Okay, so this series is originally written in German. The first one was translated into English in an Audible Original (but not the other 7) and they made no attempt to Americanize it! Hooray! (They also never explicitly say they’re in Germany, which may have helped clear up some confusion in the beginning.)
Fourteen-year-old Tom is living his normal life with his adopted grandma when one day they get a notice that his great-uncle Heinrich has died, and Tom needs to attend the will reading. Apparently he left something to his adopted grand-nephew who he never met. A stranger appears at the door (looking like Wolverine) who his grandma greets as Welf, Tom’s other uncle. At the reading, they learn that Tom will inherit over 10 million euros upon his 18th birthday, with the condition that he keeps the ghost train that he has also inherited operational.
From the outside, the ghost train looks like a run-down carnival ride that’s on the brink of collapse. But one ride through leaves Tom absolutely terrified. There is a vampire, a mummy, a zombie, and a ghost, and Tom can’t figure out how the ride pulled all of that off. Then the ghost girl floats out and says hello.
The ghost train is home to these five undead (Welf is a werewolf) and it’s Tom’s job to keep them safe and hidden from discovery, at least until he turns 18. But for the next 4 years, this will be his family. He will travel around carnivals in Europe (or just Germany? It’s not very clear on that point) running the ghost train and going to school online.
This is the first of the series, and I want to know more about some of these characters. Vlorad the vampire seems like he has a lot of interesting experiences in his past, and Hop-Tep the mummy sounds kind of bad-ass. We learn a little about Welf the werewolf, and I don’t really care all that much about Womby the zombie. Mimi the ghost girl is a mystery in that we don’t know when she died or why she’s a ghost. (Tom and Mimi are flirting, and that’s a bit awkward, as one of them is dead…)
There is danger involved in this scheme, though. There is someone who desperately wants the ghost train for himself, and the residents of the ghost train refuse to tell Tom why, only that it’s “for his own good.” And Tom’s life is in danger because of it.
I was driving along, listening to this fun children’s audiobook, when religion flew in out of nowhere! I was very surprised. Not nice stuff either, but bloody Bible stuff.
I’m not exactly thrilled with Tom’s actions and behaviors some of the time. He’s a bit of a bully, kicking people when they’re down. Not cool, even if they’re supposed to be the bad guys.
This book is set up in episodes, and there’s a theme song at the end of each one! It’s the same song, but they might add verses every time? I couldn’t tell as I couldn’t always catch the words.
This is an interesting premise, and I’m curious how the story progresses. I’m not sure if I’d want to sit through seven more audiobooks, though. Print might be the way to go for expediency’s sake. Only the first book is out in English, though. If you’re an Audible member it’s free, though, so maybe give it a shot if you think it sounds interesting!
This fulfills the CBR12 Bingo square of “Money” because a 10 million euro inheritance is a lot of money!