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Accompany Zen on an incredible journey that will change the universe
April 6, 2016
Railhead By Phillip Reeve
Capstone/Switch Press Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA Pub Date: April 1, 2016
I don't normally read YA fiction, as many that I've encountered are melodramatic and hastily written, designed more for profit than for art.
That being said, Railhead is an incredible book that not only far exceeded my expectations, but sets itself apart as a science fiction novel that will be long treasured by readers of all ages. It doesn't surprise me in the least that Warner Brothers has purchased the film rights.
In some ways, Railhead reminded me of two classic animes known for their art and imagination- Galaxy Express 999 and Metropolis. The first is a coming of age tale of a young boy traveling the Galaxy 3-9 in order to transform himself and take revenge for the death of his mother. The latter is a science fiction love story that questions what it means to be human and explores the bond of a young man and an android. Railhead may take its inspiration from these classics, but it is clearly it's own novel.
Zen is a thief who loves the thrill of traveling the rails, jumping from world to world in a matter of moments. He thinks little of politics or authority. A mysterious man named Raven recruits him by means of his agent, Nova, an android girl who is in many ways more human than her human counterparts. Raven offers Zen riches in exchange for the theft of a single object - an object that can mean change for the entire universe.
I received a copy of Railhead from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
The Great Network is an ancient web of routes and gates, where sentient trains can take you anywhere in the galaxy in the blink of an eye. Zen Starling is a nobody. A petty thief from the filthy streets of Thunder City who aimlessly rides the rails of the Network. So when the mysterious stranger Raven offers Zen a chance to escape the squalor of the city and live the rest of his days in luxury, Zen can’t believe his luck. All he has to do is steal one small box from the Emperor’s train with the help of Nova, an android girl. But the Great Network is a hazardous mess of twists and turns, and that little box just might bring everything in this galaxy — and the next — to the end of the line. The highly anticipated novel from Carnegie-medal-winning author Philip Reeve, Railhead is a fast, immersive, and heart-pounding ride perfect for any sci-fi fan. Step aboard — the universe is waiting. For ages 14+.