Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Book Review - The Tube Riders by Chris Ward

This is the first book in the author's 'The Tube Riders' trilogy and it's been sitting in my TBR list for quite some time now. I'm glad I finally got round to reading it - so much so that I've just bought the second book.

The story concerns a small gang of teens who get their thrills by 'tube riding' (jumping on trains and ride them) in deserted tube stations in a London set in a dystopian near future. It reads like a dangerous and fun activity and the gang have rivals in the form of cross-jumpers getting their own deadly thrills by jumping across tracks in front of trains.  Their actions provide an effective viewpoint of troubled people growing up in a very broken society.

In the early part of the story it seems that the scene is set for the rivalry to bloom into something more deadly and it does, but at the same time evolves into something grander in scale when they find themselves hunted by the regime oppressing Britain. From this point on the pace of the story is pretty much full on until the final scenes.

While I enjoyed the book a lot I did encounter a few issues. The first was the elements of the riders' foes owed a bit more to fantasy than to science. The other issue of note was the writing - for the most part it is pretty basic and lacking in sophistication - however it's still effective enough to carry the story all the way through.

I enjoyed the central characters and for the most part the enemies, but they did feel a bit less fleshed out than the riders, except for a couple of exceptions. Overall though I liked the book and would recommend it for readers looking for a slightly different adventure.

Click on image to buy from Amazon
Beneath the dark streets of London they played a dangerous game with trains. Now it is their only chance for survival...

Mega Britain in 2075 is a dangerous place. A man known only as the Governor rules the country with an iron hand, but within the towering perimeter walls of London Greater Urban Area anarchy spreads unchecked through the streets.

In the abandoned London Underground station of St. Cannerwells, a group of misfits calling themselves the Tube Riders seek to forget the chaos by playing a dangerous game with trains. Marta is their leader, a girl haunted by her brother's disappearance. Of the others, Paul lives only to protect his little brother Owen, while Simon is trying to hold on to his relationship with Jess, daughter of a government official. Guarding them all is Switch, a man with a flickering eye and a faster knife, who cares only about preserving the legacy of the Tube Riders. Together, they are family.

Everything changes the day they are attacked by a rival gang. While escaping, they witness an event that could bring war down on Mega Britain. Suddenly they are fleeing for their lives, pursued not only by their rivals, but by the brutal Department of Civil Affairs, government killing machines known as Huntsmen, and finally by the inhuman Governor himself.

Click here to buy The Tube Riders from Amazon US / Amazon UK (and it's an excellent read)

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