Ghosts of Empire by George Mann
|Ghosts of Empire by George Mann|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: The Ghost returns in another slice of great pulp alt-history steampunk, but this time he is on vacation, but when has that stopped him before?|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: Titan Books Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Taking on a band of undead Mummies will take it out of the best of us and a holiday may be needed. If you are from New York there are not many other cities worldwide that could impress you, but London is one of them. Surely, a nice visit to England, far from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, will help you to relax. It is not as if Russian Tsarists are on the loose with magical powers or the events are conspiring to raise the sleeping power of Albion from its slumber. Is it?
Gabriel and Ginny are on holiday in London hoping to see the sites and relax a little. However, when one of you has a rocket propelled alter ego called The Ghost and the other has the power of an Egyptian God, this is not always easily achieved. After one of their friends gets in trouble they decide to investigate. What they uncover is a conspiracy that may bring the world to the brink of war once again. And a cult of Russian sorcerers. And an avatar of Albion, the protective God of England. A typical vacation then.
Ghosts of Empire is the fourth in the Ghost Series of books and highlights a confident author who knows the characters and the genre well. The universe that Mann has created is a fascinating one – a steampunk alternative to our own post World War One. Here the various worldwide royals wield more power and the use of engineering and underhand magic are considered valid weapons. Having fought various supernatural beings and automatons in the past, it was only natural for events to get even more intense in Empire for The Ghost.
This book is pulp action at a very fine level. If you are looking for rocket propelled heroes taking on an army of cultists, you are in the right place. Enlightened prose – not so much. However, Mann makes the book work as it is not all just action. There is by now a mini ensemble of characters that surround The Ghost and between punch ups, you get some good characterisation, this is important as it makes the action more thrilling as you care about the outcome.
Indeed, at times the action is a little too thrilling and a reader can sometimes lose their way. There are loads of great ideas being fired at you; sometimes you can't keep track. The fascinating world that Mann has created is strong enough for you to explore without the need for a chase every twenty pages or so. It is rare for me to suggest this when reading a pulp novel, but a little less action would have probably helped.
By this, the fourth book in the series, it is impressive that Mann is still keeping up a high standard of new ideas and action. Across the entire series it is apparent that the universe itself gives a stronger sense of fascination than the individual stories can offer. Whilst you get the thrills in one book, you cannot help but seek tantalising glimpses of a larger world. Hopefully, with the Empire putting this world on the brink of war, Mann will decide to make the politics, technology and magic of this universe the star and not just give hundreds of pages of action. This is still great pulp, but it could be unmissable.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ghosts of Empire by George Mann at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Ghosts of Empire by George Mann at Amazon.com.
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