Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal is a book that will instantly grab attention with that gorgeous cover and then intrigue you with the idea of mediums being used to gather intelligence from soldiers after they die. I am already impressed with how the mediums are involved in military operations and definitely want to read more.
Note: I received an advanced copy of Ghost Talkers from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
Published by Tor Books on Aug. 16th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Military Fantasy
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Harford, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.
Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.
Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiance to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she's just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing…
How is the writing style?
As you would expect from Kowal, the writing is crisp while easily pulling in details about the historical setting to make you feel like you are there. The story is told (so far) from Ginger’s perspective in third person limited, past tense. We get a look into how it feels for Ginger to open herself to the spirits of dead soldiers and the emotions tied to such a profession.
General tone of the beginning
The beginning of Ghost Talkers opens with Ginger in the middle of interviewing the spirit of a soldier who has died a few minutes ago on the battlefield of WWI. You immediately get lots of details of how the supernatural is incorporated into this historical setting and already a lot of interesting insight into just how these mediums would be used if they were known to exist during WWI. Right at the end of the first chapter, however, shows that things are also going to be grisly and dark at times, as you would expect with an adult supernatural historical set during war.
Setting, genre, etc?
Definitely adult with a main character who is engaged and dealing with navigating her career. Is historical paranormal a genre? It is now!
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
I’m giving Ghost Talkers a solid 4 stars. I opened it not sure what to expect and I’m quite tempted not to put it down. The bit of grisly detail at the end of the chapter has me less eager to keep reading, but this is definitely one I’m going to be fitting in before the year is up.
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
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