Author: Wilson Doherty
Release Date: July 2011
Source: From author for review (Thank you!)
When her mother is hospitalization for mental illness, Ashlyn Caverhill is crushed to be forced to go live with her grandmother in Prescott Junction, Maine. Nothing ever happens in this small, closed town. Nothing except for the ghost train that rolls through on the rusted lines on dark nights – the one the townsfolk pretend not to hear it as it comes to claim tortured souls.
Ashlyn is skeptical about the legend … until she sees the train for herself, with its evil yet powerfully seductive conductor and the wailing of souls trapped on board. As frightened as she is at the conductor’s pull, more terror awaits when the antique radio in her grandmother’s basement comes to life. Ashlyn’s grandmother tells her the radio is a Caverhill curse, and can’t be destroyed or discarded. It keeps coming back, and it keeps broadcasting “reports” of events yet to happen. Her grandmother begs her to stay away from the radio, but Ashlyn cannot help but listen. And to her horror, it tells her she is bound to board the ghost train.
Ashlyn will need the help of her newfound friends, the troubled Rachel and the very sexy Caden, if she is going to get through the coming horrors with her sanity intact and her soul unclaimed!
I must admit, I haven’t read many horror books lately since I get scared really easily, but I actually genuinely enjoy horror books. It’s like, I WANT to know what happens next, but at the same time, I’m also afraid to read further because of what images I might conjure in my head. Ashlyn’s Radio literally creeped the living daylights out of me but I just couldn’t put it down because I was obsessed with finding out answers and unravelling the secrets.
The story starts off with Ashlyn being sent to live with her grandmother in Prescott Junction after her mum is hospitalised in a mental institute. Prescott Junction is no ordinary town. Everyone stays locked up in their rooms every night, pretending to not hear the ghost train that rolls through the town. Once in a while, people will wind up dead beside the train tracks, with no obvious cause of death. Ashlyn is initially sceptical about the legendary ghost train until she sees it for herself and the price people pay for accepting the ticket to board the train. Added to this, Ashlyn finds out about the Caverhill curse, and her great-grandmother’s antique radio that seems to predict the future. I found the storyline particularly intriguing. It wasn’t merely about a ghost train that rolled through town every once in a while, but there was more depth, and a reason behind the regular appearance of this train. I liked how this had more to do with souls – the train claimed tortured souls and by boarding the train, your soul would be forever stranded and lost. This was a very different and unique concept to me since I’ve never read a book that focused on trapped souls before, but I really enjoyed it!
Ashlyn was a brilliant protagonist. She was totally fearless and incredibly loyal and protective of those she loves. Throughout the entire book, she was constantly looking out for her best friend Rachel (who was definitely in need of looking after) and towards the end, she was acutally able to help Rachel turn over a new leaf. I also liked how Ashlyn became more caring, more considerate towards her grandmother. At first, she was constantly having these teenage tantrums where she would just swear, curse and scream at her grandmother, but they eventually developed a bond and mutual understanding, which was nice to see. Ashlyn was also exceptionally brave. She faced her fate head on, and was willing to sacrifice herself if it meant she could save other peoples’ lives. I wish I could possess her outstanding traits!
I should also mention that the whole radio coming to life aspect seriously creeped me out. It isn’t n every day that you read about a radio that just would not shut up. The ghost train arriving to claim souls was also both interesting and frightening, especially the conductor who handed out the tickets. I actually debated whether I should go to sleep with the lights on since I was constantly envisioning this boney, corpse-like figure with a malevolent smirk pasted on his face. Thinking about it now still makes me shudder.
Overall it was exciting, intense and downright scary. Although I wished there was a more thorough explanation on why Ashlyn’s mother was in the mental institute. Was it something to do with the Caverill Curse? Nevertheless, Ashlyn’s Radio was a very enjoyable read and I highly recommened it!
Rating: 4 stars
"Sometimes Ashlyn felt like this might be her only chance. Like she had to reach out and grab at love right now, to experience it all before the opportunity passed her by."
"Right now she just wanted to hug his words to her and smile"
Wilson Doherty has kindly offered one ebook copy of Ashlyn's Radio for one lucky winner!
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- Ends 20th September
Good Luck :)