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Harry S, Glossopdale Community College

Railhead

'Railhead' is a bit rubbish for my taste. The basic background for the story is intriguing, with the different planets and mysterious guardians. In fact the whole premise of K-gates is fantastic. The only problem is everything else being dull and just a bit too complex, which sadly makes this fabulous premise into an awful book. A very awful book.

For example, take the plot. It is so complex with way too much exposition for basically a heist. Except they couldn't even keep it a heist, with it turning into a disaster-like film of the early 2000's and then the thrown together ending.It was like Philip took good concepts from other ideas and tried to sew them together into a readable story, but ran out off string halfway through and just sellotaped the rest thinking "Good enough." It was not good enough.

The book follows underdeveloped protagonist Zen Starling (He has an appalling name) who steals things because he is poor. He meets a robot and goes on an adventure with a man (called Raven because it's the future and everyone has silly names). Then he pretends to be a member of the Noon family, who conveniently have never met their own family member, Tallis Noon. Then he shoots a space animal because it's about to kill the the man who is trying to kill him. I know protagonists should have a strong moral center, but he steals for a living so why is he now being a good boy!?

Then a train crash and a lot of pages later, it finally ends. But what was the point? The story had no moral except steal things and good stuff happens.

Honestly, I could attack this book for hours, but it has some good points, like Zen's relationship with the robot with freckles. I was mistaken, that was the only good part of the plot.

Posted on: 26th April 2017 at 11:22 am

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