This past Christmas afforded me the happy opportunity of researching what-next-after-Potter? books for a young relation, and of course I’m reading a bunch myself. This book shares the plot detail of a mysterious train platform leading to another world*, but what it reminded me of most was Roald Dahl, perhaps because cute, quirky, and creepy are mixed in similar measure. I also thought that if James P. Blaylock tried his hand at a children’s book, he might produce something with a similar whimsical reworking of folktale tropes into a modern context. I thought the narrative was a little slow to gather steam, but it was surprisingly and satisfyingly suspenseful once it got going. I look forward to exploring Ibbotson’s work further.
* if anything, Ibbotson might have influenced Rowling; not the other way ’round. Unless one of the authors has a time machine
needs more demons? no.