STARRED REVIEW
August 16, 2016

Gathering intelligence from beyond the grave

By Mary Robinette Kowal
Hidden in a warehouse, far removed from the trenches of war, Ginger Stuyvesant is holding hands with her circle and taking the final report from a soldier just returned from the front. The young private is relaying positions of the German artillery as he last saw them—just before the rounds from those guns killed him. It's 1916, and England has recruited Ginger and her fellow mediums as a formidable intelligence-gathering force, collecting postmortem reports from soldiers killed on the front lines. The Spirit Corps is England's secret weapon that is turning the tide of war in their favor.
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Hidden in a warehouse, far removed from the trenches of war, Ginger Stuyvesant is holding hands with her circle and taking the final report from a soldier just returned from the front. The young private is relaying positions of the German artillery as he last saw them—just before the rounds from those guns killed him. It's 1916, and England has recruited Ginger and her fellow mediums as a formidable intelligence-gathering force, collecting postmortem reports from soldiers killed on the front lines. The Spirit Corps is England's secret weapon that is turning the tide of war in their favor.

The duty of communicating with the flood of souls reporting in before they pass beyond the veil is grim and exhausting, but Ginger finds refuge after hours with her fiancé, Capt. Benjamin Hartshorne, who is stationed near Spirit Corp operations. When Benjamin confides to Ginger that the Germans may have discovered the existence of the Spirit Corps, she fears the days are numbered for keeping their operation a secret. Her suspicions are confirmed when the murder of a soldier in camp reveals a German plot to discover the Spirit Corps' methods. When catastrophe soon follows, Ginger is propelled on a harrowing journey to the trenches of war to uncover the true nature of the enemy's mission against her and her fellow sensitives . . . and to resolve dangerously unfinished business.

Armed with three Hugo awards as well as multiple top-drawer accolades for her storytelling, Mary Robinette Kowal has knack for deftly integrating flavors of the fantastic into historical reality. This strength is highlighted as Kowal contrasts the honest perspective of departing souls, spirits unencumbered by convention, against the rigid military landscape and social hierarchies of the era. Ghost Talkers draws the reader through the shadows of death, into a world where service to your country sometimes extends beyond the grave.

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Ghost Talkers

Ghost Talkers

By Mary Robinette Kowal
Tor
ISBN 9780765378255

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