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Peter, St Augustines Catholic College


Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Railhead as it was a book which I sensed was destined to be an extremely gripping novel. The whole futuristic setting of the book really created imagery and interpretation of some of the characters in the book. Especially certain characters such as the Guardians who overlook the traveling between each world by trains in this futuristic world. The first few Chapters really gripped my attention and set the scene for what went on to be an outstanding book which I enjoyed reading very much as there seemed to be a little bit of everything and surprises. Such as Zen Starling, the main character's love story.

The main character doesn't fare quite so well. Zen Starling, who is employed by a mysterious figure to steal an artefact upon a train that carries one of the more families never really quite came to life for me, and I think that's mainly because of some certain dialogue which stopped me from really getting to understand him better. I think a great novel can place a reader squarely into the thoughts and feelings of the lead character and in my opinion, that doesn't happen here. I didn't quite get a sense of a unique and interesting voice from him, even though all the elements were in place to make him a so called complex rogue. To be fair, there are at least three very strong supporting characters to make up for him and a playful personality exists in them which I felt was missing from the hero. Explorations of creativity, gender, intelligence and humanity make characters such as Flex, who is an interesting persona that defies traditional definitions in a number of ways, really come to life.

Overall, apart from the main character's portrayal, i really enjoyed reading Railhead.. It's a bold story that is not afraid to cram in a lot of really big ideas and emotions. If only Zen had been just a little more interesting in his speech, a little more layered in action and not so much of a straight train-track of a character. That is how the book misses out on certain aspects which makes me believe that i reckon this book would make a better film than a book.

So there's some brilliant stuff going on in Railhead, and I would certainly recommend it if you're looking for a lighter version of a space adventure to get stuck into. I might not advise to reread the book but If the film version is out then i would definitely recommend watching that without hesitation.

By Peter

Posted on: 10th May 2017 at 01:20 am

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