… singing trains, strange worlds …

robot love trains

Once again we follow Zen Starling as he travels across the galaxy with Nova, the almost human Motorik, trying to work out their relationship – (How does that even work, a human and a Moto? Zen is asked.) – whilst fighting the Guardians for control of the Great Network. Running alongside their adventure is the story of the reluctant Empress Threnody, dominated by family, who grows up and takes control of her destiny.

A brilliant world builder, Philip‘s universe is sparkling with creativity: sentient trains, cat like aliens, hunting plesiosaurs, and mind blowing virtual existences. He is also a master of atmosphere and, after finishing the book, I am left thinking about the allure – and dislocation – of long distance travel with his trains singing out far across the galaxies.

Highly recommended.

Philip Reeve is the Carnegie award-winning writer of the Mortal Engines quartet and Here Lies Arthur. He was born in Brighton and cites his early influences as including Oliver Postgate, Jackanory, Blue Peter, Asterix, Look and Learn, Swallows and Amazons, Airfix models, Whizzer and Chips, Rosemary Sutcliff, Action Man, JRR Tolkein, Star Wars, biscuits, bikes and boats. (But not trains strangely enough …)

Cover design moment:  Following on from the first two in the RailHead series, Zero Station‘s cover design was put together by Jo Cameron and her colleagues at OUP, using work by the brilliant Ian McQue.  You can see more of his work here.

Station Zero was published on 3 May 2018. I was given a review copy by Oxford University Press. Thank you.

You can find my other two RailHead book reviews at RailHead and Black Light Express.