‘ Worldshaker’ by Richard Harland
‘Worldshaker’ is a meticulously crafted sci-fi novel by Richard Harland, published in 2009. The book features a flawed human civilisation that thrives on the unstoppable, pulverizing, steampunk juggernaut, rightly named Worldshaker.
The novel follows two main adolescent protagonists: Col and Riff. Col is the son of the Supreme Commander, and is in the position to soon inherit the role. It goes without saying that Col has lived a carefree, illustrious life of high nobility.
Riff, on the other hand, is a female slum-dwelling Filthy who has lived a troubled, unsafe life. From birth, all Filthies were shunned by society, and were required to toil away for the Worldshaker in order to live. Riff, however, was a Filthy who sought change and freedom. She denied her fate as a slave and pursued a better life. Upon discovering her actions, the governors soon took matters into their own hands, and Riff was on the run as a wanted offender, until she met Col. Through distasteful conversations and interactions that enthral the audience, the two soon become the most unlikely of friends. As they secretly spend more time together, Col questions the validity of all he has been taught in his life. It dawns upon him that if it was all a lie, then he was the only one with the power to do something about it, even if it meant putting his eminent future at stake.
Jam-packed with action, adventure, realism and science fiction, Worldshaker invites readers of any age to follow Riff and Col, as she desperately fights to save her own life and the lives of her brethren, and as he supports her. Overall, Worldshaker is well worth the time taken to read it, and is a true page turner. Out of 5, I would personally rate this book a 4.5.
By Kurian J., Year 8
Have you ever doubted life on our earth?
If you have, don’t do it again. Imagine a world stuck on a gigantic mobile city, never being able to see the bright blue sky again or feel the fresh wind flowing through your hair ever again. That’s how the people are living on board the juggernaut Worldshaker in the novel written by Richard Harland called ‘Worldshaker’.
This is an eye-opening compelling science fiction novel about a boy named Colbert Porpentine who is lucky enough to live on the upper decks of the juggernaut with his family because his grandfather is the leader of the worldshaker.
There are two main characters: Colbert Porpentine and Riff the filthy girl from the lower decks. The story starts when Col (Colbert) is woken by a noise made by the guards outside his room, soon to find out a “filthy” from the lower decks has escaped up into the upper decks, moments later to find himself looking at a girl filthy named Riff. The filthy (Riff) then reveals to Col that the filthies can speak and communicate with others and that they are just poverty-stricken people that everyone thinks badly of.
This book was extremely interesting. In my opinion, the story took off straight away and then slowed down a little after the story started, which for me was a good thing. The highlight of this book, in my opinion, was the ending because it really showed the underlying message, which to me was that we are all equal and also don’t judge someone for how they look.
For me, this book is aimed to be read by teenagers as I think younger kids may not understand some words and the story might get a bit confusing. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars and I did really enjoy this book!
Jayda W., Year 8
I think the author Richard Harland’s message is to not describe someone by their looks or what they wear.
The book was alright. It could have been better. What I thought was an attention grabber was how the guy at the top of the machine was a Sargent or was in the military and I thought there was going to be a war with the people at the bottom of the machine.
It was a science fiction book and was simple and predictable.
It’s kind of convincing and engaging but not in depth.
It didn’t tell too much of where they were.
The top guy yes but the girl no. The guy wears a uniform and is distracted. He doesn’t have a clue.
I think the novel’s theme is “It doesn’t matter what you look like or what you wear, we’re all the same”. This was easy to know what theme the author was trying to give. Don’t describe someone if you don’t know them.
The book could have been a little better at explaining where they were. The author’s trying to say “It doesn’t matter what you look like were all human.” It’s not the best example but it isn’t bad either. I would recommend this book for kids.
Alex V., Year 8