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Richard Harland

Allen & Unwin (2011)

Review by George Ivanoff

Ever since reading Richard Harland’s YA steampunk novel, Worldshaker, in 2009, I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel. I am very pleased to say that it has lived up to all my expectation. It’s an exciting, imaginative and engaging read.

Set in a world where Imperialist societies exist on massive mobile juggernauts, powered by an oppressed sub-class known as the Filthies, Worldshaker and Liberator are terrific example of the steampunk genre. Steam-driven machinery, Victorian elegance and exciting adventure combine to make these books difficult to put down.

In the first book we met Colbert Porpentine, grandson of Worldshaker’s supreme commander, and Riff, one of the Filthies. Together, they brought about a revolution in which the Filthies overthrew the ruling class and took over the juggernaut. In book two, the juggernaut has been renamed Liberator, but despite the high ideals of the revolution, things are going wrong. There is a saboteur on board the juggernaut, a murder has been committed, radical elements are gaining power and distrust is rife. The Filthies want to take their revolution out to the other juggernauts, but the Imperialist forces are determined to stop them. Col and Riff’s relationship is put to the test, as loyalties are called into question. Exciting stuff!

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