A very poor read

Following some reading advice on tor.com, I ordered Worldshaker by Richard Harland. Now I have read it, I cannot fathom why anyone would see anything positive about the book and even less how it could be nominated for an award! The style is appalling (the same applies to the above trailer and to the cover). The characters are incredibly shallow. The story is completely predictable, to the point there is no suspense whatsoever. (E.g., it is just so clear from the beginning that the two main characters will end up in a romantic relationship. The reason why they do is highly unrealistic, even in a fantasy universe.) The closed universe of the massive moving city (or juggernaut) is inspired from submarines but the description lacks conviction and it is unrealistic to an unbelievable level (like, how does the structure produce wealth to pay for raw materials from populations outside the ship? Why is the size of the working class population much lower than the size of the upper class population, contradicting economic requirements? What is the role of the “filthies” in the production and locomotion processes if they cannot be compelled to work for the upper class? &tc.) The fact that Worldshaker apparently belongs to the “young adult literature” category does not excuse those low standards in writing, unless the author wants to reach at such a young age that the story becomes inappropriate… There is no possible comparison with other books in the literature: the closed universe of a Jules Verne’s novel like 20,000 leagues under the sea is way above in its creativity, not to mention its style. The hardship of Victorian education are described in Dickens’ Oliver Twist, that Worldshaker very poorly imitates in this respect. The consequences of storing one’s ancestor bodies in one’s lodging is exploited in Barjavel’s Ravage. And so on. (An hilarious confusion on amazon author’s page mixes the author with a homonymous literary theorist!) This is clearly one of the worst novels I have read in a long time…

One Response to “A very poor read”

  1. […] further any of those two books! Not completing a book happens to me so rarely as, once I realise a book is terrible, I keep reading it with a vengeance! I had already read The Algebraist by Banks and enjoyed it very […]

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