Black Light Express
Book - 2017
Zen Starling, a small-time thief, and Nova, an android girl come from the Network Empire, whose stations are scattered across the galaxy and linked by the K-gates and the sentient trains travel at light speed between them--but the gate through which they just passed was a new one, and they have no way of knowing into what danger it might have led them.
- Reeve, Philip. Railhead ;
- Adventure fiction
Action and adventure fiction
North Mankato, Minnesota :
Switch Press, a Capstone imprint
- Item Description
- "Black Light Express" was originally published in English in 2016. This edition is published by arrangement with Oxford University Press."
- Physical Description
- 336 pages ; 22 cm
- Main Author
Reeve's planet-hopping Railhead (2016) ended dramatically with the opening of a new, interstellar train gateway, and this gripping sequel picks up as Nova (an androidlike Motorik) and thief Zen Starling emerge from it onto a new, previously disconnected world. Posing as human ambassadors, the pair explores this unknown network of planets (the Web of Worlds) and revels in their freedom to be a Motorik-human couple. Meanwhile, back in the Network Empire, Threnody Noon has barely been crowned empress when the power-hungry Prell family launches an attack on her palace and usurps control of the galaxy. Threnody escapes thanks to her streetwise attendant Chandni, and the two young women take the plunge into the Web of Worlds, joining Zen and Nova's risky mission into the inscrutable Black Light Zone. Action, imagination, and political intrigue pervade this book, but its most fascinating aspect is the gradually revealed mythology surrounding the Railmakers and Guardians—both godlike machine intelligences. A breathless, thought-provoking read in a series that shows no signs of losing steam. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 71–0—In this sequel to Railhead, trains are sentient beings with different personalities who communicate with one another through "trainsong" and with their passengers via artificial intelligence. They run on rails and travel through K-gates, portals to different worlds throughout the Network Empire. Zen Starling and Motorik (female android) Nova have escaped the Network Empire aboard the Damask Rose, hurtling through a new K-gate to the previously unknown Web of Worlds. They were pawns in a plot to steal a valuable artifact from the powerful Noon family, unintentionally destroying the Noons' train and killing their empress. Threnody Noon, the new empress, sets out to find and punish Zen. The hunt is complicated by an attempt to overthrow Threnody, which sends her on the run as well. As the narrative unfurls, the tangle of truth about the origin and control of the rails and K-gates is just as exciting as the hunt itself. The worlds and their inhabitants—track-building worms, delightfully aggressive retired war trains, unapologetic evildoers, and insects and multiple other nonhuman creatures—are distinct and crystal clear. No specific ethnicities are mentioned, but the human characters are described as brown-skinned, black, or white. VERDICT For fans of fantasy adventure, especially those who are new to the genre.—Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, Oakland, CA Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.
Zen Starling, a small-time thief, and Nova, an android girl come from the Network Empire, whose stations are scattered across the galaxy and linked by the K-gates and the sentient trains travel at light speed between them--but the gate through which theyjust passed was a new one, and they have no way of knowing into what danger it might have led them.Review by Publisher Summary 2
While traveling the sentient trains in the Network Empire, Zen Starling, a small-time thief, and Nova, an android girl, pass through a new K-gate that they have no idea where it leads.Review by Publisher Summary 3
With superb world building, gripping action, and ruthless political intrigue, Black Light Express delivers a breathtaking adventure into the darkest depths of space and is sure to please sci-fi fans and foes alike. At the edge of the Great Network, a small-time thief and an android girl ride aboard a sentient train. They hurtle toward the unknown, ready to see what lies beyond the end of the universe. But Zen Starling and Nova leave behind worlds on the brink of chaos. Old rulers are dead, and now young Threnody Noon sits precariously on the throne. Unrest spreads like a virus, a rival corporate family grows hungry for power, and the once tranquil Empire seems bound for railwar and ruin. Watching everything are the Guardians--the mysterious god-like AIs to whom people of the Network offer their prayers and praises. But even gods have secrets. Secrets the so-called benevolent deities would do anything to keep hidden deep within the farthest reaches of existence. Return to the exciting sci-fi world of Philip Reeve in this sequel to Railhead, which received three starred reviews and was praised by Publishers Weekly as a thrilling and imaginative escapade.