Book Review: Ghost Talkers

Originally published: August 16, 2016

Author: Mary Robinette Kowal

Publisher: Tor Books

This book came as a recommendation on the Goodreads page of Mr. Brandon Sanderson — an author whose reading tastes I admire a lot. It was my first time to read anything by Ms. Kowal.

An excellent recommendation. I haven’t read a lot of alternate history mixed with ghosts, not to mention that I am a big fan of World Wars I and II, the first being the setting of the story. Add some beautiful prose by an extremely skilled author to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a new fan.

The protagonist is Ginger, a lady who can converse with ghosts. She uses her skills to help the British intelligence. Things take a wrong turn when she discovers a traitor among them and her fears are rebuffed. Certain that her order is infiltrated, she takes it upon herself to uncover the truth.

Why did I like this book so much? Because of the writing, my fellow reader. Ms. Kowal has some outstanding techniques to learn from. She knows how to hit the right tunes of your heart to let the correct emotions play. Her words are carefully chosen to convey the correct feelings, the crisp description, and the fast action at the right times.

I liked Ginger. She is real person whom I can cheer for and relate to. She is genuine, strong and very human. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tells me they had indeed met her somewhere in real life. If you give this book the attention it deserves, I am positive that you’ll care about its characters a great deal by the story’s climax.

There’s nothing that I didn’t like about this book, so perhaps I’ll just opt for one last “comment”. The story was a bit too poignant for me. Even though I wasn’t surprised by the ending since the atmosphere actually hints at it, but the concept itself is sad to read and delve deeper into. If you let your mind slip into all the subtle philosophy that Ms. Kowal has written between the lines, it will wrench your heart.

Verdict? An excellent book on my 2016 reading list, and a definite push for me to go looking for the rest of Ms. Kowal’s work.

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