5 Oct 2016

#Review: RAILHEAD by Philip Reeve


Author: Philip Reeve
Series: N/A
Source: eARC/Borrowed from Library
Publisher: Switch Press
Publication Date: April 1, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

The Great Network is an ancient web of routes and gates, where sentient trains can take you anywhere in the galaxy in the blink of an eye.

But the Network is also a hazardous mess of twists and turns, and nothing is as it seems. So when petty thief and railhead Zen Starling is hired by the mysterious Raven, the job appears simple enough. Steal one small box from the Emperor’s train, live the rest of his days in luxury. Secrets and danger lie in wait on the rails, and that little box might just bring everything in this galaxy—and the next—to the end of the line.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review... which then expired so I borrowed it from the library!

I thought this one was really exciting and fun, but I wish it had been a duology. I thought that the story was really unique and cool but there was not enough time spent on any aspect of it and it caused me to not fully feel the story. But as I said, this was so fun and unique!

So this is broken up into four parts and each is more interesting than the last. However, I thought that each of them was too short. I almost wanted one book to be the first two parts and another book to be the last two. I thought that each section was a little too short to fully develop the story and characters. I wanted more time spent on the heist, to get to know the Noons a little better, especially Thren (? it could have been Thernsomething and now I can't look because I borrowed it from the library) because of the ending. I just wanted more because of how cool and unique this was.

The characters were so diverse and it was great. I loved seeing a scifi novel where the white people were minorities because that is so going to be the case in the future and I love when fiction represents reality. And the characters were so rich in their diversity. I loved learning about them and their nuances and cultural differences. I also liked that the Droids could choose their own identity based on how they wanted to be represented! However, sometimes the conversations felt stilted and unnatural -- the ebb and flow of them just didn't quite work for me.

But the world-building was IMMACULATE! It was so good and had so many different parts to it and was so interesting. I wish I could live in this world just so I could learn more about the rail system, the technology, EVERYTHING. There is so much to it and it is so adequately developed and I want SO MUCH MORE.

I really enjoyed this one and highly recommend it if you're looking for a new and different type of science fiction novel. I loved the nuances of the world, characters, and everything in between. Check this one out!

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