Are You on a Train Headed for Nowhere?

Train to Nowhere Cover

Today I have another book that is kind of hard for me to review, not in a bad way, mind you..but so much to absorb and to find the right words to give it justice. Today’s review is a book by Gloria Piper, “Train to Nowhere.”

Have you ever rode a train before? There are usually several stops as passengers disembark for their different destinations. Now think of a train where no one gets off, there are no stops, no destination in sight. That is because this train is in the distant future and it is not a mode of transportation, but a world. This is a world made up of three castes: The Orphans, The Landed, and the Nomads; where only the Orphans and Landed reside. The Nomads are on the Outside.

The Orphans, or illegally born, may only occupy the lower deck while the Landed and Admin occupy the upper decks.They are not allowed in the upper deck of the Landed, but the Landed visit and watch their performances. Admin is the group that rules the train, and use a form of mind control domination through wrist computers, or wristcomps, that are worn by every Orphan. It is manned by a computerized adviser, Mentor.

It begins a little slow, describing the world of the Orphans through one of the main characters, Garland, a musician and dancer. Garland longs to be adopted and allowed to live with the Landed on the upper deck. The Landed are an Amish type. His dream is being free. More than even the upper deck, he would like to be on the Outside, free of the train altogether.

The second main character, Hedge, is the total opposite of Garland. He too, is a performer, but he is willing to step on anyone to get ahead, and does. He is talented and loved by the audience, which saves him on numerous occasions. He is a member of the Landed. When they each experience the other’s world, it is a culture shock for both of them.

I thought the premise of this story was great. The interactions between the characters worked well. The characters were developed and it was a good story. The problem I had was a lot of the terminology. Everything on the Orphan side was computer talk that sometimes was a bit over the top. It sometimes detracted from the story, but other than that, I did quite like it. It is a totally different genre than what I would normally read, but I enjoyed it. Yet, at the same time I was disturbed by the thought of this really happening in our future. It does give you food for thought.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Have you read a good book lately that you would care to share? Please comment. I would love to hear from you!

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24 thoughts on “Are You on a Train Headed for Nowhere?

  1. Interesting story concept. I enjoy riding on trains, but in recent years it’s only been the light rail around town here in L.A. I do feel like I’m on a metaphorical train going nowhere sometimes.

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    • Thanks Lisa! Yes, it was a little disturbing to me to think that your whole life living on a train and only 3 castes to choose from. If you were on the train and in the Orphan section, the mind control would be hard to take too. But if you never knew any other way, how would you feel? Interesting. I love books that make me think for days after I’m finished with it. This is definitely one of those. 🙂

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  2. Good review! I will look for this book at the library today. I love to ride trains and because this story takes a different approach, I will step outside my genre and read it. If it has good character development as you say, then I will enjoy the ride! Thanks for the follow…I will visit your blog again.

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    • Thank you for visiting, Bev. I checked out your blog too. I didn’t get a chance to read everything, but since your blog pertains to my WIP, I was really intrigued by it. My debut novel is about a ghost and a present day protagonist joining forces to solve a cold case murder..from 1871.. Maybe you are having a difficult time with comments because it is hard to find where to leave a comment. I was going to but couldn’t find it. Anyway, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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      • Other people have mentioned the problem with finding the comment box. Click on the white balloon with the number beside the title of the post and date…it will open the comment box. Your book sounds intriguing! Thanks for stopping by!

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      • My mother died about a month before my 12th birthday. I remember that I had just turned off my light and I was on my way to bed. I sat down on the bed and she materialized from my closet. I was a little scared but not too much. I wanted to talk to her. She told me to pay attention, there wasn’t much time. I needed to take care of my father and spend what time I could with him because he wouldn’t be on the earth very much longer. He was coming to be with her. He died 9 months later, in the same year. After he died, I saw them briefly, together. They didn’t say anything, but they were happy. I believe they appeared to let me know that they were happy and together forever. An ex-sister in law saw my grandmother. She and my brother were recently married and she didn’t know my grandmother well, so she never went to the funereal. That night, my grandmother appeared to her and said that she had some very important news to tell her. She screamed and threw the covers over her head. When she pulled the covers back down, my grandmother was gone. Everyone was skeptical until they asked her what my grandmother was wearing. No one had spoken of this to her. She described to a tee exactly what she wore down to the flowers in her hands..I always believed that she came to warn of my mother’s death, but we will never know for sure. I am not afraid of ghosts at all. In fact, I would love to see more. That is, as long as they’re friendly… 🙂

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  3. Great story Rebecca! My mother died when I was 15 and that opened the door to contact with the Spirit World. She was the first one I communicated with. If it is okay with you, I might include your story in a selection of my favorites in the future. If I do, I will credit your blog.

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  4. This isn’t my genre, but I like your review. One thing I can relate to is how much to use technical language. There is a fine balance. My current WIP is set in Scotland and I have to input enough Scottish brogue to sound authenic, but not so much it slows down the reader.

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    • Thanks Elaine! You are absolutely right. The technical language can enhance or bog down a book depending on how it is done. This isn’t normally my genre either. I am working on my first novel and it is a ghost story/mystery with two periods of time, present day and 1871. In what genre do you write? I love Scotland. Have you read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon? Very good and set in Scotland and the U.S.

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    • I, too, can relate to how the language used needs to suit the area you are writing about. My book has been written using US spelling throughout, even though I am from the UK, as the subjects of my biography are American and the biggest part of their fan base is in the USA.
      My blog tells you more about the book: http://moraghsblog.wordpress.com/

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  5. I saw Gloria’s book on GR and have been meaning to read it for ages. Please, someone, invent a day with more than 24 hours!

    It’s good to hear you’re writing too, Rebecca. Let me know if you want a proof reader /beta reader / whatever.

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  6. I wrote a rather long comment, actually leaving it overnight because it was not finished, but my eyes were. This morning I finished it. When I started to leave my email, the page renewed deleting everything I'[d written. Sorry, but I don’t have time to replicate what I said, but I’ll mention one thing: I offered to be a beta reader.

    I love you.

    Larry

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  7. found this article very interesting and even more so the comments about visitations by those gone. I am starting to write a book about things like that happening to everyday people. I was toying with it when I met this eighty-two year old woman that told me about her life experiences and I was very intrigued by what some of the things she told me. Not only visted but in several occasions forewarned! Anyway, like your article nicely written.

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    • Thank you for writing, AG Moye. I am not sure which article you are speaking of. The one you responded to was “Are You on a Train Headed for Nowhere”. This is a sci-fi book, not relating to ghosts. My WIP does include a ghost however. 🙂 Thank you for the nice words!

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