Karen Kaiser's Reviews > Worldshaker

Worldshaker by Richard Harland
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Dec 26, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: summer-2011, two-stars, never-gonna-read-sequels
Read from August 19 to 27, 2011 , read count: Once

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 way her lips felt' or 'He just wanted her to keep touching his hand' or whatever. No thanks. It was too puppy-dog for my tastes. I prefer equal relationships.

Which brings up my next point; Riff. She could've shown a little more affection towards the boy who is apparently her love interest. It was awfully one-sided, I thought. Col is smitten with her, and she almost never reciprocates.
But other than that, I loved Riff. She was hilarious, which I appreciated, and Harland gave her some interesting features that helped me picture her more clearly (although how does black and blonde hair grow naturally?) She acted a little too high and mighty sometimes, but I got over it. She was cool.

I thought the entire idea was interesting. You've got these two social classes, Upper Decks and Filthies, who are so separated, and whose reputations are so skewed by their opposites, that they originally believe they're different species. How weird, if slightly unbelievable.
And then you've got the idea of the juggernauts. At first I pictured them as the ships in Kenneth Oppel's Airborn trilogy. I thought juggernauts flew. But then it hit me that they don't, and I had to switch gears. The idea that the juggernauts just carve a path in the earth is fascinating and visually arresting, if you can picture it. And the whole concept of revolution is great, especially when you've got characters like Col caught in the middle.

The execution was pretty good, actually. The writing was not too boring, not too short, whatever. Not exceptional, not bad. The story hit some dull spots, though. I mean, a good portion of the book was spent following Col through his first weeks of school. I understand if that's an event that needs to happen, but I don't really care about how his grandmother ordered his supplies for him. That whole part could've been ushered on a little faster.
One writing ploy I did like was the fight scenes. Harland spent a lot of time on the fight scenes, both hand-to-hand and gunfights. It was kind of awesome. And I really enjoyed the climax, with the actual revolution and the guns and the crazy Mormus guy. It was my favorite part, and I really don't have anything bad to say about it. At the very end, Riff could've been a bit nicer to Col, considering they're supposed to be a thing, but that's the epilogue, not the climax. The climax rocked.

This book was...pretty good. I like steampunk, although the clothes kind of creep me out. It's a good steampunk read, a good revolution/dystopia read, a good action read. Not a good romance or character development read, though. So pick your criteria wisely when choosing this book.
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