The Great Network is a place of drones and androids, maintenance spiders and Station Angels. The place of the thousand gates, where sentient trains criss-cross the galaxy in a heartbeat.
Zen Starling is a petty thief, a street urchin from Thunder City.
So when mysterious stra ...more
“Aren’t you curious? Don’t you want to know what’s beyond that gate?”
This is a book for the curious. This is for those readers who get excited by possibility. If you like the idea of a great, wild universe spread out before you, full of mysteries and secrets, then I highly recommend you step into this world.
Reeve has created one of the richest, most imaginative worlds I have ever read about. It's set many centuries into our future, when Old Earth has been left behind and a great network of m ...more
Zen Starling makes his way by petty thievery. He lives with his older sister and his mother, who appears to be a paranoid schizophrenic. Throughout his childhood, she's dragged them from one place
to the next, never settling down, insisting that they're being pursued by shadowy enemies. But as the adage says, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. And that's what Zen learns, when afte ...more
Railhead is set in a fantastic future where sentient trains transport people across vast distances to other planets by means of K-Gates, a technology pioneered and protected by Guardians, powerful AIs who long ago appointed themselves caretakers of humanity. Zen Starling is a petty thief who is minding his own business when opportunity ...more
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book with a world so rich. Philip Reeve wrote an absolute gem of a middle-grade sci-fi story, that will take you on a mind-blowing journey across the universe. You’ll meet many people of colour, droids who acts like humans, and these incredible beings called Hive Monks:
"He was a colony of b...more
Giving personalities to trains was pretty cool. Hard to find much to say about this, while I enjoyed it for the most part it was still rather middle of the road. The ending was very frustrating. 2.5/5
Humanity has spread to the stars via a network of K-gates which are only passable in a sealed environment traveling at speed, so ... trains. The K-gate network is a multi-world rail network traveled by super-advanced trains with AIs. In one corner of the galaxy "railhead" and thief Zen Starling seems to be in more trouble than usual.
Zen finds himself performing a "simple" heist, but s ...more
The writing is really getting on my nerves. It's really immature, complete with that severe overuse of ellipses here. Oh well.
(Review not posted, as I don't have much of a review so much as a rea ...more
What a delightfully weird read. I don't think even it's harshest critics could deny that this book brings something completely different to YA sci-fi, which is quite an achievement as this is definitely an over-saturated market. Railhead follows Zen Starling, a petty thief who's recruited by the mysterious Raven to infiltrate the most powerful family in the galaxy and steal something for him. The story is set thousands of years in the future and revolves around an intergalactic rail ...more
"The Guardians mean well, but they have shunted the whole human race onto a branch line of history, and we keep trundling round in circles. It's time someone changed that."
A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No external considerations went into this review.
I've been meaning to read Philip Reeve for years, but the library gods have always conspired against me - the first Hungry Cities book is never in the same branch that I am, e ...more
Railhead Philip Reeve is a magical science fiction cyberpunk adventure. I rounded up this review to full marks because of how imaginative and just darn fun this adventure is. Zen Starling, is our main protagonist, our star of the story and is a young man(with a great name too).
This is a far future story. Zen is small time Thief and an otherwise mischievous young man that has spent most of his life moving from one place/world to another with his sister and crazed mother. Zen is a Railhea ...more
The nitty-gritty: An instant classic, Railhead deserves a spot up there with some of the best young adult fantasy/science fiction ever written.
The train was gone, but he could still see her, striding along beside him in the sodium glow from the trackside lamps. The smell of space clung to her, rich and smoky. What was this that he was feeling? It frightened him, whatever it was.
Finding a book that gives you the same feeling as a beloved favorite is a rare thing, so rare, in f...more
I had this book on my tbr list forever because it sounded interesting and it surpassed all my expectations. It definitely will not take me as long to get to Black Light Express.
This is an awesome gift from Th ...more
Taken place centuries ahead (maybe, being realistic here ^^) when earth refers as old earth, where there's inter-galaxies train which have its own consciousness, when consciousness entity not always in human form, and a lot more I never imagine...
Story wise though, not so much. It's follow many YA stories out there.
Zen is a petit thief recruit by a mysterious man to steal an object. Zen get attached with his companion, an android girl. Whe ...more
Really really not for me!
This book is very pacy; it's very focused on galaxies and different worlds within space, it's obviously a sci-fi, and it follows a boy named Zen who is a thief and he enjoys using this system to his advantage and travelling between two different worlds.
It's very gritty teenage fiction; there's lots of action...that is every genre I don't like: YA, action, sci-fi. For that reason, I really didn't gel with this book.
If you enjoy really typical teenag ...more
Railhead is the story about a street urchin and thief named Zen Starling. One day he is approached by a mysterious stranger who hires him to infiltrate the Emperor's train and steal an heirloom. Zen is ultimately a "railhead" so he jumps at the chance to ride the rails and explore the Great Network, no matter what the cost.
What first attracted me to Railhead was the very cool train world that I got a glimpse of in the blurb. I never imagined though that it would be ...more
The characters were great, lots of twists and turns in the story,but the best part...THE TRAINS!!!
Sentient trains! Each with their own personalities. Some were total badasses some were super sweet and two of them were in love! How cute is that!? Anyway I'm totally looking forward to the next book in this series. ...more
I'm still possibly interested in checking out the next instalments of this series, but I'll definitely be going in with the expectation that this seems to lean more towards middle-grade sc ...more
Maybe officially 2.5 stars.
This is a story that with a setting that is absolutely gorgeous. The descriptions of all the planets and their beauty, the Great Network and K-Gates. The list goes on and on. Reading this at times felt like looking at art.
The concept of the Great Network and the gates in themselves are nothing really special. Trains that transport people incredibly quickly across the universe: we have teleportation in pretty every science f ...more
I enjoyed this book off and on. The story focuses on a poor kid named Zen Starling who lives in the future where space travel is done on trains through K-gates, and the whole Network is controlled by the Emperor and his family who are sort of controlled by these god-like beings called the Guardians, who supposedly created the Network and K-gates. Zen gets tangled up in a scheme where he's used as a pawn and wouldn't have anything to do with the plot except that he was unwillingly throw i ...more
Like a lot of bo ...more
This book is set in the future and follows a young, poverish thief named Zen. Zen is a railhead and lives to ride in these trains that run from portal to portal around the universe were society ...more
An imaginative concept that suffered from having one-dimensional characters. For me, the characters are just as important as the plot and in this case, Zen Starling isn't characterized well, so there was never a point in my reading experience, where I connected with him.
There's also something about the writing that just didn't hook me to keep reading. I never felt any tension even in the action-packed scenes.
I was really looking forward to this. I'm terribly disappointed. ...more
The world is a future humanity based upon a network of basically magical teleportation railways called K-Gates that allow incredibly fast travel between different planets. I love this! They were created by mysterious Godlike A.I. beings called the Guardians for the benefi ...more
If you know me you’d know I love sci-fi books. Space, its secrets and its possibilities have always intrigued me. Imagining far away worlds on other planets, aliens and humans living together, a new kind of universe unfolded before our eyes, that’s something I want to witness but I know ...more
It's been years since I last read this book, and I noticed two things. 1) It was much better than I remembered. 2) I'd hardly remembered anything about it.
It's a book about trains - in space. Trains that are going through tunnels and come out on a planet at the other side of the galaxy. What more could you want? This is probably one of the most original settings and worldbuildings I've ever come across.
It all starts off rather simple: a boy who's been notic ...more
Philip then began illustrating and has since provided cartoons for around forty children's books, including the best-selling Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths and Dead Famous series.
Railhead, published by Oxford Un ...more