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Dana, Chobham Academy Book Group

Railhead

I approached this book with an open mind even though science fiction is not my genre of choice. I have really enjoyed Philip Reeve's books in the past. I read one book in the Mortal Engines series and I wasn't bothered by the 'steam punk' and science in that . I thought the young female protagonist was wonderful and the world that Reeve created made a really good read. Here Lie's Arthur is one of my favourite books of all time with the political and sorry themes and an ancient British world so realistic you could feel the dirt and smell it.
However, Railhead was a disappointment. I could hardly keep track of all the K-gates, steam trains, characters and, at times, the plot. The glossary at the back of the book should have been a warning and it didn't contain the information I needed. A family tree and a list of characters would have been more useful. Zen Starling was a cool character, but still a thief and hard to relate to. Nova, the Motorik, is hard to relate to as well. She is an intelligent being as long as she is connected to the internet, but trying to present a robot with an emotional connection is an inherent disadvantage. I'm not sure that the artificial intelligence translated into emotional intelligence and Zen's affection for her was the driving force of the plot.
I have a feeling this book is the start of a series and hope it gets better.

Posted on: 5th June 2017 at 12:40 pm

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