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Amelia , Teignmouth Community School

Railhead

I found Rail head a thrilling read; in chapter one I boarded a K-train that took me to another realm of sci-fi writing and I did not get off until the last page - although that wasn’t voluntary, I didn’t want the book to end. The plot was easy to follow and was bursting with the most amazing, richly imagined constructs and ideas. At times I was surprised at the way the plot unfolded, mostly because of character’s actions, which kept the book interesting and me on the edge of my seat. The ending took a sudden turn, creating many unanswered questions however this is understandable because there is a sequel - which I can’t wait to read - so the loose ends should be tied up then. From the very first page Reeve fully immerses you in his extraordinary universe, and I know it will be a place that I’ll come back to time and time again. Amazingly, Reeve manages to expertly produce a completely original storyline in a completely original setting with completely original characters which isn’t common in the modern sci-fi genre, making the book stand out. Throughout the book Reeve also provides bountiful, vivid descriptions of the universe and its inhabitants, giving the reader an insight into the wonderful imagination of the author and Zen’s beautiful, ever-changing surroundings.
Every single character was so flawed; every single character was so real. Reeve somehow managed to create a complex, realistic personality for every character and machine, no matter how small a part they played. Most of the character’s actions were taken for self-preservation which made a great change from the normal ‘good vs evil’ and added a more realistic tone to the book as humans are selfish and-as Reeve writes-will always choose the winning side. I especially liked the complex relationship between Zen and Nova: man and Motorik. Throughout the book the feelings they have for each other become clear, however they don’t admit it to themselves because of societies discrimination. This echoes today’s society’s discrimination of any relationship that isn’t straight.
Reeves was able to perfectly mimic modern speech patterns throughout Rail Head, making it easy to read as you felt like you were just eavesdropping on the whole narrative. The events that played out effect you, as a reader, because the universe doesn’t feel fictional, Reeves brings it to life so well that when I finished the book I was surprised not to see any magnificent railway tracks soaring through the sky. On the surface Rail Head is a fantastic read that I definitely recommend to people of all ages. However, I feel as though older readers would benefit more from the book as it can be seen to explore issues to do with discrimination: most people are “varying shades of brown”, Raven is one of the only ‘white people’ left. This is what future people will look like, and it shows that there will hopefully be an end to racism in the future. Additionally, offhand comments are made about some of the character’s sexuality, however they are just casual remarks, showing that sexuality shouldn’t be an issue and shouldn’t need a huge announcement, or any announcement. However, Reeves also shows that there will always be discrimination, which is shown with the Motorik and Hive Monks, who are seen as lesser than the humans. In my opinion, teen and adult readers would benefit the most from Rail Head, and I strongly recommend anyone of those ages to try it and, like me, become a railhead.

Posted on: 30th May 2017 at 03:20 pm

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