Book Review: Railsea


Rating: 4/5 stars.

Wow. This was one of the most bizarre books that I have ever read. I’m serious. I have never read something so weird and intriguing and just plain strange. But I really enjoyed it.

The world has changed drastically. Now there are only islands of land that are safe to travel on. The rest of the land is filled with dangerous creatures that drag you underground and do who knows what with you within seconds of touching the ground. This dangerous land is also covered with train tracks. People ride these trains to hunt, to salvage wreckage, and for other reasons. Shamus Yes ap Soorap (Yes, that is his name.) is on the moletrain Medes where he training to be a moletrain doctor. But he doesn’t think that this is what he wants to do with his life. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be anything that he’d want to do for the rest of his life. He just knows that there must be something more to this life than the endless tracks of the railsea. But things begin to change when Sham finds proof of something that exists only in legends. It’s not long before this information gets out and he’s hunted by all sorts of people. For this proof could change the whole of the railsea.

Sham was adorable. He’s not outspoken. He’s shy. Sometimes he’s clumsy. He’s caring. There are times where he’s too trusting, but I love his openness. He’s willing to stand up for his friends. And he’s willing to follow what he believes in. Though he’s made fun of, everyone really loves and appreciates him. Captain Abacat Naphi is very intriguing. I still feel like I hardly know her. She’s harsh and firm, while still being very quiet. She has this metal arm that can do all these tricks. She lost her arm to a mole that is now her philosophy-something that she will hunt forever unless she kills it. And she’s willing to do absolutely anything to go after that mole. Anything. Caldera is a sweet girl, but is more courageous that you would think. She’s smart and a fast thinker. She’s willing to risk her life to complete what her parents. Her brother, Caldero, is bold for such a young kid. He does his best to act so tough and fearless. He snaps and yells a lot when he’s upset. But he really cares.

The writing was probably the thing that made this the most strange. I don’t really know how to describe it. It was just so strange. I had never seen such a writing style before. Every “and” was spelled “&”. The structure of the sentences was different from the normal. It was disordered, if you could describe it that way, and it made it a bit hard to follow. But it was also so very neat. It made me read slower, but I enjoyed it.

The second thing that made this book so bizarre was the world. It was very confusing at first, but it wasn’t long before I caught on. The author is a just genius. It was such a unique world. One of the most unique worlds that I have ever read. All the trains were amazing, which I think made me realize that I might have a small love of trains. The creatures were inventive, but still relatable to our world. The society. The different belief systems. Everything about it was different.

Well this was a very interesting plot. It was a kind of retelling of Moby-Dick. I haven’t read Moby-Dick so I can’t really say how it compares well. But it was the most interesting plot. It was slow though. There would be short bursts of action then it was slow, but that was only for the first half. The second half was must faster and I literally on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was so intense. And so crazy. I can’t believe how it turned out. There were lots of scary situations.

There was a little language. I don’t remember much though. Sham had two Dads, which were I think were cousins. It was kind of strange, but nothing else was said about it. I just didn’t get it.

It was a great book, even if it is a bit slow and hard to read. I’d recommend this to older teens, it can be a bit scary and violent for younger people. I loved its bizarreness.

-G. Paige