The Boundless by Kenneth Opel Book Review

The Boundless by Kenneth Opel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 22 , 2014

The Boundless is the greatest train ever built with 900 cars stretching over nine miles. There is also a murderer on board and he is out to kill Will who in possession of the funeral car key where it is rumored there is treasure. He must warn his father who is the manager of the railway and all the way up in first class. In order to survive, Will joins the traveling circus with Mr. Dorian and Maren, a girl his age who he met years ago and helped get her this job. Things would be simpler if Mr. Dorian and Maren didn't want something from the funeral car too. Is he willing to risk his life for them?

This book could not decide what it wanted to be. Fantasy or historical? Strangely silly or serious? The thugs are thugs for no other reason than they are thugs. Will is a wannabe artist whose talent is obviously not enough to impress his dad, but at least plays a part in the plot. There are sasquatches, but they are absolutely pointless to the storyline other than to add some fantastical element to the story, which already exists by having bog witches and a nine mile train. I just didn't see the point of the fantasy elements in this story and that is saying a lot from a girl who loves fantasy.

The real problem of the story was this though...the train was just too damn big. Not only did it defy the laws of physics, but it also defied reason. If a guard on your train gets murdered and is missing and you don't notice for several days, then you have a very serious security problem. There is only one law man on a train that is basically a rolling city? No one patrols the third class cars. It's like Snowpiercer, but for kids. (it's a graphic novel and movie, look it up) There is no telegraph on board and no way to tell anyone at the front of the train about the fact that their breakmen are out for gold and blood.