Shadowing home | Group Leaders Login to edit your group home page    

Arthur, French International School Hong Kong


Railhead isn't what you'd expect it to be. This type of book wouldn't be near the top of my to-read books list, but it exceeded every single one of my expectations. Although it's science fiction, it's far from the doom and gloom of dystopian novels, and it bursts with imagination and life with every page. It tells the story of Zen Starling, a young thief who is approached by an enigmatic man called Raven to steal a mysterious object from the Imperial Noon family. What starts out as a heist story quickly evolves into something more, and while the plot contains some twists and turns, it never loses you.

This story is set in a world that is as richly imagined and detailed as it is inventive and wondrous. The Great Network contains a thousand worlds scattered throughout the cosmos,all connected by sentient trains that pass through mysterious gates to travel millions of light years in an instant. On top of that, there are Corporate families that constantly squabble for power, omniscient AIs that "shepherd" humanity, and strange creatures called Hive Monks which are sentient colonies of millions of insects.

All the characters in the book are layered and believable, with motivations that all of us can relate to. All of them are flawed in some way, and this moral grayness present in every character prevents us from wholeheartedly condemning or supporting every action they do. This book explores some thought provoking themes, such as what it means to be human through the introduction of non-human characters like Nova, an android that acts so much like a person that it's hard to deny her claim that

“I have a processor for a brain instead of a lump of meat, and my body is made of different substances, but I have feelings and dreams and things, like humans do.”

Railhead is a great book, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys science fiction.

Posted on: 14th April 2017 at 04:24 pm

View more reviews by this group
View more reviews for this title

Share this review: