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Anastasiia, QGS Carnegie Critics

Railhead

Railhead by Philip Reeve is a science-fiction book about the future world. It is about a poor boy called Zen who lives in the future world with his mother who is afraid of imaginary people coming for her, and his sister Myka. He steals minor things to earn money for his struggling family. One day, he sees a girl in a red coat who has come for him and his life changes. He is employed by a man called Raven to steal a simple looking object which is actually much more than it seems. In the book, Zen finds out the truth about Raven and the world he lives in. The book describes a future in which humans and robots and different creatures live on different planets across the whole universe and move around by trains. The trains go through special portals called K-gates which allow rains to travel quickly from one lace to another.
There is a lot of exciting action and several surprises in there and in certain part of the book you are left to think about a certain event or idea and to try and guess what the truth really is. I quite like this because it leaves you with thoughts and flashbacks of the story even when you are not reading the book. It is quite a good read for several age groups and types of readers. It has exciting action and creative ideas which would interest younger readers or simply readers who prefer to read for fun and entertainment but it is also suitable for older readers and people who like to dig deep for morals and philosophical teachings and ideas inside the story.
The idea that these programs that humans created called guardians are actually controlling the future world and that they are the new objects to praise gives a reference to the idea that technology is taking over. Also, the fact that they sometimes do not tell the truth because everyone will believe whatever they say and live happily with ideas that they have been given by the guardians. This in a way suggests that we should not believe everything we are told by media and political and social leaders. Despite all this, most of the people in the future world are happy and do not really mind the fact that they are controlled by some computer programs. This book makes you picture the future as not so glum and gives a positive view of it. In the book, the universe is also controlled by an emperor or empress. This suggests that the society went back to monarchy and peoples lives are more under control than they are in our time but I guess this system works better when there is a whole universe instead of one planet. It is as if the universe is one big country, the galaxies are states and planets, are towns.
Overall, I really enjoyed the creativity, action and ideas of this book but I feel like the plot had a little too many events which made it seem a little crowded and disjointed on the whole, and it seemed too much was happening in a short period of time in the book. However that might have been because so many things were changing. I think this book has a fair chance at being the winner. I would rate it 8/10.

Posted on: 2nd June 2017 at 04:14 pm

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