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Shreya D, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls


I found Railhead to be quite refreshing. Its genre fits in with Science-fiction but at the same time it is not stereotypical. Set in the future, it allows us to engage our imagination with subtle prompts from the author as to what the world will be like.

It is set predominantly around a railway line, about a boy called Zen Starling and an adventure which essentially changed the way in which the people in that book, viewed life. The book included a series of moods and atmospheres such as adventure and distress which consequently made it evocative too. It provoked me to feel a range of emotions such as sympathy and frisson, which engaged me as a reader.

The style of the book proved really effective to me too with Reeve's use of narration and the dialogue in the book with it being set in third person, helping the reader to be able to jump from perspectives with minimum confusion. He also had the perfect use of description. With the book being set in the future, it causes the reader to have a vivid sense of imagination and Reeve having put a sensible amount of information about the environment let me immerse myself in the book even more. Also, because of its time period the links of Indian culture in the book was interesting to read making me think of the context behind it. With names such as Mahalaxmi being a rich leader as well as a Hindu Goddess of wealth is an interesting example of how he was able to cleverly create fiction from fact.

The plot was split into four parts which I believe made it easier to split the adventure as a reader because in every part, there were different emotions and opinions directed to the book so having them split made the book more structured. The author controlled the book immaculately because of the way he built up to certain defining moments or revealed important information at a precise time making us feel like we were on the adventure too, restricting any sort of dramatic irony from occurring.

The characterisation in this book was also quite intriguing. The characters were realistic and quite in depth although I do feel that they were quite stereotypical. I feel as though you could predict what each character was going to do which made them unoriginal but besides from that I think they were consistent and the relationships between them were riveting to see develop.

Overall, I am extremely pleased to read this book. At first, I was quite dubious about it as it isn't the type of book that I usually read. But I am pleasantly surprised and fascinated about the amount of creativity and imagination that must have gone into this splendid book.

Posted on: 27th March 2017 at 10:02 pm

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