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Alfie, St Augustines Catholic College


Railhead, by Philip Reeve, is the first book in the trilogy. The novel is set in a future where humanity has left Earth and gone to the stars to settle on many worlds. Interplanetary travel is not achieved by spaceships, as it takes too long, but by a network of mysterious gateways through space, between worlds that can only be crossed by special trains. The trains are fully sentient artificial intelligences, with thoughts and feelings.
The story is about a young railhead known as Zen Starling, a young thief. A railhead is someone who loves the trains and the infinite journeys they make possible. His world is turned upside down when he steals a necklace from a shop. Zen gets captured by a master thief known only as Raven. He gives Zen an assignment to steal a valuable object from one of the most important trains in the galaxy. Things happen in the course of this assignment that propels Zen into the secrets at the heart of the universe. He encounters three kinds of intelligent beings: humans, machines and highly intelligent insect swarms known as “Hive Monks”. The machines are the most appealing – both the trains and the androids known as “Motorik”.
Although Railhead is a very dense book, it shows Philip Reeve’s ability to create an: immersive, detailed and engaging world. Things like the Hive Monks and the idea of using locomotives to travel from world to world. Railhead is an original idea and possibly an insight to the far future to come, as a mode of transport.
I personally recommend this book to people who are interested in sci-fi and space.

Posted on: 8th May 2017 at 09:54 pm

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