Book Review: Night Train by David Quantick

A woman wakes up, frightened and alone – with no idea where she is. She’s in a room but it’s shaking and jumping like it’s alive. Stumbling through a door, she realizes she is in a train carriage. A carriage full of the dead.

This is the Night Train. A bizarre ride on a terrifying locomotive, heading somewhere into the endless night. How did the woman get here? Who is she? And who are the dead? As she struggles to reach the front of the train, through strange and horrifying creatures with stranger stories, each step takes her closer to finding out the train’s hideous secret. Next stop: unknown.

What I Thought:

In a world that seems increasingly like dystopian fiction, it’s quite a relief to read some honest-to-goodness dystopian fiction that is quite removed from our present reality. David Quantick’s Night Train certainly fits the bill.

A woman wakes up on a train with no memory and no idea how she got there, and we follow her quest to find answers to her questions where she picks up allies and enemies as she goes. It’s impossible to tell you much more about the plot without giving away spoilers, but it was a weird and darkly comic adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The train was a great setting for the novel, as it provided a claustrophobic backdrop where the only way was forward – no matter what might be waiting. There is a devastating reason for the train, which you find out near the end of the book, and it really packs a punch given the fact that you have begun to root for these characters as you share their challenges.

Be under no illusion – this book is dark. In places it is incredibly dark, but it is always intelligent and has a seam of humour running through it that balances some of the more eye-popping plot points.

I know that there is a real fashion for books being part of a series these days, but I genuinely wanted to read more about this world, this train and these people but, having said that, the end of the book ties up well and there are no glaring loose ends!

This is the first David Quantick novel I’ve read, but I loved his writing style, and will definitely be reading more.

Night Train is published by Titan Books.

David Quantick is an author, a TV writer and a radio broadcaster. To find out more about him and his work, you can check out his website, where he will spoil you with a large number of short stories you can download for free. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Please note: I received a copy of this book for review via Netgalley. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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