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Something very odd is happening. One moment Derek, his brother Ronny, and his Dad were laughing and joking on board the train. The next moment there was a horrific accident. Ronny and Derek's Dad were missing and presumed dead.

That's not the strange part though. About a month after the accident, Ronny was found alive. Well, not really alive and not really Ronny. More like someone else inside Ronny.

I can't wait for the sequel of this book. The Haunting of Derek Stone only touched the surface of what is happening with these living dead beings and I'm eager to find out more.
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This book reads like a cross between Flatliners and the Crow but is written for a younger audience. It is dark and haunting and yet compelling to read and leaves the reader desiring the next book in the series. It is a ghost story set in a southern gothic milieu, in and around the New Orleans French Quarter. Our protagonist Derek Stone is a young man, who prefers fact to fiction and things that can be proved and quantified. His life is literally turned upside down when on a trip with his father and brother they are in a train wreck. Derek survives and is beginning to deal with the death of his brother and father when a month after the accident his brother is found. But something doesn't seem right about his brother.

Derek soon realizes that the world is not as orderly as he believed, and that the dead do not always stay dead. The dead are coming back and most of them seem to be after him. He is not sure how it happened or why, but he realizes that he is at the center of something very important, something that could matter to all who are still living. And yet we wonder: can a young man with so much stacked against him solve the puzzle in time?

Tony Abbot has written over 70 books for readers both young and young at heart. Most known for his Secrets of Droon series and his bestselling novels Kringle and Firegirl, this book was an interesting read; it raises questions, about the afterlife, souls and death. Abbot manages to capture our imagination and the book is so well-written it will compel you to read the rest of the series. It would be interesting to see how it did in general fiction with the four volumes published as a single book for adults. I believe it would garner a large fan base in that market also.
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Fourteen-year-old Derek Stone isn't a daydreamer. He prefers reality, the concrete stuff. So when he and his dad and brother are aboard a train that crashes into a deep, deadly ravine, Derek understands he is the sole survivor.

Or is he?

Derek's world is literally turned upside down after the wreck. Everything he thought he knew to be true begins to unravel, and he is unraveling with it.

When he finds an old newspaper article about a train crash that happened in the exact same place seventy years ago, he's forced to delve deeper into the old Louisiana legends he'd never imagined himself believing.

Dead people don't come back, but they have, and they are after him. He doesn't have time to wrap his head around it; he must act before it's too late.

CITY OF THE DEAD is a quick read full of action and information that the reader will want to get a handle on before jumping into the following books in THE HAUNTING OF DEREK STONE series. Tony Abbott leaves many questions unanswered about the dead, the living, and Derek himself, so it will be easy to put this first book down and dive headfirst into BAYOU DOGS, the next book, to re-join Derek's adventure.

Reviewed by: Angie Fisher
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