Railhead by Philip Reeve Review

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Title: Railhead

Author: Philip Reeve

Rating: 5/5 stars

Page Count: 312 pages

Genre: SCI-FI, Middle Grade/ YA, Adventure, Fantasy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23532981-railhead?ac=1&from_search=true

Synopsis:

Zen Starling is a kid who lives in the future and is not understood by anyone at least that’s what he thinks. But when he gets in trouble and he meets Raven. Who will give him a way out that will change his life forever. Will he take that chance and ride the royal train to find the ultimate piece of the puzzle to the universe?

If you are looking for a SPOILER-FREE REVIEW check out my review on my Youtube channel.

 

Style of Writing:

I really liked that it was in third person instead of first because with Railhead the world is so much of the story and a character in itself that it worked to its advantage. I loved that all the parts of the world whether it is the trains or the Guardians they were explained just enough to grasp the concept but also to let your imagination completely run wild with possibilities of what it looked like in your head.

Themes:

I love the theme of trains when I was a kid my parents used to take me on those steam train rides so awesome! So this is the book I have wanted since I was a kid and now I have it! It is traintastic! I loved the SCI-FI future theme in this book because it was not fantastical but quite realistic in terms of the fact that this could be a possible future. The theme of friendship was beautifully written especially between Zen and Nova.

Characters:

Zen Starling was a great character. He was just a lost kid at the start then he develops throughout the story into this strong character. Nova I absolutely loved as a character because she was so loyal to Zen and quite human in her personality. Raven I didn’t like as a person but as a villain he was really good. Threnody for me was too annoying in the beginning but I grew to like her at the end of the book. The trains were epic; Damask Rose and Thought Fox such fantastic characters with their own bolshie personalities. Also I loved Uncle Bugs.

Plot:

The plot was fantastic so thrilling and exciting loved every minute of it. I was always waiting and wondering what was round the corner on the next page in the adventure. I really like that you didn’t always know if Zen and Nova were going to make it which kept the suspense going throughout. The ending was great because it felt like you ended a chapter but there was so much more to explore so you didn’t feel like there was nothing to look forward to.

 

My Thoughts:

I can’t do this book justice in a few words its just absolutely amazingly and fantastically traintastic! It is just fun and thrilling story filled with great story of friendship and finding yourself and your place in your world. Great for children’s fiction, SCI-FI and train lovers.

 

Comment below if you have read Railhead or interested in reading it or to let me know what you thought of the review!

 

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Hot Milk By Deborah Levy

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Title: Hot Milk

Author: Deborah Levy

Rating: 3/5 stars

Page Count: 218 pages

Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27866173-hot-milk

Synopsis:

Hot Milk is the story of a girl Sophia who has an almost invalid mother who has taken over life. So they travel to Almeria in Spain where the Gomez Clinic resides to cure her mother of her paralysis in her legs. It follows Sophia’s anthropological journey through her time in Spain assessing her life.

 

If you are looking for a spoiler-free review her is one I did on my YouTube channel:

Spoiler Free Review

 

Favourite Quote:

On page 51 it is a dialogue between Rosa who is Sophia’s mother and the head of the Gomez Clinic Dr Gomez at lunch discussing her ex-husband. I really liked this quote as was full of witty comedy on how her ex-husband left her for a younger woman.

Style of Writing:

The interesting point is at most of the start of the chapters there was a snippet of writing that it was an interesting addition but ultimately I did not see the point. Her style was simple and quite descriptive which I enjoyed as it made the book more of a critique of her life than the story of her mother’s legs. I really liked the detached narration of Sophia.

Themes:

The theme of family is the main element of this book and assessing how important it is to people. The family dynamic within Sophia’s family showed the effects of modern-day life and was very relatable. The element of lesbian love interest was a clear representation of how complicated it can be if it is a new experience for people. It read as a respectful representation.

Characters:

My favourite character would have to be Mr Gomez he is such fun and intriguing with great wit. I felt so sorry for him at the end. I liked Sophia she was relatable to me especially because of her young age. However, I did find her irritating in the middle as she was not fully developed. I didn’t like Ingrid for me she had too many agendas as a character and was such a confusing person. In terms of Rosa the mother by the end I think she just needed a wake up call and was such a burden even to the story that you kinda hated her.

My Thoughts:

This book was an interesting read in terms of it being basically an anthropological study of her life and cultural memory. However, the story as such was anticlimactic in terms of it didn’t develop anywhere as in Sophia’s mother’s illness or Sophia’s life. The ending was disappointing as the second last paragraph had some meaning but then it ended with a sentence on a jellyfish which I believe was not needed. Overall, though intriguing I did not enjoy it due to its lack of direction. I believe this book is more catered towards those who enjoy a complex literary read.

 

If you have read this book let me know what you think down below in the comments!

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