This book calls to mind Star Wars, Hugo and Stephen King. Set in the Calcutta of the 1930s, seven orphans in St Patrick’s Orphanage in Calcutta create a secret society: the Chowbar Society. The charismatic centre of the society is Ben, who was left at the orphanage by his grandmother sixteen years ago, who feared for his safety after the brutal killing of his parents.
The secret society meet in an abandoned mansion. This is a creepy book for young adults, told in a style not dissimilar to Stephen King. Ben discovers he has a twin sister and a father who turned to the dark side, two things which recall the Star wars story. The focus of the action is the ruins of Jhetter’s Gate station, built by Ben’s father but destroyed in a terrible accident where a trainload of orphans ploughed into the station resulting in an inferno and leaving the ruins a terrifying haunt of ghosts and an evil presence intent on destroying Ben and his twin sister, Sheere.
This dark novel Rafon creates the creepy atmosphere of the station well. We have a lasting impression of Calcutta after dark and are rooting for the group of orphans taking on a terrible malevolent supernatural force.
My rating 4 out of 5