''Railsea'' is a novel by ChinaMieville, officially YoungAdult. However, the "young adult" part mainly means a lack of swearing, sex or graphic violence, rather than any lack of mindbendingness.

Sham ap Soorap is an unhappy surgeon's mate on the ''Medes'', a moling train than plies the lethal ground of the railsea & hunts the giant moldywarpes that live at the top of its food chain. Especially Mocker-Jack, the huge blond moldywarpe that took Captain Naphi's arm. But when Sham is picked to search a wrecked train, he finds himself in possession of a {{MacGuffin}} that various nasty people are looking for.

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!!Tropes:
* ActionGirl: Several, especially Caldera, Naphi & Sirocco.
* AdventurerArchaeologist
* AfterTheEnd: Although some time after, & nobody really remembers the details.
* AlienSky: The sky over the railsea, where [[{{Kaiju}} massive atmospheric beasts]] watch for prey from among the toxic clouds.
* AmbiguousGender: Dr. Fremlo.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: [[spoiler:The ending has the main characters going off to seek adventure on an even bigger scale.]]
* AnimalNemesis: Parodied. The town that Sham comes from expects every '''real''' hunter to have one. It is referred to as 'having a philosophy.'
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: The railsea is filled to the platforms with various oversized, predatory critters, from man-sized leaping deathworms to burrowing owls big enough to wrestle trains off their tracks. Mocker-Jack, the giant mole that Naphi spends the book tracking down, goes straight into {{Kaiju}} territory.
* BrotherSisterTeam: Caldera & Dero Shroake.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: Most of the weirder creatures that seem mundane have weird names like the giant moles, birds, & some insects.
* CavalryBetrayal: The Manihiki army
* CoolBigSis: Sirocco, the friendly salvager who frequently stops by to lend our heroes a hand.
* CoolTrain: Many, especially the ''Medes'' & the Shroakes' exploration train.
** The Angels (at least, the ones that travel on tracks).
* DerelictGraveyard
* DesertPunk: Takes place on an "ocean" that's a monster infested wasteland dotted with raised "islands" & crisscrossed with railways whose trains are treated much like ships so in a weird way it manages to combine both this ''&'' OceanPunk. [[spoiler:The ending implies that the crew of the ''Medes'' are leaping headfirst into the latter genre.]]
* DieselPunk: Since it seems most technologies of the current era run off fossil fuels & everything has a mixed air of the idealized 1930's and 1940's both good & bad, this certainly fits.
* DrillTank: Sirocco's vehicle
* TheEmpire: Manihiki is somewhere between this & an unsympathetically-portrayed EagleLand version of TheFederation, a supposed democracy with a major gap between rich & poor & a nasty imperialist streak.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: The ground outside the rock "islands", the "up-sky", oh & the lack of cover anywhere from the things below.
* GhostShip At least a few of these, especially the wrecked ones.
* GhostTown: Plenty of them in the background. [[spoiler:Heaven]] is the most significant on-screen example.
* [[HasTwoMommies Has Two Daddies]]: Caldera and Dero. And a mummy as well.
* HistoricalInJoke: One of the gods is "Railhater Beeching." He's named after Dr Richard Beeching, notorious in Britain (perhaps unfairly so) for closing vast numbers of railway lines.
* TheHunterBecomesTheHunted: Early on, Sham finds a salvaged tracker that he presents to Naphi, who later on uses it to tag Mocker-Jack. [[spoiler:It turns out that the device works both ways, & a very annoyed Mocker-Jack is now homing into the ''Medes'' with the purpose of wrecking it once and for all. [[EgomaniacHunter All according to plan for Naphi]].]]
* InsistentTerminology: Mocker-Jack, Captain Naphi's AnimalNemesis, is not yellow. He's ''ivory''.
* LastBastion / LostWorld: [[spoiler:Subverted - the controller & 'Heaven's Citizens' have turned into degenerate primitives & the Railsea dwellers are doing much better than they are.]]
* LemonyNarrator
* LowCultureHighTech: Played with. Though the dwellers of the railsea seem to be doing fine with their [[CoolTrain trains]], primitive biplanes & advanced digital recorders/trackers, their lack of understanding of the world's nature, along with the generally strung-out cultures of the various rock-island civilisations & weird linguistics, gives off a general impression more reminiscent of, say, the Golden Age of Piracy than anything else.
* MegaCorp: [[spoiler:The world became the way it is now due to an apocalyptic trade-war between several of these.]]
* MobySchtick: The plot involving Naphi & Mocker-Jack.
* MorePredatorsThanPrey: Lampshaded in the narration.
* NotSoSafeHarbour: Bollons
* ObfuscatingDisability: [[spoiler:Naphi.]]
* SandWorm: A whole ecosystem of them, of invertebrate, mammalian & even avian varieties.
* ScavengedPunk
* ScavengerWorld
* SchizoTech: The "modern" trains run off diesel, but they share the tracks with various analogues powered by {{steam|Punk}}, {{clock|Punk}}work, "[[AppliedPhlebotinum hermetic engines]]", [[RuleOfCool sails]] & ''rhinos''.
* ShoutOut: To RoadsidePicnic (with the incidental mention of the name Strugatsky) and ThomasTheTankEngine (with the top-hatted god named That Apt Ohm - a SignificantAnagram)
** There is also a ShoutOut to the 1969 film 'The Bed-Sitting Room', in which Mrs Ethel Shroake (of 393A, High Street, Leytonstone) is the closest surviving successor to the throne of Great Britain.
* SummonBiggerFish: Multiple examples. The first one is when [[spoiler:Sham escapes from the pirate train ''Tarralesh'' when it gets shot to bits by a Manihiki wartrain]]. Said assailant reappears to chase down the ''Medes'' at the climax, only to be [[spoiler:vaporised by a rail angel. With the angel now hot on their tracks, Sham & Sirocco decide to [[CrazyEnoughToWork lure in Mocker-Jack with a two-way tracker]], which eventually culminates in the philosophy and the angel fighting & plummeting down [[BottomlessPits a chasm]]]].
* [[spoiler:{{Terraforming}}: The railsea used to be an actual sea, before a great company war in aeons past drained it up to lay tracks over.]]
* TransplantedHumans: It is mentioned at least twice that the humans of this world come from another & at one time had space travel.
* TreasureMap
* UnnecessarilyCreepyRobot: The "Angels" both flying & on rail; they are portrayed in an almost 'demonic' fashion & feel very creepy in both description & the Railsea dweller's fears.
* UnroboticReveal: [[spoiler:Naphi]]
* WholePlotReference: As previously mentioned, it's a ''really weird'' version of Literature/MobyDick.
* WordSaladPhilosophy: Captain Nathi spouts one of these when it's revealed that [[spoiler: she still has both arms.]] Vurinam notices.
-->''"That don't even bloody ''mean'' anything!" he despaired. "It's complete bloody gibberish!"''
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:The crew of ''Tarralesh are [[{{Privateer}} government-sanctioned privateers]], not pirates. This stops mattering when they refuse to hand over Sham to [[CurbStompBattle the Manihiki ferronavy]].]]
* ZillionDollarBill: [[spoiler:It turns out that the nameless MegaCorp that built Heaven (along with all of the railsea) were charging the trainsfolk with usage fee, & their feral descendants are living with the prophecy that the users will one day return to pay the accumulated debt of many, many lifetimes (with interest).]]
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