Oppel, Kenneth. The Boundless. 336p. S & S. Apr. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781442472884; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442472907. LC 2013009879.
Gr 5-8 –All aboard for an exciting tale of steam-powered automatons, a bloodthirsty sasquatch, colorful circuses, and magical paintings. Aspiring artist Will Everett knows he’s not cut out to follow in the footsteps of his railroad manager father, but his pampered life leaves little opportunity for adventure. Then he boards The Boundless, the world’s largest and most luxurious train. After acquiring the key to the railway owner’s funeral car, Will is running for his life, pursued by deadly enemies who will do anything to possess the car’s valuable contents. He is rescued by Mr. Dorian, ringmaster of the famed Zircus Dante, and an escape artist called The Miraculous Maren. These two performers, however, have their own secret agenda for helping Will. As The Boundless thunders toward its destination, Will must decide who to trust, if anyone. Along the way, Will is on the adventure of a lifetime. With its imaginative plot, cast of colorful, well-rounded characters, and nonstop action, Oppel’s latest is a delight to read from the first page right through the satisfying conclusion. Take note: This book will be popular!