Review: Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books)

★★★★★ (5 out of 5)

Summary

Ghost Talkers takes place in an alternate version of World War I in which the British are utilizing mediums to communicate with the dead in order to learn military intelligence.  The protagonist is Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress serving as one of these “ghost talkers”  in London with her fiancé, a British military intelligence officer.  The members of this Spirit Corps are being targeted by the Germans and they may even have a traitor hidden amongst them.  After a catastrophic loss, Ginger must set out to save the day — and the war!

(More or less) Spoiler-Free Review

As it happened, I finished reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s wonderful Ghost Talkers the day after what would have been Alfred Hitchcock’s 117th birthday.  I mention this here only because this novel would have made for one hell of a Hitchcock film!  Here are just a few similarities:

  • Like a majority of Hitchcock’s films, Ghost Talkers is, at its heart, a mystery.
  • It is chock-full of red herrings.  For example, I really thought that another one of Ginger’s co-workers was the traitor!
  • Spies!  Hitchcock loved putting spies and counterspies in his films.  There are plenty of them in Ghost Talkers.
  • Ginger and her team work behind the scenes, against the odds, to defeat the Germans.  Like the characters in many Hitchcock films, they are the unsung heroes of the war effort.
  • Lots of snappy dialogue — especially between Ginger and her fiancé, Captain Benjamin Harford.  They form a (cough, cough) solid team that you can’t help but root for.

To be honest, Ghost Talkers took me by surprise.  I have never been a fan of books about war and I find even the idea of mediums to be downright silly.  Regardless, Mary Robinette Kowal makes it all work.  After the opening few pages, I was hooked and quickly made my way through the book.

According to a comment the author left on Goodreads, there is a possibility that Ghost Talkers could wind up being the first in a series of books about Ginger and her team, “if the response to this one is good.”  As far as this reviewer is concerned, the response should be overwhelmingly positive and I hope to read more about this kick-ass heroine in the future!

Many thanks to Mary Robinette Kowal, Netgalley, and Tor Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for this honest review.

Ghost Talkers was released today and can be purchased HERE.

2 thoughts on “Review: Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s