The Boundless (Book Review)

“Unlike his father, the only adventures he’s ever had have been in his head, or drawn in his sketchbook. This girl seems from another world. Looking at her is like catching a glimpse of an unknown track: and immediately he wants to travel it to the horizon, to know what’s at the end. “ – The Boundless – Kenneth Oppel


Excitement and thrilling adventure abound in this tumultuous middle-grade novel.  The Boundless was filled with exhilarating action- as the main character Will races to solve a mystery of a strange murder.

Along the way, there are many strange and wonderful creatures- some scary and some intriguing. The reader is introduced to Maren (a circus escape artist), Mr. Dorian (the ringmaster) and even a horrible hag and the mystical Sasquatch.  Ideal as a read aloud – and certain to appeal to boys who are keen on high octane drama.  My only criticism was that I actually found this book too stimulating- too many characters…I got a bit confused and longed for a more in-depth observations into the character’s particular motivations.  I finished the book without really feeling satisfied.  So not a 5-star review for me- however I do understand the appeal of this book and think it will be a great choice for many(not to mention this book is absolutely begging to be made into an action/adventure children’s movie).  I loved the elements of historical fiction- tracing the evolution of rail travel and westward expansion in Canada.  I also enjoyed the insights into life on the rails on this intriguing and magical railway.  This book will appeal to readers who enjoy stories about the Circus and circus performers- however, my top recommendation for Circus themed books this year must go to the fabulous- Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley.  

train ticket.doubleimages-1

(Please note some of these photos have been taken from the excellent blog written by Kenneth Oppel  here)





  1. aubreyleaman · June 24, 2016

    Circus books are the best. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Tilton · June 24, 2016

    A magical railway — what a great idea for a book, even if there are too many characters! This sounds like a great read for boys. But, I imagine girls would like it to. It intrigues me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • libbyvine · June 25, 2016

      I did like it…. But it felt like the author tried too hard- I would have been happy with the railroad and murder mystery aspect but then there was the circus, the hag, the Sasquatch….etc….try it on and let me know what you think.


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