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The Boundless

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,538 ratings  ·  558 reviews
All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of Airborne and the Silverwing trilogy.

The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life!

When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing price
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published April 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Here's a video with my thoughts on The Boundless:
Penny McGill
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
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
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
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 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".
Joshua Whiting
This review was posted on

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
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
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!
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
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
This book is too amazing to write about. Highly recommended!!
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
Hazel West
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
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
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.
PEI Public Library Service
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

The Boundless is an action packed adventure story for children, sprinkled with facts about the history of the making of the Canadian railroad, Canadian scenes from Halifax to Victoria and our own mythology of Sasquatches and the Hag of the Muskeg. A factual book, or a good website, on the building of the railroad and a map of the country would compliment the fiction in the book.

In addition to the suspense of the criminals on the train, the author adds a circus troo
Will Everett has, through an incredible set of circumstances, moved from poverty to a more privileged life. Now,he is travelling in the first class section, on the maiden voyage of The Boundless, the world's largest, most incredible train. After getting off the train during a scheduled stop he witnesses a murder, he flees for his life and barely makes it back on the train, and so begins his adventure as the murders pursue him through the seemingly endless carriages.

I picked this book up because
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
Susan P
Will is accompanying his father on the cross country maiden journey of The Boundless - the world's longest and most luxurious train. Will is up in the first class cars where the privileged ride, but many behind him aren't so fortunate. As he ventures out from the train one day during a layover, Will is inadvertently thrust into the middle of a murderous plot to rob the train. Unable to get back to the safety of his father and his men, he is running - and hiding - for his life. Will is rescued by ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philippa Dowding
First of all, I love trains. Second, I also love spooky stories about creepy things like sasquatch and hags. Third, I love magic realism. So, naturally enough I really enjoyed reading Kenneth Oppel's latest book, which rolls all three into a rich and rollicking adventure. The Boundless is a rags-to-riches story about young Will, son of the engineer of the mythical Boundless -- the biggest train ever built (think Titanic) with an entire city of humanity (and a circus)among its seven miles of trai ...more
Holly Ristau
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!
Laura M
I had such high expectations of this book. I mean a journey on a seven mile long steam train in some historical era (likely the 19th century with the industrial revolution). How could that not be fantastic?
This is how.
The setting could have been fabulous but I feel it wasn't richly enough explored and made exciting.
The characters were quite shallow and we always got nothing but what they did in relation to the big plot, never things that could hint at personality and character.
There was no myste
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
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
Highly recommended. I started the book expecting historical fiction but then realized that this book was far more, because in this book

****Spoiler Alert!!****

Sasquatches are real! And the laws of physics are a little bit different, and a few other things...I should have seen this coming given Oppel's other books, but the fantasy elements slid in so neatly they still took me by surprise.

The action is non-stop and the characters are great fun, but the strongest part of the book is the setting: Th
I can always expect a solid, good story from Kenneth Oppel. This was quite the historical adventure, with a touch of the supernatural.
Certain elements of his stories may not be the most awe-inspiring, some of the writing may not be "anything new"; but every time I pick up one of his books, I'm transported completely into the little world he's created by his extraordinary ability to capture character. His characters are always so vivid, even without extensive physical description. If I remember
The first thing I notice with this book is that it's told in third person present. It pulled me out of the story a bit because it's kind of a distant point of view. But I liked the story very much, and it had plenty of action and tension. About a boy whose dad was a brakeman and who worked on the trans-Canada railway. The boy, Will, was there at the end and drove the final golden spike. But now, three years later, the railroad owner has died, and they’re taking the 7-mile long train, the Boundle ...more
This book is beautifully well-written; if you've read Oppel's Matt Cruse trilogy, rest assured that the same skill is apparent here. I've stayed up until 6 AM to finish it, which I'm sure I'll regret when it's time to wake up, but The Boundless is just that darned engaging.

...Which is why I feel a bit guilty only giving it three stars, but I just can't bring myself to give it a higher rating. It's wonderfully written, yes, but now that I've finished it, I feel sort of unsettled and discontent; i
I picked this one up at the library because it seemed intriguing and neat and it was, but it certainly was targeted at a younger age group than I had hoped. Of course some probably say it's obvious that this would be an easier read, but from the synopsis it's hard to tell I think. It could've ended up being very deep and knotted. In fact, I really wish the story had been created to be more in depth because the basis of the plot is enticing in my opinion. The characters were not strictly good nor ...more
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Selby Bay Readers: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel 2 1 Oct 25, 2015 07:10PM  
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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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