The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel. The story is about Will Everett, a talented artist who longs for adventure. Will's father is a worker on the longest and most spectacular train the world has ever seen: The Boundless. Soon Will is thrown into an adventure he never bargained for, with tightrope walker and escapologist Maren and the elusive Mr. Dorian.
With sasquatches, hags, and a gold-crazed villain hot on their heels, will this queer trio be able to warn Will's father before it's too late? With deception, thrilling chases, nail biting chances of discovery, and lots of Canadian history, this is a novel you won't be able to put down!
The setting of this book travels as does The Boundless. We start off in the lonely town of Farewell, a five-day journey from Winnipeg. Then after the "last spike" is driven, Will and his father move out west to see the railroad and start a new life. Of course, most of the setting is on the train, passing landscapes ranging from dense green forests, foggy muskeg, and yawning tunnels that cut into the sides of sheer mountains.
I believe that the protagonist in this book is both Brogen, a cruel rail worker with endless stores of cunning, and Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster of Zercus Dante and a man with his eye on the prize of which only he knows. The antagonist in this book is most definitely Will Everett. Known by his father as "Too shy, too sensitive. Too soft." (p.56), he was never a born leader and is no good at making choices. The climax is very undecided for me, so I'll leave it to you to decide.
As a favourite character, I would choose Maren. She always struck me as a person who is always optimistic, and who could do anything if she sets her will to it. "No lock can hold her! No chains can bind her!" (p.65) I would completely recommend this book. Enjoy!