Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, Jim Tierney (Illustrated by)

What do you do when you're on a train six miles long and the brakemen are trying to kill you?  There's nowhere to hide when the train is full of passengers and circus animals.  Who can help him now?

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 22nd, so make a note to pick up a copy then.

This is written for ages 8-12 but I sure enjoyed it.  There are Sasquatch, Indians, magicians, a circus, a trapeze artist, robbers and more on the train and the adventures just keep on coming.

The man who owned the train died before the Boundless took its first journey, but he's on the train making the trip in his casket with his favorite worldly goods.  Will's Dad is now the train boss and he takes his turn as engineer, too.  This story is set in Canada and you pick up a bit of railroad history mixed in with this fictional account.

My favorite characters were the circus manager/magician, Will and Mauren, a girl his age.  The three of them work their way through the cars, putting on scheduled shows here and there, in an effort to get to the front of the train and reunite Will with his father.  Unfortunately, it's a long way there and the thief and killer on board doesn't intend to let Will get that far.

There's lots of high adventure, both funny and sad moments, and I got tired just reading about Will's efforts to save himself.  He even got grabbed by the elephant!  And he met the imprisoned Sasquatch up close and personal, too.  Only a familiar scent saved him there.

I liked the whole tale but one death made me very sad.  I was hoping for magic to save him, but no such luck.  On a brighter note, the ending makes me think there might be more to this story.  I'm sure Will has some more adventures left in him...

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