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Book Review “Railhead” by Philip Reeve

Crossing the Great Network of trains that hurtle through the gates between planets and stealing what he needs to survive is just the way Zen wants to spend his time until the mysterious Raven hires him for a job. Revealing that Zen holds just the right DNA necessary for him to breach security on the Emperor’s impenetrable train, Raven is sure Zen has what it takes to steal an enigmatic object from the trains’ art collection. Knowing this job will set his family up for life, Zen agrees. But things don’t go as planned, leaving Zen facing danger at every turn. The only way out is to find a way to reveal Raven’s intent while staying out of the clutches of those hunting him, but even crafty Zen may not be able to beat these odds.


Author Philip Reeve has frequently proven his ability to push the bounds of the imagination, but this novel is his most ingenious yet. Part steampunk, part space opera, part dystopia, the novel defies categorizations beyond a broad science fiction label even though it’s as much adventure and mystery as fantastic. It’s incredible how the setting itself has a unique personality and objects that just might be part of the atmosphere in other works and are integral to the plot and theme. The ambiguous nature of the villain really builds tensions. And, the powerful main character connected to a world peopled with amazing characters both human and non-human, creates an engagingly well-constructed story that daring readers will devour.


Review By Olivia Noli, “Worlds Awaiting” Social Media Manager

*Contains mild violence.


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At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

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