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The Boundless

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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  3,856 Ratings  ·  794 Reviews
The Boundless train is on its maiden voyage across the country. When first-class passenger Will Everett gets the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. To survive, Will joins a travelling circus, helped by ringmaster leader Mr. Dorian, and Maren, a girl his age and an expert escape artist.
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published April 1st 2014)
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Amy Allen Only a tad scary. Mostly suspensful, but there are fights, deaths, hags, and sasquaches. I think a middle school aged child would enjoy it.
Sydney.Y I personally didn't like the book so much because it was pretty slow and uneventful in the beginning but if you keep reading and get to the middle and…moreI personally didn't like the book so much because it was pretty slow and uneventful in the beginning but if you keep reading and get to the middle and end it gets super fascinating. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Jan 17, 2015 Jesse (JesseTheReader) rated it really liked it
Here's a video with my thoughts on The Boundless: http://youtu.be/6nuH8l8MRkE
Maureen
Jul 19, 2016 Maureen rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars

BOOKTUBEATHON BOOK #5 DONE BLESS UP.

I enjoyed this a lot! It was more exciting than I thought it would be. I loved the story, but the characters didn't have a lot of growth, or at least growth that made sense. It was mostly all about the plot, which in this case was good, so not a total loss! I loved the descriptions of the cars on the boundless because that seriously sounds like a train I want to be on. Overall enjoyable though not incredible!
Penny McGill
May 01, 2014 Penny McGill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-older-kids
A truly great book that kept me up - reading - all in just one evening. An evening that flew by and very little laundry was folded and put away. This isn't the first Kenneth Oppel book that I've read (or read aloud to my kids) that made me think it would make a fantastic movie. We loved it. I'm always on the edge of my seat when I read that he'll publish something new but I almost felt like I'd won the lottery when I saw the blog post where he mentioned all of the research for this book. It's li ...more
Richard Denney
Dec 23, 2016 Richard Denney rated it did not like it
1 STAR!

I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. It had trains, which I love, it took place in an alternate Victorian era, and it was an adventure. But alas I could not get past two very big things, the first it being so incredibly boring and slow. It took at least 200 pages to get going and it takes place on a train which you'd think would go by even quicker, but no. There's also a hint of romance in this which I wasn't for, you all know how I feel about MG books with romance in them. I don't
...more
Alisha Marie
God, I'm such a sucker for a book with a beautiful cover. And my God, the cover of The Boundless is stunning. I really wish that the story was at least half as beautiful or stunning as the cover is. I wish that I would've found The Boundless even slightly interesting. But alas, it was not meant to be.

Here's my issue with The Boundless...it was boring. I'm talking coma-inducing boring. The beginning was meh, so I thought "Let me give it at least until the middle. I'm sure it'll pick up by then".
...more
Renee
Nov 04, 2013 Renee rated it liked it
This review is based on an ARC. I found "The Boundless" entertaining, but not as gripping as Oppel's other books. The narration style took me a while to settle into, though I was never completely comfortable with his voice; it seemed choppy. I liked that the book was set in Canada and tried to portray light and dark parts of Canada's history (i.e. the last spike ceremony, CNR, treatment of aboriginal peoples, colonials and whites). The antagonists seemed a bit one-dimensional: they were thugs lo ...more
Lee Födi
Jun 05, 2014 Lee Födi rated it really liked it
I was privileged to attend a Kenneth Oppel launch of this book and hear a lot about the genesis of this idea. He's taken an interesting approach with this book. By mythologizing Canadian history, he takes us on a journey across Canada, from Halifax to Victoria, via a Titanic-inspired train that is populated with famous personalities such as Sam Steele and creatures such as a Sasquatch. Personally, I enjoyed the use of present tense, which really serves to ground the reader in the moment (an inte ...more
Joshua Whiting
This review was posted on granitemedia.org: http://www.granitemedia.org/2014/11/t...

A cross-continental Canadian steampunk circus train con job adventure, plus sasquatch to boot.

Through a classic rags-to-riches turn of events our young man Will Everett finds himself traveling first class on The Boundless, the largest steam engine train ever built, for its maiden transcontinental voyage. However, when Will witnesses a murder and becomes a target himself, he must literally join the circus on-boar
...more
John Cho
Nov 22, 2015 John Cho rated it really liked it
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
I highly recommend this book to those who love thrillers and want a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This book is full of mystery, wonder, and packed with action. A touch of fantasy here, a touch of history there, and tons of action and suspense will intrigue and make anyone want to read this book. The Boundless is not your typical book about good versus evil, it shows the other side of stories and that maybe good can be bad and that bad can be good. Wi
...more
Alissa Bach
This is not a book I would have picked up on my own (it was given to me to review). So I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it once I got into it. For this reason, five stars!
Maria Kramer
This is a book in the same vein as Oppel's earlier Airborn - a historical fantasy adventure featuring strange creatures, criminal schemes, and an awesome vehicle (in Airborn a blimp, and in this novel a massive train). Despite the similarities, this work and the world it creates feel fresh and interesting. This book has a lot of things I like:

*Trains! From The Lady Vanishes to Murder on the Orient Express I've always loved mysteries and thrillers that take place on trains. And The Boundless is q
...more
Dana
Jun 27, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It's about a boy traveling with his father - a railroad executive - across the continent in the longest train ever built. The boy, Will, has a passion for drawing and a secret longing for a tightrope walker he met three years before. Along the way he discovers the girl, Maren, is also aboard having joined the circus which performs for passengers going west. Will witnesses a murder and must join the circus to hide from the murderer who pursues him. He faces new challenges and ...more
R.J.
Mar 05, 2015 R.J. rated it liked it
I feel kind of guilty for not loving this book more, because there is really nothing technically wrong with it -- at least not that jumped out at me while I was reading it. But for some reason I just didn't love the characters or the story enough to get excited. Pity, because there are a lot of great ideas here -- but for whatever reason, I was just not the right reader for this particular story.

That wouldn't keep me from recommending this book to others who might find it more to their interest
...more
Chantaal
May 03, 2014 Chantaal rated it liked it
2.5 rounded up. A fun YA adventure, but having it from Will's POV negated any awesomeness the single (1! No other females were main or secondary characters, nor did any have more than a bit part in small scenes) female character may have had. It's a good yarn for the age group it's aimed at.

The train's pretty cool too, though I could only think of Snowpiercer (graphic novel turned film with the same premise, but dystopian/post-apocalyptic) as I read the descriptions of the various cars and clas
...more
Valentina
Jul 01, 2014 Valentina rated it it was amazing
This book is too amazing to write about. Highly recommended!!
Hazel West
Feb 11, 2014 Hazel West rated it it was amazing
Thoughts on the Overall Book: Typical of Kenneth Oppel, this is a classic adventure novel with a flair of steampunk and the fantastical. I have never read one of his books that I didn't like!

Cover--Yea or Nay: Yes! I love this cover so much, I think it fits perfect with the feel of the story and I also love the eyes in the forest :)

Characters: Will Everett was a very enjoyable character to read about. I really liked him because, unlike a lot of characters in middle-grade adventure novels, he is
...more
T
Aug 06, 2014 T rated it it was ok
Let me just preface this review by saying I am a huge Kenneth Oppel fan and absolutely LOVED his Silverwing and Airborn trilogies.

The root problem of this book is the setting/setup. It's way too similar to Skybreaker: there's a special key, the unique train is basically the equivalent of the Hyperion, the sealed funeral car is also the equivalent to Theodore Grunel's airship, the main plot also involves a treasure hunt, the bad guys want the treasure, while Maren and Will are just Naira and Mat
...more
Abigail337
Feb 27, 2015 Abigail337 rated it really liked it
The book Boundless is a good book to read if you like adventurous books.
The story starts with William coming to see his father because William father was an engineer who helped build the railway with the other engineers building the track for the Boundless and then three years later a few things have changed and William father is the manger for the train. Soon will gets left behind and then gets on from the back and then that's where his adventure begins to get back to first class.
When William w
...more
Mandy
Jan 26, 2017 Mandy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Actually more like 3.5 stars.
I found this entertaining, particularly as I got towards the end, but I'm not the target audience for this book and I think it showed. If I'd read this as a child I think I would have loved it though.
Our main protagonist is Will Everett, whose father works on the railroads and, following an accident three years earlier in which he saved his boss's life, has been promoted through the ranks to rise to the top of the company.
The Boundless is the longest train ever buil
...more
Amruta
Apr 09, 2015 Amruta rated it really liked it
Imagine going on a train and enjoying your voyage until you witness something, a murder. A whole new terrifying adventure and thrill begins right at that precise moment. For Will Everett this is simply his life and he must go on a exciting yet dangerous journey across the long train, The Boundless. Will must get back to his father, but will he?

I picked up this book because it's book trailer looked really cool.Plus, at the red maple meeting, many liked this book so I thought why not read it? I b
...more
Cori Reed
Aug 01, 2016 Cori Reed rated it liked it
I am officially a Kenneth Oppel fan.

If you like younger feeling YA and middle grade, he is a sure bet. Also, if you're Canadian, most of his books will give you at least a small amount of patriotic affection for them. If you're not Canadian, you probably won't notice, so don't be afraid! It's like little Canadian easter eggs. Kenneth Oppel is so good at fun allusion - which is exactly why I think adult can appreciate his novels just as much as a 12 year old. In this book we have nods to The Pic
...more
Daniel
Nov 28, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
Vrlo zabavna knjižica smeštena u neki alternativni 18/19 vek. Iako imamo ljudskog heroja kojeg pratimo kroz veći deo knjige po meni glavni junak je sam voz gde se skoro čitava radnja priče i dešava.

Priča je interesantna samo dosta sporovozna :) Ako imate strpljenja za sporije knjige ovo je ondak odlično štivo.
The Library Lady
May 13, 2014 The Library Lady rated it liked it
This would garner 3.75 if I could rate books that way. Solidly written and entertaining, this is historical fiction/fantasy. Adults who have read Oscar Wilde or are familiar with P.T. Barnum's sideshow acts will get some references here that kids will not, but they're not crucial to the plot.
Holly Ristau
Jul 07, 2014 Holly Ristau rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! What an exciting read! Nonstop action almost from beginning to end featuring avalanches, sasquatches, murder, gigantic people and trains! I think kids would like it... will test it on a few to find out!
Ramona
Mar 30, 2017 Ramona rated it it was amazing
Adventure! Mystery! Young Love! History! Trains! A circus! What more could a preteen (or anyone) want in a book! Enjoyed this book immensely. Oppel has a way with words when describing the landscape, a mood, a person. Will Everett has always wished for an adventure and this book is full of adventure! On the train ride of a lifetime, young Will meets Maren, a young girl who is an escape artist; Mr. Dorian, the circus ringmaster; Cornelius Van Horne, builder of a fantastical railroad and train; as ...more
Derpa
Sep 17, 2016 Derpa rated it did not like it
Did not finish at 80%

I am genuinely disappointed. I wanted to read this book for such a long time and honestly, I usually love middle grade things. There is some sort of magic in them, this genuine joy for all the spooky and wonderful things. They are also often handle things in a very delicate and subtle way, which leaves room for the kids to take them at their own pace and just keep some of the childlike wonder.

This, though. Oh, god. This book did the very same thing that I dislike with many
...more
Allison
So this book was not as good as the Airborn books because it had less adventure and action. But that is okay because I really like Oppel's writing and ideas. His sentences just flow so well. It's like poetry! So I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Boundless.

Can't help but compare them, of course. I think Oppel deliberately tried to break away from similar themes, tropes, and characters that he used in the Airborn books - first off, different tenses and perspectives, as The Boundless is in 3rd-perso
...more
Linnae
Oct 05, 2016 Linnae rated it really liked it
The action doesn't let up and the setting is just so cool!

Will is a boy longing for his own story to begin. His father is off building a railroad up in the mountains, and he and his mother have recently moved to be closer to him. A chance meeting with his dad's boss, Mr. Van Horne, results in an invitation to ride the train up to his Dad's work camp. (He does leave a message for his mother.)

It's a risky sort of adventure, for his first. There are sasquatches that live in the mountains and they
...more
Laura
The Boundless is the longest train in the world, and it's taking its maiden voyage across Canada with Will's father as the driver. Will and his father weren't always first-class passengers though. Mr Everett was once a breakman, assisting on the railroad and hopping between cars. He and Will lived through a devastating avalanche, one with events that's coming back to haunt Will on The Boundless. To save himself before he or his father gets murdered, Will must join the traveling circus on the tra ...more
NerdyBirdie
I feel like I would’ve liked this book a lot more if I was a middle grader. Not that I don’t enjoy middle grade books, I do. But I didn’t like the voice of the story or Will’s narration (even though it’s third person, Will’s point of view). The story is told in present tense, except for the fact that I didn’t think this suited the book.

I also felt that the “adventures” was just Will not really knowing anything. He would do something thinking that one thing would happen, but then poor Will would
...more
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88922
I was born in 1967 in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia...At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding I wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). I started out writing sci-fi epics (my Star Wars phase) then went on to swords ...more
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