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All Aboard

So you got on The Wrong Train? Well, let's tell some scary stories while we wait for the next one.

All Aboard

Book report on The Wrong Train, by Jeremy du Quidt

Cover Story: Delay in Service
The Best: "Nanny's Little Candle"
The Best: "Your Lucky Day"
The Weird: "Dead Molly"
Bonus Factor: Alone
Break Glass in Case Of:  You Need a Quick Scare

Cover Story: Delay in Service

It's spooky, knowing what we know about the book and the eerie trains and stuff. But again, it's not eye catching and I never cared for black book covers.

The Deal:

A boy hops on the last train of the night, only to realize it's going the wrong way. He gets off at the first station, not realizing it's just a service stop for maintenance workers. There's no one there, no lights, no scheduled stops, and his phone just went dead. Is he going to be stuck there alone all night? No, a kindly old man comes by walking his dog, and volunteers to keep the boy company until another train comes. And as they wait, the old man decides to play a game. He's going to tell the boy some stories. Some frightening stories. Just to pass the time.

The Best: "Nanny's Little Candle"

A teen girl is having trouble relating to her new baby brother, the product of an affair that ended her parents' marriage. But when the girl burns some candles she finds in her new house, she starts seeing visions of the home's original occupant. An old woman who would take in unwanted babies and...take care of them. Get rid of the little mistakes. Make them vanish. And now, she may be coming for the little brother.

The Best: "Your Lucky Day"

A boy's father buys a '59 Cadillac Eldorado for ridiculously cheap. But his mechanic says this car has been in an accident. A bad one. Someone probably died in this car. But hey, that was in the distant past. Nothing to worry about now.

 The Weird: "Dead Molly"

A teenager finds himself trapped in a nightmare that he keeps waking up from, only to realize he's still dreaming. Hey, you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? Imagine your mother saying that she never really loved you.

Bonus Factor: Alone

Unlike most 'ghost story' compilations, the bridge story is what really creeped me out. And not in the usual 'old man showing too much interest in a young boy' sense. No, there's something deeply unsettling about this man and his stories. And the boy can't just walk away. This stop is only used if they need to fix the tracks. There are no lights, no houses, no roads. Nowhere for the boy to escape to. He just has to sit there, with the old man and his dog. And listen.

The stories themselves were good, if not a little repetitive. Not only is the boy's phone out of service, but so is the phone of every character in every story. And each story ends with the great unknown. A lot of opening the door and screaming, end of scene.

Break Glass in Case of: You Need a Quick Scare

This is a two-hundred page book with about ten stories, so you can breeze through this. But the connecting story is compelling enough that you'll want to read it until the shocking (but vague) twist at the end.

FTC full disclosure: I received neither money nor train tokens for writing this review.

Brian Katcher's photo About the Author: Brian Katcher wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.