Title: Night Train
Author: David Quantick
Release date: July 7th, 2020
‘Night Train’ by David Quantick was not on my radar at all, until I saw Tony Jones comment on a Twitter thread or Facebook post that he was reading it and was really enjoying it.
I jumped onto Netgalley to take a look and was intrigued by the cover, the synopsis but also the endorsement by Neil Gaiman. I was a bit worried about requesting it through Netgalley, as I’d been turned down more times than approved, so I kept my hopes low. When I got the notification that I had been approved, I was so excited! I dove into this one right away.
What I liked: ‘Night Train’ is just that – a locomotive out of control, barrelling down the tracks. This book was equal parts ‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘1984.’ We are introduced to a woman, who awakens on a train. She has no idea how or why she is there and is even unsure of who she is. From there Quantick creates a truly engrossing and engaging claustrophobic story. I couldn’t stop reading this one. Usually I have five or six books on the go, but once I started this one, I had to read it before anything else. I wanted to know just what the heck was going on, who these characters were and as we begin to learn more and more about the back story, the world outside of the train and speed towards the finale, I was pulled in harder and harder.
Quantick has an Emmy win for his work on ‘Veep’ which means a lot of this is dialogue driven, which worked really well. The banter between the three characters that are ultimately introduced was fantastic and made them that much more relatable, especially as their individual back stories are shared.
The train itself, while not fully a character as the setting, also brings an added element. Truthfully, I sometimes get turned off by stories purely centered on action on trains, simply because that’s it, there is nowhere else to go, but Quantick quickly dispelled any reservations I had.
Lastly, the things that are encountered on the various train cars are fantastic and with the way this book ended, I sure hope we get a follow up.
What I didn’t like: One thing this book is lacking is ‘definitive answers.’ Ultimately, I think this will be the thing that will sway a reader whether they loved this book or it wasn’t for them. I ate it up, but that was the biggest thing I kept repeating to myself – I wanted just a bit more information, a bit more definition or details.
Why you should buy this: Titan Books continue to put out some truly stunning works and ‘Night Train’ is another fantastic addition. This book was thoroughly engrossing and as mentioned before, I simply couldn’t put it down. The characters were great and the dystopian/apocalyptic world outside of the train was mesmerizing. This was a winner from page one all the way until the end.