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3.6 out of 5 stars
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3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 13 December 2011
I have to admit that I felt Ghosts of Manhattan, Mann's first foray into the roaring twenties, was not his finest work. The protagonist and the setting were intriguing, but the storyline seemed rushed and slightly disjointed. However, I was more than willing to give the usually reliable author another chance, and I'm glad I did, because this second installment is an improvement in every way.

This book sees the return of the Ghost, rocket-booted vigilante and alter ego of playboy Gabriel Cross. Only a month after the tragic events of the first book, he's struggling with both self-doubt and a series of new threats to his beloved city.

This time around the menaces include a mysterious flock of robotic 'raptors' intent on abducting hapless New Yorkers, a sinister conspiracy that may mean a catastrophic war with Britain, and another interdimensional monstrosity that may be only the first of its kind... As if all this wasn't enough, Gabriel has to deal with the sudden return of an old flame. And what's the deal with the huge pair of eyes he keeps seeing up in the sky?

Happily the more Lovecraftian elements of the plot are more elegantly woven into the story this time, and further flashbacks to Gabriel's wartime days fill in more of his backstory. It goes without saying that the book is packed with Mann's trademark action setpieces, from the opening rooftop battle to a thrilling biplane/airship dogfight towards the end.

However, it's the author's growing facility with his characters that really shines. You really feel Gabriel's tormented questioning of his purpose and true self, as well as his ally Felix's dedication and guilt as he tries to balance his work with his home life.

This book left me eager to see what Mann has planned for his haunted vigilante next. If the next installment shows as much improvement as this one, it should be something very special indeed.
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on 18 October 2011
After being disappointed with Mann's "The Immorality Engine" I really felt that this novel was a return to form.

It sees a return of The Ghost, a masked vigilante and the self appointed protector of Manhatten(ie think Bruce Wayne/Batman) from the author's previous work in the series. Set in an "alternative" 1930s New York, it's steampunk v2.0 (what a refreshing change from the omnipresent Victotriana in which the genre has been mired for so long).

Whilst i'm sure some reviewers will argue that the lead character is a stereotype I personally loved the insight the reader is provided into The Ghost (and his alter ego of course) through the course of the novel and found this book to be a real treat.

It's not high fiction.... but, hey, if you wanted that you wouldn't have bought this book...BUT...the quality of both the plotting, character development and the writing here really is surprisingly good.

What it does provide is a rip roaring ride for the reader. Really, it's great fun and certainly significantly better than a number of other additions to this genre..

Where I found The Immorality Engine a little lazy and struggled to relate to the two lead characters, here a compelling mix of strong characters (including a suitably grotesque nemesis), unveiled backstory, lots of action, danger, suspense and dramatic tension means that this really has been an absolute page turner for me.

Braveo George Mann!
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on 6 August 2012
Ghosts of war by george mann a steampunk batman from the pulp era echoes of HP lovecraft but more dixon hill than lee falk
set in a alternative world of new york 1927 and the british empire of Queen Alberta it had our ex fighter pilot hero battling flying night creatures and ended in a climatic airship versus monster fight
better than some steampunk novels but after opening chapter of steam cars , airships and holograms lost most of its steampunk for a runof mill pulp adventure undecided if a parody or tribute to the golden age of pulps
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on 17 May 2012
I have loved George Manns particular pulp style of blending Victorian Steam Punk with Modern literary classics since I picked up Ghosts of Manhattan the first time, and I have been reading his books as fast as he has been writing them.
There is something comfortingly familiar about many of the characters in this book, if you have ever been into Batman or the Spirit, but it's taken to the next level and George Mann paints a stunning picture of the early twentieth centuries alternative reality, which makes it far to easy to loose yourself in his books and realise that there will be no sleep this night either.
Well worth a read as is the rest of his books.

The Immorality Engine
The Osiris Ritual
The Affinity Bridge
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on 9 September 2012
A second post-steampunk adventure set in the New York of the 1920s, again featuring the vigilante called the Ghost. As last time, this is a straightforward action story, in this case 'shady cabal have horrifying ambitions and must be stopped'. That's pretty much what happens, and it's a brisk, pacy read. There is exactly one plot, and everything that happens feeds it. It helps the novel be what it wants to be - pulp action - but it's also a little empty. There's not much mystery to the story, and as little else is happening but the race to defeat the villains, it feels like a snack more than it does a meal. As a quick shot of steampunkish heroics spiced with Lovecraftian horror, it works, but I still prefer the far richer tapestry Mann creates in the Newbury & Hobbes series (set a few decades before the Ghost books).
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on 27 March 2014
An enjoyable sequel to Ghosts of Manhattan - if you like Steam punk you will enjoy this - I would recommend.
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on 28 July 2015
Fabulous, criminal noir with twists, a thinking man's Bat Man!
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on 16 April 2015
One shouldn't judge a book by its cover. This book has a great cover.
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