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The Tube Riders: Underground (The Tube Riders Trilogy #1) the acclaimed dystopian thriller set in a near-future London Kindle Edition
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With everything in decay a group of teenagers get their kicks from the dangerous game of jumping onto tube trains and riding them until they can safely jump off (hence the title). This part of the book is well paced and you can get a real sense of the despondency yet wanting action of the tube riders. The tube riders have rival gangs “Cross jumpers” who as their name implies jump across the track in front of trains. There are a number of violent confrontations.
Suddenly however everything changes when the tube riders witness a murder and the identity of the person murdered will change the whole outcome for Mega Britain if this information can be got to the European Confederation.
Nothing is as easy as it seems and the tube riders are up against the government rival gangs and huntsmen. Huntsmen are genetically modified human / dog hybrids whose only purpose is to hunt down and kill their prey.
A very violent book with every character believable and many twists and turns in a fast paced well written book. The strength of the book is not only in the original plot but also the way that I can visualise all of the characters, although some characters have larger parts none are ignored and treated as scenery all have an important part.
One of the best books I have read for a long time. It is part of a trilogy but although it ends in a manner where it is obviously going to continue it works OK as a stand-alone.
With sharper, maybe more political, scripts and the right actors this would make a good TV show.
I liked this look at a very potential future. It was gritty and did not hold back on the violent lifestyle of this dystopian, deprived world Chris Ward has created. Set in London, Bristol and Cornwall, the reader follows a group of young adults called the Tube Riders, named for their love of a dangerous sport; riding the side of tube trains in London's Underground. Those who seek thrills, don't care about dying or are simply looking for a way to forget the hardships of London life come together and have formed a 'family'. This for me was a fantastic idea and reading how Chris Ward came about it at the end of the book made me grin.
The Tube Riders soon find themselves in a heap of trouble when a rival gang find their location and call for their deaths. They run away and stumble on a murder that the government want keeping quite. So now they are on the run from the gang and the government. As their stories unfold the reader is subjected to the starkness of their terrible lives, everyone is struggling to survive one day to the next. Rape, Murder and Riots are minutes away on every street. Children learn how to wield weapons from a young age to protect themselves. Its bad enough on the surface but deep down there are worse tortures. The government steal people off the streets to use in the Labs, creating all types of monsters. Part men, Part Canine and Part Cyborg creatures come from these Labs called the Huntsmen and they are used when the government need to take out their enemies fast. The Tube Riders are their enemies.
The character development was great, the Tube Riders all had a heartwrenching past, they all had suffered, lost loved ones and struggled to get by. The people they meet along the way on their journey to get out of the country alive are interesting.
World building is definitely a talent Chris Ward possess but I found myself getting bored in places or skipping large amounts of text and description to get to the interesting bits. Though I loved the gritty violence and the author's 'don't hold back' approach to it, I did get a bit desensitized so I wasn't as shocked as I should have been in certain places. By the end, I will admit, I wanted it to be over sooner. It was very long and the cliffhanger left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I want to read on to follow the Tube Riders adventures, but I also felt like the story should be over.
I enjoyed The Tube Riders despite this not being my favourite genre and would have given it a 3.4 star rating if I had the option. It is well worth the read if you want a unique take on a Sci-fi, futuristic Britain.
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