Monday, 27 April 2015

Ghosts of War by George Mann

It’s been a while since my last steampunk adventure, and what better way to jump back into the action than with a fast-paced Ghost escapade. I was so impressed with the first book introducing the elusive Ghost in Ghosts of Manhattan that I was excited to be able to review the second book. 

Gabriel Cross is a millionaire playboy in public but at night he is The Ghost, a masked vigilante armed with homemade weapons striving to keep his city safe. Now, with a good-hearted police detective on his side, The Ghost is in a more informed position to help fight the worst crime that plagues the city. 

It’s 1927 and a spate of abductions by strange winged creatures has the city in a chokehold of terror. When Donovan, the police detective, is ordered to concentrate on the capture of a British spy instead of the abductions, he and The Ghost begin to suspect that there is more afoot than they were first lead to believe. 

What they discover could be leading to a catastrophic war with the British Empire. Battling with memories of the last war and with the reappearance of an ex-girlfriend, Gabriel has a lot to contend with in his bid to save the day. 

The blend of history and steampunk fully immerses you in the world that George Mann has created for these characters and keeps you captivated. Mad scientists, robotic raptors and mythological monsters all provide the danger in this thrilling tale. Then it is the human characters; Gabriel, Donovan and even sidekick officer Mullins that provide all the heart. 

I’ve mentioned it before but this series has touches of Batman (my favourite superhero by the way!) and Watchmen, but in this one I thought that there was a dash of James Bond in there too. Gabriel’s public persona is also akin to Gatsby I thought, so all of these elements thrown together make for a compelling character in a darkly riveting story. You’d think that with so many genres together it would be a bit confused, but it totally works and the pulp style covers are awesome! 

The action is pumping and the pace is relentless and it never seems to take me long to make it the end. I really enjoy this imaginative, well crafted series and I can’t wait to see what further exploits are in store for The Ghost and his city.  

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