Off the rails by Karen Taylor

Posted: February 3, 2016 in Book Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

51bxvOQ-oXL._UY250_In lots of ways the title of this thriller for young adults says it all – a lot of the plot happens beyond the rail tracks and the story picks up momentum then streaks along like an express train. The action slips between the world of the ‘suits’ of London’s business and banking sector, with their fast lifestyle and palatial glass penthouses to the underworld of an underground village of disillusioned teenage drop outs forging their own alternative community beneath the streets of London.

It’s a world that can only be accessed via the London underground tunnels. I’ve read about London’s disused underground network and in ‘Off the rails’ it makes a brilliant setting for a lively and readable novel for young adults. And older ones will enjoy it too. The characters are well drawn. I particularly liked the main protagonist, Severine. She’s a sassy and independent sixteen year old who struggles to balance her romantic feelings of attachment with her instincts to trust no-one. The story’s angle on poverty and banking is topical and well constructed. A swift read and a lively thriller for readers of all ages.

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