GHOSTS OF WAR

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BOOK REVIEW: GHOSTS OF WAR / AUTHOR: GEORGE MANN / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

George Mann’s Ghosts of War is a revised edition of his 2011 story of the same name, and the second in his Ghost series (the first was Ghosts of Manhattan).

In genre terms, this is a pulp-style steampunk novel though set in an alternate version of late 1920s Manhattan. It is time steampunk left the cradle of its birth in Victorian England (and the Wild West) and this is a welcome branch into what has the potential to be a rich seam of storytelling.

George Mann is, perhaps, known for Doctor Who novels (eg Engines of War) and his Newbury and Hobbes stories, and this is yet another string to his bow. With the Ghost series, his hero - the titular Ghost - is trying to find the source of a flying menace; brass raptors attacking people and carrying them away. At their source, the obligatory mad scientist building a super-weapon and whose ambition is to fan the flames of the Cold War with Britain into a full and bloody conflict. It is up to the Ghost and his allies to save the day.

Being faithful to the pulp style gives the story a lot of forward momentum and if the plot feels linear the pace is good.

George Mann makes a good job of producing an entertaining, if somewhat constrained story. His work on other titles shows of his skills at intricate plotting, but if you are in the mood for slightly mad escapism with an exaggerated steampunk hero with a penchant for fighting metal gargoyles, this is for you.


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