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Worldshaker (Worldshaker #1)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,686 ratings  ·  228 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Ranting Dragon

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
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
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'.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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.
I really liked it!
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
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
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
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.
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
Harry Washbourne
Aug 15, 2014 Harry Washbourne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
this book was an amazing adventure and I enjoyed it alot. but even though I love the book so much and gave it 5 stars there were patches that had no point of being in the story. the best bit in the story was the revolution at the, I think Richard did a good job of explaining it. I also loved when time was spent explaining cols love for Riff.

Riff is an awesome character, she is explained well and is easily picture but she could have been less harsh on Col and same again in liberator but it all c
Carli Fitzpatrick
This was incredible i love Col and Riff together.
Wolfram-jaymes Vonkeesing
At first you don't know what to think of Cole. He doesn't really is the kind of character that gets tossed around like a rag doll. But you find yourself quickly warming to him, and suddenly hes the character that keeps them all together.

When I was introduced to Riff, I found it easy to presume her as a boy. I haven't read a lot of gay steampunk and I just wanted to indulge myself. But we got to the ball where Harland writes her into a dress, and I wasn't the least bit disappointed to give up the
Die Geschichte spielt in einer alternativen Gegenwart, in der die Kontinente weitgehend unbewohnbar sind und die Menschheit in riesigen Dampfschiffen um die Erde reisen, die auch landtauglich sind. Es herrscht eine Monarchie auf der Worldshaker, aber die eigentliche Macht hat der Kapitän, der seinen Enkel zu seinem Nachfolger machen will. Cal ist begeistert, aber als er eine der Filthies, die die ungebildete Unterschicht an Bord darstellen, kennenlernt, öffnet sie ihm die Augen über die unwürdig ...more
Bronwyn Parhad
Col Porpentine is the grandson of the Supreme Commander of the Worldshaker, the immense juggernaut as huge as a city. He knows his place in the world and society. He knows who rules the world and who helps the world, AKA the Worldshaker, work. His family is of the uppermost of society, the ruler of their world is Queen Victoria II. He is poised to take over as supreme commander when the time comes. But then his world is shaken when he inadvertantly meets Riff, one of the thousands of Filthies wh ...more
Bit of an odd book, very different to what I expected from the cover and blurb, which made it out to be terribly grim and serious. The first three quarters of the book were very silly and farcical, an over-the-top parody of Victorian customs and social mores. It dragged on a bit but it was fairly entertaining, in a mildly Dickensian way, with fun names like Porpington, Gibber and Squellingham and a lot of hilariously stupid school lessons. Then in the last two chapters or so the action suddenly ...more
Steph Bowe
Though I don’t usually read fantasy (I think Worldshaker classifies as ‘steampunk’, which is an incredibly irrelevant genre name that imparts absolutely no information about the novel, but sounds really awesome), I really enjoyed Worldshaker. I was slightly frustrated by Col’s naivety, but he was a character who was easy to empathise with the deeper I got into the novel. I found the plot believable, and the ending satisfying and conclusive.

The world within which Col lived on the juggernaut, sepa
Oct 23, 2010 Maria rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10-13 year-olds.
The first time I read this story I liked it, but was a little underwhelmed by what I thought was too simple a story. This book is rated for 10-13 year-olds, and the vocabulary and chapter length has been modified to accommodate this young audience. As a result, Col seems a little too naïve, and in places the text feels ideologically heavy handed to me; if I had written my review after my first reading, I would likely not had much positive to say. By the time I read Harland’s text I had already r ...more
A great steam-punk story to introduce people into the genre. The story was captivating, though some what predictable. My main complaints though, are the time setting, and that the ending seemed rushed.

The story is supposed to be set in the 1990's, yet the author takes every possible step to put us in a Victorian Era environment. I can't see why he didn't just set in the actual Victorian Era, it would save a lot of confusion, and a lot less effort on his part to press the Victorian aesthetic on
This was a fast and light read. And it was mostly enjoyable, though definitely a young adult book. I knew it was YA, and I'm not entirely sure what I expected, but I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed.

The writing was very simplistic. And Col's naivety and flip-flopping bothered me a lot. I mean, I suppose it's understandable given the situation, but I found he came to life-changing conclusions too simply and suddenly. Also, the treatment of female characters in the book was not impressiv
I thought that this was pretty good. I've read better but it was still good. There were some parts where I was waiting for the action to get on, but those parts were also interesting to read.

I was also hoping to see more of the Below. We only saw a little of it and it disappointed me. While he 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 t
Vickie Ramage
Worldshaker is a Dystopian Steampunk (ish) story of an upper-class boy who falls in love with a girl from the Lower Classes, and the consequences of his actions. Worldshaker is the name of the massive ship that Col lives on, and it's powered by the 'Filthies' below, who the Upper-Classes just assume are little more than animals. Col discovers Riff around the same time that he learns the truth of his World, and together they start a war that will change the lives of everyone onboard.

Col is a char
The Airship Librarian
I'm finding that as the days go by and I get older (and presumably wiser), I become disappointed with most young adult fiction. It seems that the authors of that genre lack depth and brains. They don't seem to think things through and thus, write books that have discrepancies and are covered with holes. Naturally, there are some true, YA authors who are exceptionally brilliant and redeem the genre. Harland isn't one of the brilliant sort. He's good, but he had discrepancies and obvious holes in ...more
This book was a great read. At first glance the story seems like your typical dystopian (maybe steampunk) romance between a boy who has it all and the girl at the bottom of the barrel. However, the romance part of the story kind of takes a back seat in all of the action-adventure that takes place. The story also adds in a little bit of psychological things in there like how you can't treat people badly, and about how classes are bad (but not to the point of communism (If you don't get that at fi ...more
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Can you describe it in one word??? 2 2 Oct 14, 2014 04:49PM  
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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...
Liberator (Worldshaker, #2) Song of the Slums Ferren & The Angel Ferren & The White Doctor Ferren & The Invasion of Heaven: Book 3 in The Heaven & Earth Trilogy

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