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book as a boredom buy. The back sounded interesting and I wanted an easy Young Adult read that could entertain me and possibly even enthrall me for a day or two.

I certainly got what I paid for. Richard Harlandpresented a beautifully crafted steam-punk story that let the reader (and Col)consider the fairness and structure of the class system while also growing up. The protagonist(s) was vivid and the fatal flaws of the characters created make them easy to relate to. The structure of t
Feb 17, 2016 Oni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, steam-punk
I never thought I'd enjoy reading a steam punk book or anything with this kind of 19th century industrial setting. Generally, I despise anything set between 1800-1950, whether it's movies or certain Dr Who episodes. However, this book actually made it work. It is fast-paced and filled with plot. Riff, at times, could be difficult to like (also, her accent was quite annoying in some sentences) and Col was certainly not the most interesting character. Despite lacking interest in the characters, th ...more
Cathy (Ms. Sweeney)
I read a number of steampunk novels in a row the other week, each one quite different. This is a YA steampunk with an overt dystopian twist; the plot driven by the social and economic disparity between the ruling class still taking tea and having arranged marriages, and the underclasses who do all the heavy lifting, keep the ship afloat (the story takes place on a self-contained city within a monstrous airship) and are believed to be subhuman. Naturally, this being YA,a young boy raised to be ca ...more
Jan 07, 2016 Colton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book 'Worldshaker' because it was an exciting book about action, fiction, and mystery. Worldshaker is about a boy named Colbert, his family is a ruling family on the juggernaut, or big ship. Their is lots of other classes too, the lowest class burns the coal and is tormented by the upper classes, called filthies. One of them escapes to Col's room and becomes his friend. Together they help free the filthies by an uprising. My favorite part is when Col gets ganged up on by 10 people, ...more
Carli Fitzpatrick
Sep 25, 2011 Carli Fitzpatrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was incredible i love Col and Riff together.
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Can you describe it in one word??? 3 4 Feb 12, 2016 08:10PM  
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My latest novels have been my big international breakthrough, published in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Brazil. They're all steampunk fantasy: WORLDSHAKER, its sequel LIBERATOR, and now SONG OF THE SLUMS (same world, new story) appearing in May 2013.

SONG OF THE SLUMS is about the invention of rock 'n roll - 100 years before Elvis Presley! In a world enshrouded with fog and smog, the
More about Richard Harland...

Other Books in the Series

Worldshaker (2 books)
  • Liberator (Worldshaker, #2)

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