Railsea

ebook, 384 pages

Published Oct. 28, 2012 by Tor Books.

ISBN:
978-0-230-76536-8
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4 stars (53 reviews)

"On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one's death & the other's glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea--even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-colored mole she's been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it's a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict--a kind of treasure map indicating a mythical place untouched by iron rails--leads to considerably more than he'd bargained for. Soon he's hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters, & salvage-scrabblers. & it might not be just Sham's …

9 editions

An amazing adventure!

5 stars

Just such a wild and good book. It could be described as "Moby Dick, except that instead of chasing a whale in a sailing ship, they're chasing a giant mole in a railroad train", and that would be accurate but also not. And it sounds ridiculous, and it is, but it works, and it's terrific.

It's also steampunk of a sort, but steampunk that's fresh and unique and not Just Steampunk.

It is a wonderful time, a rollicking adventure, a sweet romp, complete in itself, the loose ends not exactly tied up but not exactly left dangling. It is easy to imagine (and even long for) sequels, or other stories in the same universe, but it's also easy to imagine there won't be any; this was about perfect.

Highly highly recommended.

Review of 'Railsea' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The language is rich and strange (and still highly readable). I'm not a audiobook fan, but I suspect this is a great candidate for that. It is YA, in that the viewpoint is from a young person, but I never—in the least—felt talked-down to. There's a lovely, chewy complexity in puzzling out the invented world. As I read, I marked passages to refer to when I discussed with my book group (and I rarely do that). Some I marked because they answered a question; others because they were so lovely, or funny. Miéville has a blast, going meta with Moby Dick, Kidnapped and Treasure Island, and also simply addressing the reader.

Highly recommended.

Review of 'Railsea' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Railsea was quite enjoyable, although I didn't like it as much as I liked Perdido or Kraken. It sketched an interesting and unique world, and the characters were well done as always. The author experiments with grammar in this piece, which added to the feel of the setting, but I didn't really enjoy that aspect of it as much. Still, even with the experiments, China Mieville's writing remains consistently good, and I will happily continue to read everything he puts out.

Review of 'Railsea' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

I’ve only really enjoyed on China Miéville novel ([b:The City and the City|4703581|The City and the City|China Miéville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320475957s/4703581.jpg|4767909]) but I am a fan of what he does for literature and speculative fiction. His latest novel Railsea is his second attempt at a YA novel and while I’ve not read his other YA novel [b:Un Lun Dun|68496|Un Lun Dun|China Miéville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170692699s/68496.jpg|2959401] I must say I wasn’t really impressed with this one. I really loved the complexity of [b:The City and the City|4703581|The City and the City|China Miéville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320475957s/4703581.jpg|4767909] so I was looking forward to see Miéville’s take on [b:Moby-Dick|153747|Moby-Dick|Herman Melville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327940656s/153747.jpg|2409320]. Granted I should have read Moby Dick before this book but I found this book was too simplified and weird writing without some intelligent plotting just ends up making the book weird.

Set in a dying dystrophic world that is now desert; Railsea is an adventure novel that tells the tale of three …

Review of 'Railsea' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

The book started off a bit slowly and I wasn't sure whether I should be treating it is as a YA book or Mieville's usual fare. However, the pace quickly picked up and I got very interested in the story and the world. The ending in particular was very satisfying.

A more in-depth review is available in my blog here: strakul.blogspot.com/2012/05/book-review-railsea-by-china-mieville.html

Review of 'Railsea' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

People have wanted to narrate since we first banged rocks together & wondered about fire. There'll be tellings as long as there are any of us here, until the stars disappear one by one like turned out lights. Some such stories are themselves about the telling of others. An odd pastime. Seemingly redundant, or easy to get lost in, like a picture that contains a smaller picture of itself, which in turn contains - & so on.

In the world of the railsea, danger lurks under the earth where giant moles, earwigs and flesh-eating worms make their home and their hunting ground. The humans make their way safely in trains, running across the rails that cover most the land. The world ends where the railsea ends, that is what everyone knows.Sham is a doctor's assistant on a mole train. His captain is intent on catching Mocker Jack, an ivory (or …

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