Review of historical fantasy The Hallowmas Train by Gloria Pearson-Vasey
BOOK 1: Prosper Station
With Hallowmas approaching, time travellers Azur Moonstorey and companions exit the local library to board the midnight train bound for 19th-century Prosper Station. Their mission: to rescue Azur’s sister from the eerie dimension Vapourlea.
BOOK 2: Black Springs Abbey
After her harrowing rescue from Vapourlea, Hilma Moonstorey is still beset by anxiety and insecurities. Encouraged to take a position at Black Springs Abbey by young police constable Garth Mayfield, she soon discovers that the dilapidated abbey houses not only elderly nuns but ghosts and dark secrets.
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The train rumbled through the night, calling out seductively to Sensointuitives as it drew ever closer to the slumbering town of Providence Crossing.
While still in the distance, Steam Engine 330 sent several short blasts into the crisp October night, warning anything in its path to clear the tracks. Soon thereafter, it announced its approach to the station in standard railway code, two long, haunting whistles followed by a final short one.
The ghostly sound sent shivers down the spines of the handful of people waiting on the station platform.
An hour earlier, Azur Moonstorey had been lost in dreamless sleep mercifully induced by her vigilant grandmother’s herbal tea. Sleeping in an adjacent upstairs bedroom, her friend, Dillian Witherton, was similarly somnolent due to the aromatic brew.
The women’s duffle bags had been carefully packed and their clothing laid out in readiness for a journey to the past. Stretch pants, layered tops, waist bags, walking boots. Mavis had worked into the late evening creating flowing skirts with side slits that extended almost to the waist bands.
“They’ll look like regular Victorian ladies at first glance – but they won’t be hampered by restrictive clothing,” Mavis told Bram.
At half-past-eleven, she gently shook the pair awake. “It’s time,” she told them.
~Buy The Hallowmas Train:
I really enjoyed the idea behind this book. A time-traveling train that brings certain people back to a world populated by psychic vampires? Just, wow—so cool (where cool means I don’t want to actually fight a psychic vampire, but reading about other people doing it is awesome). Maybe it’s a throwback to the Hogwarts Express, but I love mystical trains. But I digress—lots of great concepts in here, even aside from the train.
The characters faced some very real conflicts, both internal and external. I was interested to see how everything resolved. While the conflicts were fascinating, some of the characters’ actual actions were confusing. Someone would do something or make their thoughts on something clear, and then they would suddenly do or say something that flew in the face of their previous action/thought. There were several places where things felt like they came out of nowhere or were tossed in to make the conflict resolution come together without a hitch. As a result, I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to.
All in all, an interesting and fun read. Recommend to fans of historical fantasy.
About Gloria Pearson-Vasey
GLORIA PEARSON-VASEY is a storyteller who weaves suspense and contemporary issues into her books. A member of The Writers Union of Canada and Crime Writers of Canada, Pearson-Vasey’s background includes nursing, psychology, music, journalism and theology. Inspired by her autistic son’s unique sensory experiences, her writing reflects the hidden nature of things. She lives in a picturesque Ontario town, enjoying nature, country drives, reading, and time with family.
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