Sep 7
2016

NPR Books on Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

“It was the idea of it that got me into the book, and Kowal’s affectless presentation of the mediums and their work that kept me going. Did it help that the main plot concerns American heiress Ginger Stuyvesant (a working medium, exhausted and burnt-out by the stresses of experiencing the deaths of hundreds of young men) and her fiancé, British intelligence agent Benjamin Hartford? Of course it did. I like a good spy story as much as anyone (even without spaceships). And once things get going, Ghost Talkers has a good thrust with the Germans trying to discover the location of the Spirit Corps, a highly-placed mole in the British command, secret murderers, double crosses, codes and ciphers.

But it was that rare ability of Kowal’s to make what could have been a completely goofy add-on to the British war effort into something that felt completely wedded and solid that sold me — that spark of a great idea, well-executed. It is a story that just works. That lays out a presumption (ghosts are real), builds a plot architecture around it (they might be useful intelligence assets), and then grounds it with emotional weight (those forced to talk to the ghosts of the young and dead might not come out of it unscathed).” — NPR Books

Aug 11
2016

The New York Times on Ninefox Gambit

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

“Amid such brutal calculus, Lee (himself an Ivy League-educated mathematician) fortunately doesn’t stint on character development or plot. The protagonist is Kel Cheris, a young soldier gifted in number theory, who is summoned from the battlefield for a strange new mission. She must partner with the disgraced General Jedao, possibly the only person in the hexarchate who can help reclaim the strategically critical Fortress of Scattered Needles and stop the looming threat of calendrical rot. Problem: Jedao has been dead for centuries, executed after he went mad and slaughtered thousands of his own people. Cheris must become host to this unstable genius’s “ghost,” or preserved personality ­and once she does, she must immediately learn how to navigate her way through politics more ancient than the hexarchate itself. Meanwhile, if she slips even once in her self-control or calculations, her ghostly ally will drive her mad too. Or worse.

The story is dense, the pace intense, and the delicate East Asian flavoring of the math-rich setting might make it seem utterly alien to many readers yet metaphors for our own world abound…Readers willing to invest in a steep learning curve will be rewarded with a tight-woven, complicated but not convoluted, breathtakingly original space opera. And since this is only the first book of the Machineries of Empire trilogy, it’s the start of what looks to be a wild ride.” — New York Times

Aug 2
2016

Ghost Talkers is on B&N’s Best SFF of August 2016 list

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal is on Barnes & Noble’s Best SFF of August 2016 list!

“Kowal retains her crown as one of the most imaginative SFF writers working today with a thoughtful new book that imagines the “Spirit Corps” of the British Military of 1916. Led by American Ginger Stuyvesant, the Corps communicates with recently dead soldiers on the killing fields of Europe in order to glean vital intelligence. When Ginger’s fiancé, Captain Ben Harford, tips her off concerning a German plot to destroy the Corps, she has to use the its powers, as well as a series of unlikely but effective allies, to protect it. Kowal brings her keen eye for historical detail and an impeccable sense of plotting to bear on a smart, exciting story that combines an accurately rendered World War I setting with occult flourishes.” — Barnes & Noble SFF

Jul 25
2016

Ghost Talkers is a RT Book Reviews Top Pick!

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

“Once again, Kowal takes an innovative premise and executes it superbly, imaginatively marrying history with a fresh fantasy concept. Though the romance between Ginger and Ben is bittersweet, the story never becomes maudlin — in fact, it’s absolutely riveting. The story moves briskly as Ginger struggles to identify a spy in the English army, revealing itself as an engrossing amalgam of romance, historical fiction, fantasy and mystery. I only have one caution: When you start , Ghost Talkers, clear your schedule — you won’t be able to put it down.” — RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!

Jul 22
2016

Library Journal on Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

“American Ginger Stuyvesant is able to channel the spirits of the dead. Her skills, along with those of other psychics, are being put to use by a special branch of the British Army known as the Spirit Corps during World War I. Working out of a base in Le Havre, Ginger leads one of several circles whose members take intelligence from deceased soldiers who report what they saw on the battlefields. One day a fighter checks in who has been killed by a British officer, not a German enemy. Ginger has a hard time getting her male superior officers to take her seriously, but she is tenacious as she pulls on the threads of a mystery that threatens the whole of the Spirit Corps.

VERDICT: Hugo Award-­winning Kowal (“The Glamourist” series) has a good feel for the era, creating a premise and setting that make this a refreshing historical fantasy.” — Library Journal

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