Book Reviews · Reading

Review: The Train to Impossible Places by P. G. Bell

35609868A nonstop middle-grade fantasy adventure, The Train to Impossible Places by debut author P. G. Bell is as fun as it is full of heart, and the first book of a planned trilogy.

A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a troll-operated delivery service that runs everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space.

But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy’s living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery―to the evil Lady Crepuscula.

Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice―with the fate of the entire Union at stake.

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My Thoughts:

  • This book was OUTSTANDING. An exhilarating, action-packed and imaginative story with fantastic and original world building and unique and lovable characters.
  • Our main character, Suzy, is great at physics. This love for science is not only super cool (more girls interested in STEM, please), but also provides for a lot of the comic disbelief Suzy goes through on her adventure. Apart from this awesome hobby, Suzy is smart, capable, and has a strong sense of right and wrong. She also tries SO hard to rectify her missteps and save the Union.
  • A sense of adventure is threaded throughout this book. It feels like an exploration–which is kind of is–since Suzy is visiting so many amazing and magical places and people, and I was itching for more. I wanted to inhale this whole world (or worlds?). Despite this wide geographical remit, the world of this story is never paper thin–it feels SO real.
  • A lot of this has to do with the sheer quality of the writing. Sometimes I think it’s easy to fall into the pitfall of super-exciting-plot-but-average-writing. NOT HERE. The writing was fluid, but beautiful, descriptive, but not overly so. Sometimes my eyes darted from the beautiful sentences, to the non-stop story again and again.
  • And what is a middle grade story without friends and new people? The people Suzy encounters and the relationships she develops over the story were funny, and heartwarming and just lovely to see.
  • Finally, this book was basically THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY meets DISCWORLD for kids. It’s a fantastic story, and I can’t wait for the next one.

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