Philip Reeve is a master story-teller and world-builder and Railhead is a perfect example of his oeuvre. As the reviewer at Kirkus Reviews says,
Reeve's writing never flags, with moments of pathos and magic seamlessly interwoven. Dozens of characters collide--the sentient trains; the Motorik; the Emperor's daughter Threnody and her boring but stalwart betrothed; Hive Monks; the Railforce agent who has tracked Raven across lifetimes--each one nearly as fascinating as the world Reeve has created (don't miss the glossary at the end). As he did with the Mortal Engines series, Reeve has crafted something at once weirdly familiar and marvelously original. Thank the stars there's at least one sequel planned already.I just gobbled up this Sci-Fi adventure. Folks who know my reading habits don't think of me as a Sci-Fi reader, and I'm not, partially because I usually have a hard time imagining the world in the tale. Reeve develops a wide assortments of worlds and I enjoy inhabiting them while I read about Zen Starling's adventure. This is the only book on the 2017 Mock Printz list which we put on the list without reading it first, based on recommendations, reviews, and the author's reputation. I know it will garner a big following among my teen readers.