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Yasmin, St Augustines Catholic College


Railhead is an exciting, and futuristic read, I really enjoyed reading it as it allowed my imagination to explode. Throughout the book, surprising twists are added, therefore the book has a tense story line. It was very cleverly written in third person, but it seemed at times that it was in first person; because it was written in so much detail. Everything you could think of was described so finely, that you could imagine just what it was like to be standing right where the character was.

The development of the character is quite drastic from beginning to end. At the beginning, he is quite naïve, but will do anything for his family; and nearer to the end, he matures. The aspect of his family living off the things he steals plays a major part in the storyline. Also, his mentally ill mother portrays another obstacle in the life of the young main character- causing some stress with his sister Myka.

At some points, I found that the characters were difficult to connect with, purely because they were in such a different world to the one we live in now. I also found it quite difficult to start the book, but as the story unfolded, I enjoyed it more.

Another reason I liked this book, was that every character had a different story, and their own personality. Some characters were particularly interesting, such as Raven and the Guardians. Unlike other books, this book has the mention of “God-like” beings: Guardians- who build the K-gates- the gates that connect the universe’s railways. Raven is a character who aspires to be “Guardian-like”, and manages to make a K-gate- with the help of Zen. The idea of K-gates creates the idea that there is a whole universe that is waiting to be ventured into. Reeve has written this book alluding to the future, which means there was tonnes of room for his imagination to run wild.

It is understandable that this book suits people who prefer sci-fi themed books, therefore it can have quite a specific audience. Some scenes in the book related to other scenes from various films and books.

The book includes a romance between the main character- who is a human, and a female Motorik: a robot. Phillip Reeve has made a completely alternative concept here, which I think fits perfectly into the storyline.

It is interesting how the author has managed to create such a wide universe with just train lines, he could have chosen any other transport, yet trains seemed to work well. Furthermore, slave labour for the “Motoriks” was introduced into the novel- causing riots, reflecting some of our society’s problems. Having this in the book makes it more relatable to the present day.

I would recommend this book to anyone aged over 11, as it is a very accessible book to read. This book was one of my favourite books out of the Carnegie list, and I think it could be a winner.

Posted on: 29th May 2017 at 05:55 pm

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