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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of Airborne and the Silverwing trilogy. The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life! When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, h…

The Boundless

by Kenneth Oppel

Overall Book Review:

In The Boundless, Kenneth Oppel does what he does best–create an adventure story with a strong male lead.  (If you have a guy reader in your household, then you should put Mr. Oppel at the top of the go-to author list.)  A likeable cast of characters, a circus, a magnificent train hurtling at high speed, a dash of fantasy, villains, and plentiful action–there is so much here to like and enjoy.

Essentially though, The Boundless feels like the plot and elements of Airborn re-cast.  Directed at perhaps a slightly younger reader audience than Airborn, it was even set in a different time and location of the same world created in Airborn.  Although a fun adventure story and recommended as a satisfying read, the novel felt too much like Airborn to really make it a truly memorable read.  (Unfortunately, when you write something as exceptional as Airborn, the expectation bar is set pretty high.)  Fans of adventure stories will be pleased with The Boundless.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation; 8 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore:  Fantasy animal shot and killed; avalanche with destruction and implied deaths; fantasy animal kills a character; bird is electrocuted (accidentally); character murders someone, few details; report of limb lost an explosion; report of a trampling by animals; off-hand report of unsuccessfully stabbing attempt; non-detailed plot to kill someone; chase scene involving grabbing, kicking, etc.; scene involving creepy props; character punches and attempts to drown another; scary scene with mystical element where a character is lured to be drowned; brief, non-detailed bar fight; animals are killed for sport; non-detailed shootout with guns and arrows resulting in at least one death; report of deaths; character punched; shocked; kicked; death by natural causes; people thrown from train, unclear if death resulted; extended fight scene with grabbing, kicking, punching, knife stabbing, characters thrown from train, with death of at least one character; characters struggle, hit with shovel; brief scene and little description in which a fantasy animal kills a human, rips head off the body, and spikes head on a tree .

Sex/Nudity:  A character removes clothes to bathe, non-sexual.

Mature Subject Matter:

Illegal activities, murder, social classes, prejudice (ethnic and social).

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults drink and smoke; brandy is given to a child; teenager drinks champagne; there is general drinking at a dance; characters enter a saloon.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!