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Hannah, Gordano School

Railhead

Philip Reeve's 'Railhead' is an innovative and incredibly creative addition to any children's library, its humour and unpredictable plot line attracting many readers.
It is also a useful and educational example of a book for young people, with its good descriptive language an references to homosexuality. In this day and age, same-sex romances seem to be reserved for older audiences in most cases of entertainment, while heterosexuality does not appear to receive the same treatment. I think Reeve's fearlessness to address homosexuality could have a positive impact on this generation of children, allowing and teaching them to accept this type of equality.
The glossary at the back of the book also allows readers to delve deeper into the world Philip Reeve has invented for them.
Also, there are a few little mysteries that remain unsolved by the end of the story, leaving the door open for the sequel that follows it.
However, I wonder if, at some points, the violence is too graphic for the age group that I would think would read it, although I admittedly am not a huge sci-fi fan, so perhaps that judgment might not be very reliable!
Although the inventive spirit of the book is undeniable, I recognised a slight cliche of a young boy with unidentified talents going on an adventure. But, having said that, Reeve's idea of not creating a stereotypical hero, but a character with great feelings of guilt and fear was refreshing to read.
Also, there seemed to be too many complex layers of the universe, which could perhaps be difficult for some children to keep up with.
Additionally, the book appeared to be awkwardly structured, as if it were a collection of shorter stories loosely linked with each other.
Despite a few things that I think negatively affect the story, the book is altogether a fantastic demonstration of Philip Reeve's frankly astonishing imagination.

Posted on: 10th June 2017 at 02:12 pm

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