Author: Richard Harland
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
was very unsure when I first picked up this book at the library. A book
I'd never heard of, from an author I knew nothing about, in a genre
that's still considered cutting-edge and somewhat experimental... but, I
figured, it's just the library. I can always bring it back if I don't
To my delighted relief, however, I loved this book!
16 years old, the main character Colbert Porpentine knows nothing about
anything outside of his highly sheltered and controlled Victorian life
on the upper decks of the massive juggernaut Worldshaker. When
he's told that the 'Filthies' who live in the bottom decks, 'Below', are
mindless, animal-like creatures with no emotions, no capacity for
intelligent thought, no ability even to speak or understand speech, he
believes it. When he's told that the 'Menials' - slow, speechless
creatures who serve the upper classes - are Filthies who have been
improved with intense training, he believes it. His whole life consists
of social functions, and training to succeed his grandfather as Supreme
Commander of the Worldshaker.
Until a Filthy escapes and
accidentally finds her way into his life. Amazingly, she can speak and
think and learn, and she seems completely human. What else has Col been
told that isn't true?
Honestly, I couldn't put this
book down. From beginning to end, it kept me eagerly turning pages and
didn't get boring a single time. The action and character development
are great, and the story has a thrilling plot as well as a great
message, all in an amazing steampunk setting the likes of which you've
never seen before. But on top of that, there is the added delight of a
story that contains absolutely no language, and no inappropriate scenes.
There was one scene that was the slightest bit suggestive, but the
suggestiveness lasted for maybe two sentences, literally, and as I said, it was very slight.
only thing I can say that would come close to a complaint would be the
dark, brutal violence of the story. The darkness itself, I don't have so
much a problem with because of the message of the story. You have to
have darkness to show light, after all. But the violence towards the end
of the book, as things started coming to a head, was very brutal and
bloody in places, which I didn't like. I understand that realistic
violence is bloody and brutal, but we all know that. We don't need to see it in technicolor.
only other thing was the few instances in which some of the non-central
characters seemed to make choices for which there was no prior
suggestion in their character. The readers are left with a little bit of
the where-did-that-come-from? feeling, since we were given no reason to
think a particular character had it in them to make that particular
decision. (I can't give specifics lest I give something away.) But it
wasn't an overpowering thing, and I was able to enjoy the story in spite
I would definitely say that Worldshaker is a book for older readers, simply because of the violence factor. Otherwise, a great read that I really, really loved!