Jun 292016

Cover for Mary Robinette Kowal's Ghost Talkers.Publishers Weekly: In this entrancing alternate history, Kowal (the Glamourist Histories series) introduces the Spirit Corps, a group that communicates with recently killed soldiers to gather important wartime information. It’s the summer of 1916, and American medium Ginger Stuyvesant works with the British Army at Le Havre to coordinate and lead spirit circles. When her intelligence officer fiancé, Capt. Benjamin Harford, uncovers a German plot to target the Spirit Corps and is sent to the front soon after, Ginger must use every power at her disposal to track down a traitor and protect the corps. Kowal’s depiction of spiritualism is richly imagined, and its complications and consequences are thoughtfully considered. Her depiction of the Western Front includes diverse characters often neglected in wartime stories: the many people who help Ginger include women young and old, people of color, and disabled veterans, all of whom are dismissed by the British men in charge. The well-drawn characters and the story’s gripping action and deep emotion will captivate readers.