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!