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Station Zero

(Railhead #3)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The Great Network is changing. New worlds, new alliances, new enmities. For Threnody the changes have brought great power. For Zen and Nova they have brought separation. For the trains that run from world to world, they have brought questions. Now all of them must find out what really matters to them and who they really are . . .
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 3rd 2018 by Oxford University Press
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4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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I lied. I did not read this book. Instead it came up on my Goodreads feed with the heading

"Based on your reading preferences, you might enjoy...." followed with details of this book.

Having read nothing but non-fiction for about 3 years, what is there about this book that could possibly, in a million years, appeal to me? Even when I DID read fiction, this is light years outside my comfort zone. I think the last science fiction book I read was 46 years ago.

A message to Goodreads

Please try harder.
All aboard! This incredible space-train finale really shoots for the stars, and finish the series with a bang 🌟.
The Railhead books has always been one of my favorite scifi-series, and while it’s sad to see it come to an end, the ending itself was a good one.

It’s been a year since the Khoorsandi-gate opened up the Web of Worlds (and all it’s aliens) to the human empire. While the Noon family loves exploiting those new worlds, railhead Zen Sterling is left rich, famous, and bored.
Thankfully a m
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)

If you are looking for an amazing sci-fi, you NEED to try this series. They are so underrated, and they are honestly incredible - the diversity, creativity, the characters and the writing are all amazing, and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone. I love the world as well, because whilst it is not perfect in anyway, there are a lot of positive sides to it that is quite rare to see in a lot of sci-fi/fantasy books.
[L]isten, there on the wind, there on the radio waves, faint and wild and far away and forever singing, the trains, the trains, the trains...
Initially I was going to give this 4.99 stars but seriously, even though I loved Chandni Hansa, I don't think not having her physically appear in this book really counts as a fault. So here, HAVE MY 5 STARS.


^ Probably what that famous night on the alien world Yaarm looked like, when the wind blew the curtain. The world(s)-building in this series is next-
M. Jones
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm wary of my rating for this, and I might reconsider because I'm beginning to appreciate how difficult it is to tie up a trilogy, but right now, having finished the book within the last 10 minutes I'm a bit disappointed with how easily some things were sorted out. I'd always suspected that the Railhead trilogy would end as it did (view spoiler), but not quite how it did it. (view spoiler) ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites


I haven't done formal reviews of any of Philip's books, even though they are my always-favorites. So I'll just list a lot of good things.
-I love trains and space trains and the majesty reeve is able to convey about traveling, and why people love it
-aliens and alien cultures and future culture! world-building is still top notch
-Amazing AI stuff. The best AIs I've read, where you both see the humanity and inhumanity of them, and that isn't divided into fields of 'humans love' 'in
Book Gannet
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This whole series has been a complete joy of wonder and imagination and space and trains, and this final installment is no different. The universe is getting bigger, the worlds are getting weirder and right at the heart of it all is Zen, rich now but utterly miserable from missing Nova. He’s come a long way since the poor thief riding trains in the first book, yet at heart he’s still the same. Which means both trouble and adventure are just around the corner.

New K-gates opening up in abandoned p
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Publishing Date: January 2019

Publisher: Capstone


Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.8/5

Publisher’s Description: What happens after the adventure of a lifetime? For Zen, it’s a safe, comfortable life of luxury. But it’s not what Zen wants. He misses the thrill of riding the rails, of dodging danger, and of breathing the air of different planets. Most of all of course he misses Nova, lost to him forever in a distant world. But then one day a mysterious message arrives, and that’s all Zen needs
Karyn Silverman
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: specfic, z2018-reads, arcs, nook, ya
A strong, deeply satisfying — but not quite happy and definitely not too neat — ending to a brilliant and criminally underrated series. The world is just brilliant, unlike anything else out there; maybe this could be a comp for Railsea, but really it’s totally original. I’m hoping the world gets the Fever Crumb treatment — a revisit in the form of a different time. I’d love more guardians, more world.
Emma Hinkle
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
A fitting ending to a good series. Not my favorite series but the plot was very interesting and kept twisting and turning.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Philip Reeve has written many books for children and teenagers and is most known for his book series called The Mortal Engines. This series was even made into a movie just this year. In addition, he is known for a few other series besides The Railhead Trilogy such as the Buster Bayliss series and the Larknight trilogy. Books similar TO STATION ZERO and the Railhead Trilogy include the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu because they follow almost the exact same concept. Another good book similar to STATI ...more
Becky B
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Zen Starling has just about everything he thought he ever wanted. A nice house, plenty of money, his own car, mild fame...and he is utterly miserable. When a message comes through the Datasea with coordinates in Nova's voice, he jumps at the chance to escape the trappings of Noon ritzy, imperial life and hit the rails again with a new mission.
Things are at a very uneasy stalemate between the Prell empire and the Noon empires. Everyone knows that as soon as the guardians hint to Elon Prell he's a
Eleanor Luhar
I did it again. I requested a book that concludes a trilogy I haven't read. Oops.

Because I didn't read the previous books in this series I'm afraid my review is probably going to be a bit more critical than if I had read them. The first thing I'm going to say is that I had problems immersing myself in the world set by Reeve, and a lot of the concepts, characters and terms used took a bit of getting used to. For wanting of a better phrase, I "had trouble getting into it".

I do believe that the bes
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All sci fi fans. Those looking for a bit more than just spaceships and blasters.
With how much a fan I am of Philip’s Mortal Engines quartet, it’s no surprise that the Railhead series was on my radar. True to form of Reeve’s high-concept scifi designs, leaping into the world of Railhead was an absolute delight. I can’t wait to finally have a matching set of the new cover design with the upcoming release of Station Zero in the new art style much more befitting of the theme of the novels.

If you’re new to the Railhead series and are just looking at reviews before trying the bo
V.S. Nelson
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot to chose from when you stand in front of a YA shelf at your local bookshop. I used to ask for recommendations from the staff but that's led to many disappointing books and wasted money. One of the issues I have with YA is I feel like I'm reading the same thing over and over again. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes, only no one else has realised they stuck in an endless repetition of reading the same book just under a different name.

What I love and Reeve's books, and the Railhead
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, young-adult
Never thought you'd get emotional about a train? This series, and it's climax, will make you think again. Despite this being one of those books where characters can seem quite aloof and unemotional, there are a surprising amount of times that its will make your heart ache.

Zen's isolated and suffering a severe bout of melancholy over his separation from Nova, Threnody's off doing important things (aka being used as a puppet yet again), the Guardians are debating if/when to destroy the new gates,
Pop Bop
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
On the Road Again, Eventually

This is the third and final volume in the "Railhead" trilogy. I read and very much enjoyed the first two volumes, but while this is a fine book it does present a few opening challenges.

There are some trilogies that allow the reader to enter at any point. This does not strike me as one of those trilogies. Without having read the first two books I don't think a reader would get, much less fully appreciate, the wonderful world that Reeve has created. This book has enoug
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, fiction
The final volume in the Railhead Trilogy. This is a triumphant piece of writing maintaining and exceeding the standard set by the first two stories. Station Zero is a masterwork. It retains the usual (for Reeve) gripping dual narrative format. Threnody Noon, a puppet empress of the Noon empire flexes her muscles and asserts herself in a Game of Thronesish (Game of drones perhaps) stand off with the sinister Prell family. Meanwhile, in a complex narrative alive with tech Zen Starling sets off to ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, sci-fi
Ohhh this was disappointing. The first two books were so good, and in comparison this was a rather flat end to the trilogy. Everything was laid out a bit too neatly, and the plot threads all tied up at the end -- or at the beginning, such as in Chandni's case. (I was sad she was written out of the story but thankful she at least had a hopeful/happy ending given the nightmare that was her life in Black Light Express.) Also, the more we saw of the Guardians, the more they came across as silly bick ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Following straight on from Black Light Express, we find Threnody Noon being used as a figure-head for the Noon family; and Zen Starling wasting his life away doing useless things... we have no clue what has happened to Nova.

But what an excellent way to introduce politics (and all its ramifications) into young adult (aka teenagers) minds - if they are willing to accept. This book DOES use the politics of various factions - and the war/non-war - to show how things can be manipulated and diverged f
John Fulton
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fitting conclusion to the Railhead trilogy.

We take a ride on the rails across the cosmos once again with Zen Starling, once a thief, now living in tedious luxury. Nova is gone - she's disappeared into the vast reaches of the Black Light Zone - and without her, Zen's life seems pretty meaningless. He's not even allowed to travel to the new worlds that he helped open up. So when he receives a cryptic message, he wastes no time. Nova is out there, and she needs his help.

Threnody is now the head o
Yaseen Jabbar
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. My entire review could be just that one word, but it wouldn't be much of a review. This is the thrilling finale to the Railhead series, which focuses on a young man named Zen Starling, who rides the rails of the Network Empire - a series of interstellar railways that run through portals to other worlds, operated by sentient locomotives, and a human colony network run by Empire-style families, with each family going to war every hundred years to take control of the entire Network. Station Ze ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
He was a face behind glass again, looking out at all the passing worlds. He felt calm for the first time in months.

When I picked up the first book of this series, I did it mainly because of its cover and the synopsis was just too intriguing to ignore. Sentient trains riding from one planet to another? When I still think about it, it was pretty obvious to me that I was going to love this series. And I did, until the very end.

In this conclusion the empire is divided in two: the Prell part which is
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spacey
I really liked Reeve's handling of robots and artificial intelligence in this - it's so common to see sci-fi stories where where they strive to be as "human" as possible, and the ones that embrace their "inhumanness" usually end up evil or so far removed from morality as we know it that they might as well be. Here we instead get to explore what makes them different - the way machines view gender, identity, personality, life, death, thought-processes, etc.

And it isn't written as neither good nor
Rambling Reviews
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
It was... fine. Didn't enjoy it as much as the previous two.

Even though 'lots' happened, it felt like not much happened? The whole thing seemed weirdly rushed, and some of the characters totally changed direction/motivation/made stupid decisions for the plot to move forward, which irritated me. Their actions were not justified by development.

Also felt more transparently political; the author was more on board.

My suspense of disbelief has been tugging at me all through these books, and I reali
Adina Hilton
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A solid end to a highly imaginative and rich SF series.

What I love most about this trilogy is the absolutely bonkers, yet believable Sci-Fi world Reeve creates for the reader: sentient trains, wormholes that allow travel from planet to planet and star system to star system, powerful and intelligent AI entities that have become almost like gods to humanity, shimmering and dazzling terraformed planetary structures, and evolving robotic intelligence/personality.

With all the craziness, there are fam
Rakie Keig
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review (first time I've used Netgalley! Exciting!)

Here is a list of things I love to see in a book:
1. Thrilling space romps
2. Trains
3. Characters you want to befriend forever
4. Frickin dinosaurs
STATION ZERO ticks every box on every mental list I've ever made. It's a wonderful conclusion to the trilogy that started with RAILHEAD and BLACK LIGHT EXPRESS, building and developing the characters we love and introducing some new ones for us to fa
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, 2018, 2018-fav, ya, own
An amazing conclusion to one of my favourite trilogies. I was so excited when I got this in the mail early (which never happens to me!), and I had to pick it up straight away. This had everything you could want in a finale and it wrapped up the mysteries so nicely. It was action packed and Zen is off to steal something again, travelling through new worlds. I loved where the storyline took our favourite characters, and I liked seeing the dilemma of the Guardians as well as focusing on some new on ...more
Mrs. Kenyon
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-audiobooks
Zen is now living a relaxed life with everything he could want, except for the adventure he craves. He also would like to see Nova, but she is in a different part of the universe and out of reach. After Zen receives a crazy message, he gets his heart’s desire with another adventure traveling the rails. Station Zero is the end of the Railhead trilogy and readers will be excited to see some returning characters. As with most series, please don’t read this book if you haven’t read the first two. Yo ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was actually incredible. I became invested in this series as soon as it came out, and, while I hated having to wait for the next book, it was already worth it. I should probably feel bad for this, but I become so emotionally attached to the trains, I started to feel bad for them. This was the first book to make me cry in years, I feel drained, in that good way when you’ve finished an amazing book. Honestly, well done Reeve, you’ve officially broken me, but I can guarantee I’ll be readi ...more
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Around the Year i...: Station Zero, by Philip Reeve 1 4 Jun 02, 2019 10:01AM  

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Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for a number of years while also co-writing, producing and directing a number of no-budget theatre projects.

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

Other books in the series

Railhead (3 books)
  • Railhead
  • Black Light Express (Railhead, #2)