The Train of Dark Wonders

Alex Bell, illustrated by Beatriz Castro

What’s not to like about an adventure on a magical train, entry into the Land of Halloween, sweets and friends with jaw-dropping powers?

Meet Bess, who, having been left her grandfather’s Odditorium, needs to find a way to draw in the crowds or see it shut for good. When a mysterious train pulls into town, Bess finds a way to join Beau the puppeteer, Louis the violinist and Maria the fire witch as they set out to seek the rarest sweet of all – the ghostly gobstopper!

This book, the first in a new series, from the author of The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club will have a wide appeal. There are echoes of Blyton’s Faraway Tree as the train ventures towards different lands but the slightly darker tone adds an air of delicious menace. Bess is delightful and I can’t wait to see what happens to her and the Odditorium next…

Published by Rock the Boat/One World

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton