The Train the Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery
by P.G. Bell
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Summary from NetGalley:
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.
This was a whimsical and fun middle grade read full of interesting characters and fantastic places. There is also a good adventure with some science thrown in. This is not a character driven story, even though there are a lot of them, but there are a few that I would like to talk about.
Suzy is a delightful young lady full of heart and courage. She loves physics and sometimes has to use her knowledge of it to get her and her friends out of tight places. When she wakes up and finds a train and a troll in her hallway, she is quickly caught up into an adventure of a lifetime. She does question her decisions along the way though. But she makes friends with the trolls and the bear on the train and will do anything to protect them. She is pretty smart and plucky as well, willing to stand up to those who are being mean or evil.
Wilmot is the troll Post Master who has the difficult job of delivering the mail to all of the impossible places. I liked him immediately, as did Suzy. He was kind and gentle, but also willing to stand up for himself and others. He was also brave and pretty clever, even if he doesn’t believe that for himself.
Lady Crepuscula is the evil witch of this tale, and she does live up to the name, although I suspect she is not as bad as people make her out to be. Meridian is another adult character that appears to be good, but in the end his motives and actions are not so great.
The plot and the Impossible places that Suzy and her friends visit are really the stars of this book. The plot is fast paced and you are always amazed with the places that the train visits. I loved the Troll bridge and the pirate shipwreck. As I mentioned before there are some physics involved and gravity is not always working the way you would expect. The trolls were also great inventors and the glimpse we get of what they are capable of is really interesting. The story has some nice plot twists that I think will keep kids invested in the story and characters.
A solid debut work and a great start to a series.