In this stunning debut, author Derrick Chow reenvisions the tale of the Pied Piper. Both terrifying and hauntingly beautiful, Chow masterfully uses literal and figurative monsters to explore the themes of grief and how we handle loss.
by Derrick Chow
Disney-Hyperion, July 2022
(via Kaplan/DeFiore Rights)
Climb aboard the midnight train! Things wondrous and terrible await you… Twelve-year-old Reggie Wong has a quick temper that’s always getting him into trouble at school, while at home his mom struggles to get out of bed–let alone leave their apartment. That’s why Reggie desperately needs his dad back. One problem: His dad is dead.
Enter the Conductor, a peculiar man who promises to make Reggie’s wish to see his father just one more time come true. All he must do is climb aboard the man’s subway train, which leaves St. Patrick Station promptly at midnight. Desperate to have his dad and happy family back, Reggie takes him up on the offer, only to discover the train is filled with other children who have lost a loved one, just like him. As he speeds through the wild, uncharted tunnels beneath the city, Reggie meets Chantal, an annoyingly peppy girl obsessed with lists and psychiatry, and Gareth, his arch-nemesis and bully since the fourth grade. As each kid steps off the train and into the arms of their lost family member, Reggie can’t believe his impossible wish is about to come true.
But when Reggie comes to the end of the line and sees his father waiting for him, he soon discovers all is not as it seems. He and his unlikely new friends have been ensnared in a deadly trap. Together, the three must find a way to foil the Conductor’s diabolical plot and find their way out of the underground subway where horrors worse than they have ever imagined lurk around every corner.
The rats of St. Patrick Station have taken over and they’re absolutely ravenous.
Derrick Chow is an author, illustrator, and comic creator. His short stories have been featured in several comic anthologies; and his illustrations appear in newspapers, magazines, and books across North America. He lives in Toronto, where he is very active in the local arts scene. This is his first novel.