Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ghosts of Manhattan

Today's post is on 'Ghosts of Manhattan' by George Mann. It is 236 pages long and is published by Pyr books. This cover art is is by Benjamin Carre and is a wonderful minimalist in grays, blacks, and whites with the Ghost's eyes as red dots that draws that eye. The intended reader is anyone who like fantasy, alt history and steampunk-like genre. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

The city of Manhattan is haunted. It is haunted by the war, by prohibition, by the mob and by a cold war with England. It is 1926 and the world is changing. Steam and coal are the fuels for the moment but Tesla with his electricity is trying to change that. None of that matters to the Ghost who is just trying to find a way to help the helpless and stop the mobsters who think that everything should be theirs. One mobster in particular thinks that the whole world should be his; The Roman. That is all that he is known by. The Ghost thinks that he is just another power mad lunatic but that is not all he is. Enter woven with the Ghost's story is Celeste Parker, Gabriel Cross and one honest cop Felix Donovan. They are all losing time to The Roman and his mad desires. But true madness will not be seen until the end.

This book is very well written. The plot is fast, the dialogue is okay ( not the best I have read but not bad all the same), and the action is gritty. I like the steampunk themes in it and they are not just to make steampunky because that is popular at the moment but are really part of the story; they are important to the story. I guessed who was The Ghost before chapter 2 but maybe the reader was suppose to. Or rather I should say I guessed who The Ghost pretends to be when his mask is off. Now I grew up listening to Old Time Radio so as I was reading GoM I am thinking 'man this guy loved The Shadow too'. But if you like Batman or Moon Knight then maybe you would see them in this character before I did. The only odd thing in the book is the supernatural bits that happen towards the end. There are some but they are explained as supernatural but some weird science that The Ghost just does not know about. So when an Elder God basically rips through reality it is a little weird. But do not let that stop you from reading this book. It is worth the read.

Rating Three and half stars out of Five.