Monday, 24 September 2018

P. G. Bell - The Train to Impossible Places - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books Review


The Train to Impossible Places is a fast-paced adventure starring 12-year-old Suzy, a science-loving realist who wakes one night to find a grumpy troll building a railway track through her hallway. Moments later the Impossible Postal Express, in all its physics-bending glory, thunders into the hall. Of course, Suzy has to jump aboard! She becomes a postie charged with delivering a package to the sinister Lady Crepuscular of The Obsidian Tower. Of course, the package is cursed. And of course, the fate of the Union of Impossible Places depends on Suzy. And so a magical fantasy adventure begins for Suzy...and all in her second best pair of PJs. 

The Train to Impossible Places is the debut middle-grade book by P.G. Bell. It will arrive into the impossible world and beyond with full steam ahead on the 4th October 2018. It is being published by Usborne Publishing (UK) in a brilliant hardback format. The book has been lovingly decorated with illustrations by the talented Flavia Sorrentino. It's an actual marvel, you only need to look at the dust jacket for it to get your attention. However, take a moment to also remove the dust jacket and marvel at the amazing piece of artwork underneath - it just needs to be seen and admired.

The book started as a bedtime story for Peter’s young son, who demanded ‘another amazing story’ the night after they’d finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Inspired by that story, The Train to Impossible Places grew into this epic story that will be loved by many people for many years to come. It's a story packed full of imagination that will instantly transport any reader into the fantastic plot. 

It's a beautiful engineered story full of whimsical characters and industrious landscapes that would not be out of place on the set of a magical film. The start of the book for me was slow going, just like the train, but it soon gathered pace until I was hanging on by my fantasy fingertips for the next page. You will hurtle through explosive amounts of action and arrive with brilliant bouts of humour. I especially loved the scene with the underwater ghost pirates fantasy gold. I think they should have their very own spin-off story. 

The book is littered with little cameo moments that are loaded with irony, just like the rails the Postal Express train runs on. All of these moments turn the narrative into a phantasmagorical dream making this one of the best creative MG fantasy stories for any dreamer, this year. 

It's full of magic, mayhem, mysterious marvelousness and endearing characters. As part of your journey, you will encounter some over-excited retired postal trolls and a frog trapped in a snow globe. You'll battle hard with a sorceress and an army of deadly stone statues. These are just a few of the examples that Suzy Smith (main character) finds herself facing. Written well, rich in detail and full of postal mayhem and exploding bananas, yes you will need to watch out for them all. 

This story once finished will leave you out of breath and will have you hungry for more. It's a surprise package with more to come in the next installment - I literally can't wait! What a brilliant book - it's a family read full of fun, wonder, and pure delight. 

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