WORLDSHAKER by Richard Harland


Age Range: 12 & up
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Down Under steampunk in the tradition of Philip Reeve, moving cities and all. In the 1840s, Europe took to the road in massive juggernauts. Society froze, with the rich literally on top (the Upper Decks) and the poor Filthies relegated to a steaming, boiler- and piston-filled hell, brought above only to be surgically transformed into perfect Menials. Sheltered Col Porpentine, chosen successor to his Supreme Commander grandfather, lives aboard Worldshaker, where the mores of Victorian England have become only more entrenched in the last 150 years. When he meets a female Filthy escapee, Col finds that what is right may not be what is proper, and his future as commander may be destroyed by a rebellion he himself helps bring about. Aurealis Award winner Harland has a deft hand for balancing the icky and creepy—Col’s grandmother starves Menials, then cries over them; schoolteacher Mr. Gibber indeed gibbers and prances most spectacularly—with fast plotting, family rivalries and dashing heroics. The climax provides a page-turning, pulse-pounding read (the dash of romance helps). Why hasn’t Harland been published here before? (Steampunk. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 18th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9552-4
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2010


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