Railhead by Philip Reeve

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“You know, sometimes a thing, a system, a creation grows so old, and corrupt, and weighed down by its own baggage, that all you can do is change it. Move on. Start afresh. It’s frightening, but it has to be done.”

Title: Railhead
Author: Philip Reeve
Why you should read this book: Because there are trains that talk!! And robots!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

If you know me you’d know I love sci-fi books. Space, its secrets and its possibilities have always intrigued me. Imagining far away worlds on other planets, aliens and humans living together, a new kind of universe unfolded before our eyes, that’s something I want to witness but I know I never will. I would hibernate myself and wait frozen in time and see for myself a new kind of living. I am almost glad I won’t because, as usual, humans will find a way to corrupt everything.

We have a main character, he is a thief and has being hired to steal a weird box from the Emperor’s train for a really pale man called Raven who is very mysterious and people want him dead. Our protagonist is a boy that I liked and hated in equal measure. His name is Zen and sometimes he really annoyed me. I know you are young, boy, but think a little bit more before making some very bad decisions. He isn’t always annoying and luckily for us he sometimes uses that big head of his to think and accept others opinions.

“It’s called the Pyxis,” said Raven. “Don’t let the fancy name intimidate you. It just means ‘box’ in one of those Old Earth languages, Roman or Spanish or Klingon…”

This book has many worlds (planets/moons/satellites/etc) connected by some sort of Stargates called K-gates. K-gates can only be crossed on board of trains and not just any kind of train, but sentient trains with their own names and personalities. Some are really rude, some really kind, some plain cruel. Trains can be really scary and I’m not talking “Thomas the Tank Engine” scary but worse! Thomas is one creepy and annoying train.

There are also these God identities that are only artificial intelligences created but humans a long long time ago. These beings are made of data and live in the datasea that contains all the information of every single inhabitant of the Network worlds connected through the gates. They can also download themselves into fake bodies and visit the worlds. How weird and cool is that?

When you think about the future with real advanced technology, you are bound to think there are also robots, right? Robots are a must! In this book there are android beings called Motoriks and we met a few of them throughout the story. I liked them a lot.

Our little annoying Zen has to do the mission to steal that weird box with a motorik girl named Nova. She has freckles and she is very proud of them! Nova is the element that keeps Zen a little out of trouble. She can’t always succeed because that boy is unpredictable (read: moody).

What I didn’t like because I have a terrible phobia were the insects. In these worlds live some sort of intelligent cockroaches that put themselves together to form a humanoid shape and talk. They talk and they are a sea of bugs with their bug legs and wings and everything I have nightmares every other night! Please, I don’t want talking bugs in the future!!!

Before ending this review I want to warn you that there is one character that you will find annoying from beginning to end. At least that happened to me and if you have tastes similar to mine I want you to be prepared for the annoying girl called Threnody!! Beware!

That being said, I would recommend this book (and the sequel will be out later this coming week) to sci-fi fans but also to the curious readers who want a little adventure.

Do I recommend it? Yes, and there is also a sequel I can’t wait to read.
Rate: 4/5

firmablog

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