The Boundless Review

  • Author: Kenneth Oppel
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Historical/Magic Realism
  • No. of page: 332
  • Dates read: 12.05.19 – 15.05.19
  • Rating: 2 stars
  • Challenge: ONTD Challenge May Theme “A book set in a country you’ve never been to”. (Canada)

I had a lot of hope for this book. I had only recently added it onto my TBR list and happened upon it while in the library. This book, to me, had so much going for it but it just lacked in execution.

Plot: When Will Everett boards The Boundless he expects the ride of his life – not a fast route to death. But when the key to the train’s secret cargo falls into his possession he finds himself hunted by ruthless killers. As the great train hurtles across the country he will need all his wits to elude his pursuers – and keep himself alive. (Goodreads)

The overall writing was quite boring, I understand it needs to be easy as this is aimed at a more younger audience but the writing could have been more exciting! This book to me felt like it was a middle grade novel trying to be a YA novel. One thing I did enjoy with the writing was that it covered a lot of deep-rooted issues like racism, colonisation and sexism which I felt was handled well but then on the flip side the character does black face and is trying to pass off as Indian in order to not be recognised by the villain and that made me feel uncomfortable.

The book tackled with a lot of genres; historical fiction, fantasy and magic realism. While I normally enjoy a mismatch of genres this felt all over the place for me. I guess it was meant to play with the question of “what is magic?” and “is it magic or just an illusion?” but I don’t think it was executed that well.

I love stories set on trains. I think it’s a really interesting setting for a novel and the description of the different carriages was fun and varied, what I expect from a middle grade novel. I loved the imagination!

The characters were fun and slightly layered which was enjoyable and I loved going on the journey with them. Will, as a main character was fine, but you stay for the secondary characters as they bought more personality to the table. My favourite character would have to be Maren, a self-assured female character that had many different sides to her. I would have preferred if she was the protagonist of the story. She was the more interesting of the two.

The next book I will be reviewing is Viper by Bex Hogan. A book I obtained from the Fairyloot March Box. I have not had great luck with the books from the Fairyloot packages so I am hoping to enjoy this book but I am a bit worried.

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