Author: P. G. Bell
Publication Date: 4th October 2018
Format: eBook (library loan)
About the book:
A nonstop middle-grade fantasy adventure, The Train to Impossible Places by debut author P. G. Bell is as fun as it is full of heart, and the first book of a planned trilogy.
A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.
The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a troll-operated delivery service that runs everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space.
But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy’s living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery―to the evil Lady Crepuscula.
Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice―with the fate of the entire Union at stake.
What I Thought:
Suzy Smith was an fairly average young girl, all be it a very clever one with a great love for physics (so perhaps not so average after all!) She loves logic and using maths to understand the world around her – so understandably when a train arrives in her hallway going against all the laws of physics she knows she’s a little thrown! She still manages to end up on an adventure!
I have so loved discovering more middle grade fiction recently. Not only am I gaining more recommendations to give my god daughter I’m also discovering some great stories for myself and The Train To Impossible Places is no exception! Honestly, I’m not sure what’s not to love about this book!
The storytelling is just beautiful, the pacing is almost perfect, the plot moves on quickly enough to keep little ones enthralled with the action, and the chapters are a great length for reading before bed, or for young readers growing in confidence and reading for themselves! At the same time as an adult reading it I didn’t feel the story was rushed or padded out unnecessarily things happened at just the right time! P. G. Bell also managed to conjure up so many different emotions during the course of the story, there were moments I chuckled out loud, and then there were moments that pulled at my heartstrings. He also had me second guessing character’s motive and trying to figure out just which side of the good/bad divide they landed on! I can see this book leading to some interesting conversations!
Part of what makes this story so captivating is the wonderful cast of characters we spend the book with. I felt an immediate connection with Suzy Smith, she reminded me of a younger version of myself, although I preferred maths to physics I definitely loved the logic that governed maths and science and understanding how things work, so I completely identified with Suzy’s confusion when the train arrived in her hallway and the way the laws of physics were casually ignored by the citizens of The Impossible Places! Suzy doesn’t always do the best thing, but her heart is always in the right place, and I loved the way she became so accepting of the laws of Fuzzics that operate in The Impossible Places and firmly became part of the Impossible Postal Express team! The postal team themselves were a great collection of characters, Wilmot the Postmaster, Stonker the train driver, Ursel the fireman who happens to be a bear, and then Fletch the Interdimensional Engineer – I grew to love them all. I have a special fondness for Wilmot though, he’s a young troll trying so hard to live up to a long legacy before him! I also enjoyed meeting his mother and aunt as well as the old timers in Trollville. There are a whole range of supporting characters as well but I don’t want to talk about them in fear of accidentally spoiling any of the story!
Which brings me neatly on to the world of The Impossible Places! The world building in this story is magical! From the moment Suzy grabs hold of the train and disappears into the first tunnel I just fell in love with it. P. G. Bell has clearly put a lot of thought into The Impossible Places, and I enjoyed each place we encountered. From the creepy statues that surrounded The Obsidian Tower, to the wonderful adventurers of The Topaz Narrows – and they are very definitely members of the Society of Adventure and Discovery and are not pirates! Then we come to Trollville, I loved the descriptions of the busy streets, and of course the central post office and then discovering The Underside where the trolls lived. Finally The Ivory Tower where we reach the conclusion of our story. P. G. Bell uses words to create incredible visuals really bringing each place to life, especially as he explains the fuzzics that makes Trollville work! At this point I also want to give a mention to Flavia Sorrentino, the illustrator behind the wonderful pictures in the book!
The Train To Impossible Places is a magical book that people of all ages are sure to adore! With wonderful characters and fabulous world building to enjoy I simply cannot wait to return to the land of fuzzics and interdimensional engineers when the next book is released in October!
About The Author
P.G. Bell is a native of south Wales, where he was raised on a diet of Greek mythology, ghost stories and Doctor Who. He’s had all sorts of jobs over the years, from lifeguard to roller coaster operator, but all he’s ever really wanted to do is write stories for a living. And now he does! He lives in Wales with his wife Anna and their two children.
Connect With P. G. Bell
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