The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

by Kenneth Oppel
Pub. Date: April 22, 2014

For a good time adventure without kissy romance scenes or descriptive violence, this is the book for you. It has everything from Sasquatch to circus performers to scam artists. With the story of the transcontinental railroad as a backdrop, Oppel has created a tale of mystery, suspense, and fun with some historical facts mixed with tall tales that become reality. It is quite a page turner that several of my teens in the book club described as “unable to put down,” and one teen I have never seen read a book was excited to tell me about what he was reading.

Will wants adventure. He has grown up hearing about all the adventures his father experienced while building the Canadian transcontinental railroad, and now he wants to experience his own adventures. Yet, his father has different plans for him that includes a position in the family business. Will has this one train trip on the Boundless left before he is expected to begin schooling in business. What could go wrong in a few days?

At their first stop, Will witnesses a murder. As he goes from train car to train car trying to avoid the men trying to kill him as the only witness to their crime, Will meets up with the circus performers travelling on the train and that’s when the fun begins.

Personally, I loved this story. I can recommend it to people who want a clean book with a lot of adventure and memorable, inspiring characters. I also appreciated that several of the characters are not perfect, but have difficult moral questions that they have to work out. Also, I love the circus characters.

So, if you want a fun, historical story without too much romance or violence (and a clown, strongman, and elephants) you now have what you are looking for: Boundless.


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