Monday, 7 February 2011

The Study Train Volume 1: Reunion of the Untouchables by Kurt Frenier

This is the story of Ethan, a 16 year old Swiss boy.  He is unwanted by his parents and not accepted by his classmates nor by his community.  After school, he lives in a fantasy world where he is the supreme ruler and he can punish those who have harassed him.

One day he receives a most unusual invitation. He is invited to embark on an eight year train journey of travel, education, and discovery.

This YA novel explores the value of friendship along with the choice between good and evil.  This was an enjoyable read.  Sort of a cross between Harry Potter, Oliver Twist, and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.  As an adult, I wanted more depth, more descriptive details of locations,I wanted more character building.  Not the things a teen reader necessarily wants. The concept of a train that travels the world with the goal of training future is leaders is brilliant.  I almost wish that it would stop outside my window.  Mr. Frenier moves this story along at a good pace keeping Ethan and his train mates dealing with a continuing stream of events.

At the end of the story we are left with unanswered questions.  Healing broken friendships, budding romance, and the epic battle between good and evil.  There is also an invitation from the author asking readers to write him with suggestions of how they would like to see the story progress.

Note: The author has targetted this book at 13-16 year olds.  There is drinking by characters in this book.

Kurt Frenier has a number of published works, though this is his first English novel.  Visit Mr. Frenier's website.
Thanks to the author for my review copy.


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Ooh I like the sound of ths - the choices we make between good and evil always fascinate me.

Anonymous said...

What age would you say this is geared toward? I wonder if my 15 year old son would enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I think I will recommend this to my son.