I can often be somewhat weary of middlegrade novels. Their target audience are those who, most typically, wont be bothered by a lot of things that older readers might. Many of them are fairly simple, with good reason, and thus I usually read them expecting to like but not love the book. It is for this fact that I found myself utterly and completely blown away by The Train to Impossible Places by P. G. Bell.
When a mysterious train and a staff of trolls appear in her living room, Suzy Smith doesn’t quite know what to make of them. They and their train seem to go against all the rules of physics, a subject at which she excels and one she deeply loves, from the very moment they arrive. Magic and fuzzics, they say, and are quick to determine that scrambling her memories is truly the best way to go when it comes to dealing with the fact that she wasn’t supposed to see them in the first place. Not one to have her brain messed with, Suzy soon finds herself stowing away aboard the Impossible Train and entering a world of grand adventure, dastardly plots, and villains who aren’t always quite as obvious as they seem.
I loved this novel. From the witty and wonderful characters to the fantastic storytelling, Bell has woven a story that is impressively creative and exceedingly captivating. From the moment I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I fell in love with the characters, with the impossible places themselves, and especially with the plot which was surprising and predictable in all of the best ways. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that was this perfectly crafted and I cannot wait to share it with my friends and especially my young cousin or perhaps some of my students for whom this book would be perfect.
Truly, books do not get much better than The Train to Impossible Places and I’m truly so grateful that I was able to find and read it.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.