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A brilliant, innovative adventure story for kids (and the middle-aged like myself). Philip Reeve is a master of imagination and this is some of his best work to date.
This story is set in a universe where planets are linked by railways. Not the plodding, choking diesel things of the 20th century but majestic machines that are sentient and emotional. Imagine some of the American streamliners of the 1930s but on a grand scale and you won't go far wrong. These railways lead into K-gates; like Cluedo tunnels that allow the trains to travel between worlds in an instant, much faster than spacecraft.
Add to this feudal politics as rival families control corporations that compete for power over the rail network, Railforce polices the lines with brutal efficiency, and mysterious, ethereal beings, part gods, part computers manipulate everything to maintain the balance.
Into this mix strays a petty thief, a teenager with little prospect, who ends up as the most wanted boy in the universe and the unwitting agent of the secretive Raven.
This is a fantastic rollercoaster of a story that I can't recommend enough, especially now that Audible have fixed the fault where the last chapter was missing.
The sequel, Black Light Express, must be coming to a station near you soon. That's a big hint Audible!
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