Ghosts of Gotham
Irresistibly drawn to mysteries, if only to debunk them, reporter Lionel Page exposes supernatural frauds, swindlers, and charlatans. His latest case is an obsession—at least for an ancient and wealthy heiress: verify the authenticity of a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript circulating through New York City’s literary underworld. But the shrewd Regina Dunkle offers more than money. It’s a pact. Fulfill her request, and Lionel’s own notorious buried past, one he’s been running from since he was a child, will remain hidden.As Lionel’s quest begins, so do the warnings. And where rare books go, murder follows. It’s only when Lionel meets enigmatic stranger Madison Hannah, his personal usher into the city’s secret history, that he realizes he’s being guided by a force more powerful than logic…and that he isn’t just following a story. He is the story.Now that the true purpose of his mission is revealing itself in the most terrifying ways, it may finally be time for Lionel to believe in the unbelievable.

Ghosts of Gotham Details

TitleGhosts of Gotham
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 9th, 2019
Publisher47North
Rating
GenreFantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Magic, Horror

Ghosts of Gotham Review

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    January 1, 1970
    So. This book could have been boring as fish. Oh yes, most definitely. I mean, a Bibliomystery Type Thingie (BTT™)? About a reporter hired by an eccentric, reclusive heiress to locate and authenticate an obscure Edgar Allan Poe manuscript? YAWN, right? Been there, read that, ultimate cure for insomnia and stuff, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Clueless Barnacles will be clueless, as usual. Please take a look at the author’s name, my Comely Decapods. Go on, have a quick look, that’ll give me time to pour So. This book could have been boring as fish. Oh yes, most definitely. I mean, a Bibliomystery Type Thingie (BTT™)? About a reporter hired by an eccentric, reclusive heiress to locate and authenticate an obscure Edgar Allan Poe manuscript? YAWN, right? Been there, read that, ultimate cure for insomnia and stuff, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Clueless Barnacles will be clueless, as usual. Please take a look at the author’s name, my Comely Decapods. Go on, have a quick look, that’ll give me time to pour my little self a much deserved glass of Laphroaig I’m not going anywhere. Now. What name do you see up there? Yep, that’s right. Craig. Schaefer. (Wow, you can read! Good for you and stuff!) Aka my co-top boyfriend Danny Faust’s beloved daddy. Aka one of the founding members of my Holy Quintuplicity of Utter Awesomeness (HQoUA™). Aka one of the very very few authors on this puny little planet who can do almost very little absolutely no wrong. So. To recap. This book could have been siesta-inducing. But Craig Schaefer wrote it. So it wasn’t. Ha.See? Even Spockie agrees with me on that one.Okayyyyyyy, so we have a reporter guy called Lionel Page. He specializes in debunking and exposing supernatural frauds and scams and hoaxes (oh my!). You could say that his mission in life is kinda sorta to prove that magic doesn’t exist. (Hahahahaha. Poor guy. It really sucks for him that he ended up being the lead in a Craig Schaefer book.) At the beginning of the story, Little Lionel finds himself in a little bit of a little situation because reasons, which leads him to make a not-so-little deal with the eccentric, reclusive heiress I mentioned up there ↑↑, which in turn leads him to go to New York, which in turn leads him to meet lots of Super Extra Friendly (SEF™) (if a little not entirely human) people whose sole concern is to make sure Little Lionel has a supernaturally deadly grand time while visiting the Big Apple. Much fun and merriment ensue. “You’re either eating the steak or you are the steak.” (Always there to give out-of-towners good, sound advice these SEF™ New Yorkers.)Yes, this is indeed a world where it is better to be a carnivore with a, um, healthy appetite. (If you want to survive more than two and a half seconds, anyway.) And what a luscious world it is, too. It’s scrumptiously original, it’s deliciously dark, and a most stupendous mix of Urban Fantasy, Horror, Mystery and Mythology. A world where secret societies meet Slavic folklore meet Greek gods (who happen to know a thing or two about stock exchange) meet Russian mobsters meet Dalmatians and cherubs and goats (oh my again!) meet blood-smeared kisses meet ancient homicidal chicks meet interior decorating, fresh viscera-style meets cannibalistic ghouls meet an insurance that’s in insurance (don’t ask) meets phantasms and ghouls and carnage (oh my again again!) meet slightly pissed off muses meet Edgar Allan Poe (duh). Best, most entertainingly refreshing cocktail that ever was, methinks.Awesome Mr Schaefer being Awesome Mr Schaefer, he didn’t stop at that and also threw in a Super Extra Intriguing Plot (SEIP™). And a Super Fast Paced (SFP™) one at that. Then there are the twists. And turns. And bloody shrimping glorious surprises so bloody shrimping surprising and bloody shrimping glorious that they make you go all …💌 A very private message to Mr Schaefer: that chapter 43 twist? I lurves thee for it. A lot very mucho. And if I wasn’t already most happily betrothed to your son Daniel Faust, I’d ask you to marry me and stuff. The characters, in pure, wondrous Schaefer fashion, are splendidly complex and beautifully fished up. Lionel is a pretty cool anti hero with a somewhat obscure, slightly a little bit violent past and a few, um, mommy issues. But the character who really steals the show here? Introducing…Our resident knife-wielding damsel in no bloody shrimping distress…Madison Hannah! She is amazing, she is badass, she is beyond screwed-up, she is spoiler spoiler spoiler. I’m pretty sure she’d be instant best friends with my boyfriend Danny Faust’s girlfriend Caitlin (who is also my girlfriend, just so you know. One big happy threesome family and all that). I want to marry her. (Boom! Kidnapped! Poof, Gone, Harem and stuff!) How Craig Schaefer manages to create such Incredibly Edible, multi-faceted, strong yet vulnerable female characters is beyond me. He must have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for this most uncommon talent or something. It is the only plausible explanation, if you ask me. And now let’s dance. (Sorry, it cannot be helped, it’s the Deadly Schaefer Effect™.)Excited, me? Whatever gave you that silly idea, I wonder?➽ Nefarious Last Words (NLW™): this book. It is Slightly Very Good (SVG™). Read it. Well you can’t read it now, since it hasn’t been released yet. Muahahahahahaha. How terribly sad indeed. To think you have to wait three bloody shrimping months until it’s officially published. Muahahahahahaha. Your life really sucks, doesn’t it? Poor, poor Little Barnacles. ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.[Pre-review nonsense]Craig Schaefer, thou hast bloody shrimping done it again. And how.Most gleefully exultant indeed I am. And so is Euripides, from what I hear.➽ Full review to come.P.S. There is SO much much much and much more to this story than silly ghosts. Just so you know.[December 2018]An ARC I have.Slightly DEAD I am.Note to self: keep sacrificing newborn babies to get ARCs. It works.[October 2018]Craig Schaefer said: “Awful ghosts. Ghosts that do things with people's teeth and eyeballs,” and I went all:“Why,” you ask? Because DUH and stuff. Obviously.
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  • Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com)
    January 1, 1970
    RELEASE DAY!Review also found at:https://grumpybookgrrrl.com/2019/03/1...Release day: April 9, 2019. Publisher: 47North. Rating: ★★★★★Craig Schaefer once again proves he is genius-level in the paranormal noir genre. This is my 15th? book and it may be my favorite yet. The writing, the plotting, the characterization, the pacing, the world-building … just gets better and better.Have you read Craig Schaefer yet? Yes. Good job. I approve. Have you read Craig Schaefer yet? No?So now that my fangirlin RELEASE DAY!Review also found at:https://grumpybookgrrrl.com/2019/03/1...Release day: April 9, 2019. Publisher: 47North. Rating: ★★★★★Craig Schaefer once again proves he is genius-level in the paranormal noir genre. This is my 15th? book and it may be my favorite yet. The writing, the plotting, the characterization, the pacing, the world-building … just gets better and better.Have you read Craig Schaefer yet? Yes. Good job. I approve. Have you read Craig Schaefer yet? No?So now that my fangirling is done… This would actually be a great place to start if you are hesitant of starting an ongoing series. I don’t know if this is a stand alone (please don’t be a stand alone, I need more), but it’s a perfect “contained” story that won’t leave you baffled, wondering if you missed something.Of course, you have to like ghosts, witches, ghouls, and other things that go bump – and will probably eat you – in the night.The main character is Lionel Page, early 30s. He is a reporter, a debunker, successful with what he does, but with a troubled past. He takes an odd job that finds him in New York City, searching for a manuscript by a famous gothic horror author.I won’t say too much, but this is similar to the author’s previous work, yet original. I love the magic and mythology, and I think this story, while gory in some bits, is more adventurous and – fun? – than the Daniel Faust series.This is a must-read for any Craig Schaefer fan, and if you are new, this is a GREAT place to start. His talent is, in my view, highly underrated. The romance between Lionel and Maddie was definitely ship-worthy. She is a fantastic character, which is not surprising, as the author excels at writing solid female characters.There is a lot of new stuff going on here, and I was surprised by several “reveals,” so check it out!Thank you Netgalley and publisher for providing a digital eARC to read and review!
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  • Montzalee Wittmann
    January 1, 1970
    Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. Wow, this book is extraordinary! It is going in my "favorite of all time folder"! It is a cross of mythology, The Supernaturals, Alfred Hitchcock, and a mash of every horror show I've seen. So many twists and surprises that I gave up on trying to figure it out and just held on and rode this wild ride to the end! Nothing is as it seems! No one is who they say they are... Ghouls, goddess, an old Po Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. Wow, this book is extraordinary! It is going in my "favorite of all time folder"! It is a cross of mythology, The Supernaturals, Alfred Hitchcock, and a mash of every horror show I've seen. So many twists and surprises that I gave up on trying to figure it out and just held on and rode this wild ride to the end! Nothing is as it seems! No one is who they say they are... Ghouls, goddess, an old Poe manuscript, magic, cults, witches, and beings unknown. I loved every page! It is so tightly thought out. The characters are so real, so well developed. The suspense, the world building, the action, the mad genius of this novel is absolutely fabulous! I don't want to tell anything about it, I would hate to give anything away. Just read it if you love a good fantasy with lots of magic, lots of mysteries, a touch of romance, and through it all, a happy ending!
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  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    If we've been friends on Goodreads for a while, it's probably not a secret that I'm a ridiculously enthusiastic fan of Craig Schaefer's books (and eternal thanks to Sarah, who has championed the shit out of this author, for switching me onto them). Nevertheless, when Ghosts of Gotham came up on Netgalley, I knew I was just the reader to give a completely unbiased and fair review. Now that we've all stopped laughing...all bias aside, this is a great book. It's a new series, with a new hero/manic If we've been friends on Goodreads for a while, it's probably not a secret that I'm a ridiculously enthusiastic fan of Craig Schaefer's books (and eternal thanks to Sarah, who has championed the shit out of this author, for switching me onto them). Nevertheless, when Ghosts of Gotham came up on Netgalley, I knew I was just the reader to give a completely unbiased and fair review. Now that we've all stopped laughing...all bias aside, this is a great book. It's a new series, with a new hero/manic pixie dream girl, Lionel Page, investigative reporter extraordinaire. And he's on the hunt for a book - when, in true Craig Schaefer style, the wheels start falling off the world he thought he knew.If you've read any of his other series, there's some standout Craig Schaefer trademarks present here - he still writes women better than any other author I'm familiar with, some of the more horrific moments are truly terrifying, and there's a couple of stellar twisty turns in the plot that took me completely by surprise. But otherwise, despite this being his fifth separate storyline, there's no feeling of retreading ground - this was fresh, new, and an absolute ball to read. Maddie and her storyline are second only to Harmony Black in my hierarchy of fictional characters I wish I could hang out with in real life; even the villain was just so satisfying.Should you be a Craig Schaefer newbie, this is definitely a good place to start. And if you're already a fan, then the news is good - this is another absolutely fantastic book from him, with the bonus of more new characters to meet and love.
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  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Books of My HeartWhat can I say? Craig Shaefer has done something really special in Ghosts of Gotham.  He has taken an Edgar Allen Poe story and made it the focus of a mystery that delves into occult, that in itself is a good story.  But he has also taken two characters, which on their own might not be incredibly sympathetic and turned them into the heroes of this tale and made me wonder how long should someone pay for the sins of their past?  The magic in t This review was originally posted on Books of My HeartWhat can I say? Craig Shaefer has done something really special in Ghosts of Gotham.  He has taken an Edgar Allen Poe story and made it the focus of a mystery that delves into occult, that in itself is a good story.  But he has also taken two characters, which on their own might not be incredibly sympathetic and turned them into the heroes of this tale and made me wonder how long should someone pay for the sins of their past?  The magic in this story isn’t just in the plot but in the stories of both Lionel and Madison ( omg hold onto your hat for her backstory, it knocked me off my feet ) The woman was a mystery. No. Mysteries were made to be solved. She didn’t want any part of that. Maddie was a palace of locked doors. Lionel had been invited into her halls, permitted to walk through her world and get the barest sense of her design, but the actual rooms— the places where Maddie actually lived, where her heart and her memories held sway— were denied to him. Lionel is a reporter with a strange past who debunks frauds pretending to use magic.  He is good at his job and so far hasn’t found one case of true magic, that is until now. Lionel meets a powerful woman, who would like him to get a copy of the true final page of an Edgar Allen Poe story.  It seems simple, go to New York, find the book and authenticate the final pages. It’s not simple, its not easy and Lionel is about to find out the true magic he has been looking for is out there and it is coming for him. “This is New York City, sir. All the hotels are haunted by someone or other. You just have to pick the one with the ghosts that suit you.” ღღღ  The Best Things About this Story ღღღIt is fun; it's fast and it takes two characters with demons and pasts of their own and makes you root for them while trying to decipher their backstories.  Lionel has few friends and a string of prior lovers who were left with feelings of overwhelming disappointment. Maggie is a witch and she is about to lift the veil for Lionel and show him things he can never un-see.  She is strong yet somehow broken, so I loved her immediately. Maybe these two broken characters might have it in them to fit together and fill the lonely gaps in each other’s lives.This Urban Fantasy world is subtle and fantastic.  There are witches, gods, cults, demons, ghouls, necromancy, secret societies and other things left unnamed that haunt children’s fairy tales.  This is a detective story wrapped up in all the best things occult. You might think a book about searching for a book might be boring but when the undead alligator comes for you in a New York Sewer, I think you might change your mind.Maggie’s backstory was so unexpected that when it was revealed my jaw might have dropped to the floor with the stroke of genius it was.  I loved how Shaefer took a character I thought I knew and blew my mind with the ‘what if’ of it. *applauds* Well done Mr. Shaefer, well done.Regina, the very powerful, very rich woman who hired Lionel and has some ties to Maggie as well, turned out to be a fantastic plot point and I loved the story arc behind her.  She is so mysterious and the pages couldn’t turn fast enough to get through the story to learn everything about the pasts of all the players in the story. “My dear boy, how charmingly naive. You know perfectly well that murder is humanity’s favorite pastime. People will kill each other over a scratched fender or a pool-hall bet. The answer to ‘Will someone kill for this,’ no matter what ‘this’ is, is always yes.” Shaefer’s writing and style is one with great moments of emotional connection to the characters, moments of fear for the characters and moments of wonder about how all of this is going to come together.  It is so easy to pick ir up and get lost.☢☢☢  The Worst Things About this Story ☢☢☢It might be a standalone, currently it looks like a standalone.  I loved being in this world and I adored Lionel and Maggie by the end of it.  This is a completely self-contained story but I want more time with Maggie and Lionel.  I want to go on more adventures with them and while this adventure is concluded, I really hope Shaefer has more ideas for the characters in this world.Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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  • Lukasz
    January 1, 1970
    OUT TODAYActual rating: 4.5/5Lionel Page has made a name for himself digging into hoaxes, frauds, and con artists. As an investigative reporter, he’s busted psychics, faith healers and miracle men, exposing their powers for nothing more but parlour tricks. He’s proved repeatedly that magic didn’t exist. Craig Schaefer’s proved him wrong.Lionel’s new case gets weird fast. He must believe in the unbelievable or die. Simple.Schaefer is one of my favourite storytellers. His insane plotting skills im OUT TODAYActual rating: 4.5/5Lionel Page has made a name for himself digging into hoaxes, frauds, and con artists. As an investigative reporter, he’s busted psychics, faith healers and miracle men, exposing their powers for nothing more but parlour tricks. He’s proved repeatedly that magic didn’t exist. Craig Schaefer’s proved him wrong.Lionel’s new case gets weird fast. He must believe in the unbelievable or die. Simple.Schaefer is one of my favourite storytellers. His insane plotting skills impress me more than his utilitarian prose. That said, I appreciate the way he wrote Ghosts of Gotham. It’s easy to read and easy to understand. Schaefer sets his story in a grim and noisy New York. You don’t have to look far to experience the dark side of humanity The Modern Gomorrah. Rumour has it that Hecate, an arch-manipulator, chose NY as her base. The narrative tallies closely with the Macbeth play though there are a few additions which start things off with an appropriate bang.For the most part, this story is split between two main characters:Lionel Page(t) an investigative reporter irresistibly drawn to mysteries. He hasn’t recovered from a childhood trauma (a psycho has killed his mother and people unfortunate enough to host her). He’s a workaholic whose life turns around exposing fake miracles. Maddie has years of experience and violent past she tries to run away from. Her relationships with other humans are troubled and determined by her self-loathing. But make no mistake. Don’t even try to push her around. Unless you have a death wish.Characterisation is great and much deeper than in Craig’s other books. I loved getting into Maddie’s chapters. Especially as it becomes obvious that you should never toy with her. Lionel’s chapters are equally good. Maybe even more poignant. He has no choice but to abandon his skepticism and plunge head-on in the world of dark magic and monsters.I loved all the directions that the story went. I enjoyed foreshadowing that lead to surprising but inevitable twists. Schaefer does them remarkably well. In essence, it’s a simple story about revenge, loneliness, and life. Very Greek. Very emotional, but also fast and furious. You’ll get to see demons, goblins, witches, semi-goddesses, and others I don’t want to spoil for you. The ending made me excited and satisfied. I wish it wasn’t a standalone book. I loved every minute of it and wouldn’t mind following Lionel’s future endeavours. 
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  • ☕️Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    We meet Lionel Page, a Chicago reporter who exposes supernatural frauds, swindlers, and charlatans. He has made quite a name for himself.When a story from his past threatens his livelihood, he accepts a quest from Regina Dunkle to verify the authenticity of a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript circulating through New York City. In exchange she promises to make his problem go away. Ah, Lionel we all know how that goes. The tale that unfolds introduces mythology, supernatural elements and paranormal We meet Lionel Page, a Chicago reporter who exposes supernatural frauds, swindlers, and charlatans. He has made quite a name for himself.When a story from his past threatens his livelihood, he accepts a quest from Regina Dunkle to verify the authenticity of a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript circulating through New York City. In exchange she promises to make his problem go away. Ah, Lionel we all know how that goes. The tale that unfolds introduces mythology, supernatural elements and paranormal creatures.Schaefer surprised me left and right. When Reginia sends the enigmatic Madison Hannah unbeknownst by the players on the same quest. It had me itching for answers. Then I was surprised and delighted by the discovery of witches and powerful entities as we shot further down the rabbit hole.Fans of quests, suspense, quick-witted players and fate will delight in the tale that unfolds. I loved the tunnels, hexes, snarky characters and interaction with supernatural creatures who dwell in the underbelly of New York City. This had a gritty flair to it with the mystery, but also dabbled in gods, between worlds and more.The characters see growth as a relationship develops first from a survival aspect until it evolves into something more. It felt genuine and I enjoyed their interactions. The author gave the characters depth, exposed their scars and allowed us to witness their strengths.The overall story wrapped up nicely solving several mysteries and giving our couple an HEA. While this is a standalone, it did leave an opening for additional books.While I would have chosen a male narrator based on the protagonist, I felt narrator Susannah Jones did a nice job of delivering the story. She managed to give characters their own voice while provided a nicely paced listen. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
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  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    Not only are there fell creatures wandering through New York’s sewers, but there are secret societies and haunted buildings filled with people worshipping ancient deities. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This novel gives the reader of a dark gloomy Gotham City filled with ethereal mysterious people. Take a reporter dedicated (like a Geraldo Rivera) to unmasking charlatans, frauds, faith healers and the like and send him in a mission to recover a lost manuscript In Manhattan. What could go Not only are there fell creatures wandering through New York’s sewers, but there are secret societies and haunted buildings filled with people worshipping ancient deities. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This novel gives the reader of a dark gloomy Gotham City filled with ethereal mysterious people. Take a reporter dedicated (like a Geraldo Rivera) to unmasking charlatans, frauds, faith healers and the like and send him in a mission to recover a lost manuscript In Manhattan. What could go wrong? Maybe he learns a little faith in powers that he never believed in before. Maybe he’s struck by love 💗 at first sight. Maybe he’s the one being trained by witches to fight the forces of soul-sucking evil. This novel is a lot of fun. It’s got magic, mystery, romance, and battle. Like the main character, the reader only sees a tiny bit of the iceberg at first and then the truth slowly reveals itself. Well-plotted with a touch of whimsy. A great read.
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  • Bandit
    January 1, 1970
    If you told me to read a book about modern day witches I’d probably pass. But, since I only skimmed the description, this came across as a bibliomystery, which immediately piqued my interest. And what a good thing that was. I mean, this book does actually have a terrific bibliomystery (a different and terrifyingly literal interpretation of a famous Poe story) as its spine, but a lot of the plot has to do with witches. Then again there are also cults or secret societies and conspiracies and occul If you told me to read a book about modern day witches I’d probably pass. But, since I only skimmed the description, this came across as a bibliomystery, which immediately piqued my interest. And what a good thing that was. I mean, this book does actually have a terrific bibliomystery (a different and terrifyingly literal interpretation of a famous Poe story) as its spine, but a lot of the plot has to do with witches. Then again there are also cults or secret societies and conspiracies and occult and suspense and towards the end it gets positively cosmic, so there’s much to love here. But the main thing is that Craig Schaefer is just such a great storyteller. The man seems to specialize in series and trilogies of the similarly natured occult mysteries and since series and trilogies aren’t really my thing, never heard of him until now, but this book is certainly good enough to put him on the radar of any reader interested in speculative fiction. Wildly imaginative scenarios, genre mixing, great characters, realistic dialogue, situations even, despite how otherworldly the ideas get. It just all came together so nicely and worked so well. Last time I’ve experienced this kind of mad mash up of awesome was reading Gene Doucette, probably, which is a high praise indeed. Just a stunningly inventive, genuinely exciting and very, very entertaining adventure. This book is probably going to end up as a book one is either series or trilogy too, there’s certainly enough world building in here to sustain it and it’s possible I wouldn’t be averse to reading it then, if only to see if the magic stays magical as it were. Honesty, I’d be very happy with this book if it never introduced any amount of supernatural into it at all or was very minimal with it and just stay a bibliomystery with an investigative reporter (with a past he tries to hide…oh, and this deserves a mention, what sort of a person tries to disassociate himself from his past by…get this…just dropping one letter from the end of his last name. Like that’s it, from Paget to Page. And for a public figure with a book out and all. That’s the great disguise. How it takes all those years for someone to put two and two together is a miracle. And even though Page’s wanting his past to stay secret is a huge motivation to propel the plot forward, it’s the least logical detail of the book. And the book has magic and witches in it. Madness.) entering into a deal with a shadowy wealthy old woman to find a manuscript for her collection. But the author chose to go with magic and it worked and was tons of fun. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
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  • Kira
    January 1, 1970
    You know what the problem with this book is? It's a standalone. It's amazing! And I want more. So much more. I loved everything about this. Lionel is the sole survivor of a brutal massacre, but he tries to keep his past hidden. When his past was about to be exposed, an unexpected source offers to help as long as he tracks down something in return. Then lots of murder, mystery, magic, and mayhem ensues. Lionel's career revolves around debunking magic. Little did he know magic did exist. While tra You know what the problem with this book is? It's a standalone. It's amazing! And I want more. So much more. I loved everything about this. Lionel is the sole survivor of a brutal massacre, but he tries to keep his past hidden. When his past was about to be exposed, an unexpected source offers to help as long as he tracks down something in return. Then lots of murder, mystery, magic, and mayhem ensues. Lionel's career revolves around debunking magic. Little did he know magic did exist. While tracking down a manuscript that people are being killed for, Lionel discovers that witches are real. There is more going on than it originally appeared. I don't want to say more and give anything away.The characters were great! I liked the romance but was happy that it wasn't the focal point of the story. A world with Greek gods having witches at their disposal was fascinating. I'd love to read another story set in this world even if Lionel and Maddie weren't the main characters, but I'd also be thrilled to learn about their next adventure. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for giving me this in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Jason
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer is another guilty pleasure read by one of my favorite authors. This is a pretty big change from Daniel and Harmony. It is a mystery, an adventure, and a love letter to New York City. This is a story where you are better off going in without much knowledge of what this is about. To simply summarize, there is an ambitious and motivated reporter, a rich mysterious client, the big Apple, and of course an Edgar Allan Poe manuscript.Fun, fun, fun, I will re 4.5 Stars Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer is another guilty pleasure read by one of my favorite authors. This is a pretty big change from Daniel and Harmony. It is a mystery, an adventure, and a love letter to New York City. This is a story where you are better off going in without much knowledge of what this is about. To simply summarize, there is an ambitious and motivated reporter, a rich mysterious client, the big Apple, and of course an Edgar Allan Poe manuscript.Fun, fun, fun, I will read everything by Craig Schaefer and so should you.
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  • Mihir
    January 1, 1970
    Ghosts Of Gotham is Craig Schaefer’s newest offering and one that promises a new direction in his illustrious career. This book is based on the next chapter in his career with 47North. The story is quite interesting and was definitely a new twist on gothic stories. Lionel Page is a Chicago reporter who’s addicted to debunking mysteries and because of his past, he cannot resist them any more than he breathes. However he’s clueless as to how to solve his own personal mystery. His penchant for risk Ghosts Of Gotham is Craig Schaefer’s newest offering and one that promises a new direction in his illustrious career. This book is based on the next chapter in his career with 47North. The story is quite interesting and was definitely a new twist on gothic stories. Lionel Page is a Chicago reporter who’s addicted to debunking mysteries and because of his past, he cannot resist them any more than he breathes. However he’s clueless as to how to solve his own personal mystery. His penchant for risks often lands him in the cross hairs of his editor Brianna who fears for his safety as well. A recent assignment goes sideways and lands him in a bit of a hotspot. Soon he gets introduced to Regina Dunkle who tasks him with a special offer to find a lost Edgar Allen Poe manuscript and also promises him a sizeable contribution for his efforts. Travelling to New York City, he soon immerses himself in this search and also meets an enigmatic fellow traveler who goes by Madison Hannah. Both of these characters have their own agendas but don’t know exactly who are ones pulling their chains. This lost manuscript is one that will cause a lot of trouble but also bring to the fore mysteries that have long since stayed hidden. Any Craig Schaefer book is a cause for celebration and this one is something a lot different than what he has written before. This book was deemed as Craig’s love letter to the city of New York as well as all of its intricacies and secrets. The story begins on a very typical mystery note wherein the readers are introduced to the first mystery is Lionel himself and what drives him. Lionel is also our sole viewpoint of this story and it is truly through him that we get to experience everything. His characterization is key and creating enigmatic characters is Craig’s forte. This book is no different as while we are slowly uncovering the mystery of the main plot. We also get to see the many mysteries of the other cast of characters such has Madison who goes by Maddie and flits in an out of Lionel’s NYC investigations, his private benefactor Regina Dunkle who maintains her privacy above everyone and everything else. All these characters are what make this story so interesting and there are mysteries galore within them as well as the burdens they carry. The story is of course a tribute to the somewhat quixotic nature of New York City and also a Gothic suspense story. The very nature of New York City is called into question as the reader along with Lionel get to witness it turn into something more. More than just the financial capital of the world, it becomes a city that houses almost every type of story and Lionel is just trying to find the one that perhaps is tied to his past (without knowing it to be such). The plot unfolds at a nice pace and the twists are such that they become harder and harder to predict. The best part about the story is the slow reveal of what the story is truly about and I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect. I can’t talk much about it without spoiling the whole plot of the story but safe to say. This story is a little disingenuous about its overall plot and that’s done on purpose. The author takes great pains to frame the story in a certain and with smart plot twists, we see it unravel into a spectacular climax. It’s also focuses on a thread that originates with Edgar Allen Poe and then gives NYC a special spectral past. I loved how the author presented New York City as a character on its own. This was really fun to see and I’m sure resident NYCers will be able to discern some small details that might not be easily apparent to someone like me. Lastly there’s also the presence of a Greek mythological character who also is mentioned in some of his other books but according to the author isn’t related to his previous works. I enjoyed this character’s actions and they are very much central to the main plot. The book is sold as a standalone and it works a little bit in that direction but honestly this story and world introduced is so rich that it deserves a sequel. With such a story, the drawbacks are going to be very subjective. For me the only drawback perhaps is the eventual reveal which becomes a tad predictable. Not the climax but the main secret about its main characters. Not that it detracted from my enjoyment but still after reading all of Craig’s works, I’ve come to expect the sky of his written efforts. For some, it might be the pace which starts slow and then really unfolds or it might be the primary antagonist who perhaps doesn’t quite come with the same menace as some of Craig other memorable creations. CONCLUSION: Ghosts Of Gotham is a lovely little mystery that’s also a love letter to New York City, Greek mythology and the many faces that we humans choose to take on. The story is about literal, metaphorical and allegorical ghosts. Salman Rushdie mentioned "ghosts being nothing but unfinished business", I believe this perfectly encapsulates Ghosts Of Gotham as well what lies ahead in the sequels.
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  • Mim Inkling
    January 1, 1970
    I received Ghosts of Gotham from the publisher, and absolutely loved it. I actually read it in one day, while I was supposed to be working – it was impossible to put down!The book is classified as “occult mystery”, but it’s really more a meld of myth, fantasy, horror, and mystery, with a little Dan Brown-style conspiracy theory thrown in for good measure. It has an interesting premise, and I liked the way Greek mythology had been used to explain certain aspects of magic. It was quite a clever re I received Ghosts of Gotham from the publisher, and absolutely loved it. I actually read it in one day, while I was supposed to be working – it was impossible to put down!The book is classified as “occult mystery”, but it’s really more a meld of myth, fantasy, horror, and mystery, with a little Dan Brown-style conspiracy theory thrown in for good measure. It has an interesting premise, and I liked the way Greek mythology had been used to explain certain aspects of magic. It was quite a clever retelling, and reimagining, of myth and those familiar characters. The plot is fast-paced, plenty of surprising twists and turns, and packed full of action. It was laced with a rather sweet sub-plot which, I thought, added not only to the intrigue and pacing, but gave the characters’ a bit more depth and realism.I really enjoyed the complex, flawed characters, and I thought they had a great development arc through the plot, with the opportunity to actively achieve redemption. Ultimately, this is a love story, and the characters redemption is, from the start, tied to their ability to love honestly. It’s not a new concept, but it is effective. I found myself actually becoming very attached to the characters and their stories, which led to some rather poignant moments.I was surprised by the feminist overtones of Ghosts of Gotham, and thought the book was all the better for its subtle treatment of issues of equality and strong female characters. I mean, you have the all-powerful female divinities, a kickass female protagonist, and supporting cast of strong women in a variety of roles; there is definitely a feminist theme. The female characters are also flawed and multifaceted, in a way that you don’t often see in women written by men. Not to be sexist myself, obviously, but I have noticed the tendency, particularly in the fantasy genre, for male authors to cast their female characters in the roles of saint or whore. Real women are, of course, both, neither, and more… And that kind of linear thinking diminishes the role of the female in their books. Ghosts of Gotham was a wonderful example of a more modern, memorable, and positive character development.I thought the book made great use of descriptive language, and was well-written. It felt polished and accomplished, and it was obvious that this was written by someone with experience.I liked the worldbuilding and, while generally I’m not a fan of fantasy set in the real world, I thought the use of New York as a backdrop gave Ghosts of Gotham a grounding which it needed to offset some of the more stretched uses of myth and fantasy. The real-life setting gave it enough realism to allow the reader to suspend disbelief where the author required it. I also liked the treatment of magic, and the way it was given a “how” and “why”, to some extent. So often with fantasy we are expected to just believe these things “are”, and we suspend belief, it was good to see some sort of exploration of how things might work.All in all, I have no criticisms. I really enjoyed Ghosts of Gotham. It reminded me a little of Raymond Chandler, if he had a book baby with Steven King, and that baby was Jim Butcher… If you like the genre, it’s well worth a go.
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  • Jennifer Gaarder
    January 1, 1970
    Ghosts of Gotham seems like a great mystery from the outset but becomes a mess of supernatural wonders in the end. I read this book with some high expectations because this author rated so well. However, when the supernatural was introduced, it was clumsily done and well, just plain dumb. I should have expected more from such a celebrated author.Secondly, I would have liked to see the protagonist’s past a little more a little earlier to make the story make more sense to me. Writing:The writing w Ghosts of Gotham seems like a great mystery from the outset but becomes a mess of supernatural wonders in the end. I read this book with some high expectations because this author rated so well. However, when the supernatural was introduced, it was clumsily done and well, just plain dumb. I should have expected more from such a celebrated author.Secondly, I would have liked to see the protagonist’s past a little more a little earlier to make the story make more sense to me. Writing:The writing was clean and crisp; the structure flowed well, and descriptions were not off key. Plot: the plot was strange; I grant you. I thought the side plots were equally funny and quite cleverly placed. Had I had more insight into the protagonist's past, this would have avoided much confusion. What I liked: I liked the book because it was a fresh take on an old story. I thought the characters were well done, albeit repetitive and predictable. I did like them.What I didn't like:I didn't like how messy the story got with the supernatural and predictable nature of the storyline; I would have liked to see more care taken with the supernatural element. Overall impression:I like this book, though it could be some work. I gather he not well versed in writing these types of stories, but I'll have to find out for myself.I rate this a 3.0
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my open and honest review. Would you like a story that has ghosts, witches ghouls - and an almost crim noir plot with an intrepid reporter. Have I got the story for you. Ghosts of Gotham is about Lionel Page, referred to as little lion occasionally, a thirty-something investigative journalist. Lionel is given an investigation by a mysterious woman, Regina Dunkle. Is she just a wealthy reclusive heiress with a fascination I received a copy of this from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my open and honest review. Would you like a story that has ghosts, witches ghouls - and an almost crim noir plot with an intrepid reporter. Have I got the story for you. Ghosts of Gotham is about Lionel Page, referred to as little lion occasionally, a thirty-something investigative journalist. Lionel is given an investigation by a mysterious woman, Regina Dunkle. Is she just a wealthy reclusive heiress with a fascination for all things old or is she more? What follows is a well-written adventure into the world of antiques and the Poe Manuscript. Instead of going the way of some crime books, with a "who done it?" Schaffer has involved all sorts of creatures of myth and lore that are dealt out to you slowly like receiving cards while playing poker. He expertly and slowing brings the "things that go bump in the night" into the narrative that by the end of it you realize had you followed the clues you would have realized they were there all along. I haven't read any of Schaffer's books, something I plan on rectifying, but I found this book to be a very well formed story. It could go on to more in a series or be an excellent stand-alone story and a great place to start reading his work. This story was a great introduction to me of Schaffers works, and I am looking forward to diving into his other series. Check it out.
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  • Elena
    January 1, 1970
    Read for the 2019 MacHalo Splendiferous Book Bingo Thingie: Author Who Wrote a 2018 Fav.
  • Timy
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4.5This review was originally posted on my blog, RockStarlit BookAsylum!“I believe that ‘finding the book you’re looking for’ is an overrated notion,” the man replied. “Far better to explore, and let the book you need be the one which finds you.”I’m probably going to write a long and gushing review and bore you to death, so here is the bottom line: GO AND BUY THIS BOOK! I practically read it in one sitting – well, 80% of it anyway. I stayed up until 1 am even though I knew I was g Actual rating: 4.5This review was originally posted on my blog, RockStarlit BookAsylum!“I believe that ‘finding the book you’re looking for’ is an overrated notion,” the man replied. “Far better to explore, and let the book you need be the one which finds you.”I’m probably going to write a long and gushing review and bore you to death, so here is the bottom line: GO AND BUY THIS BOOK! I practically read it in one sitting – well, 80% of it anyway. I stayed up until 1 am even though I knew I was going to hate myself for it, but I HAD to know what happens.Lionel is a famous reporter in Chicago whose career was built on debunking fake healers, magic users and generally anyone who cheated people out of their money. He always looked for proof of magic existing but all he found were liars and disappointment. As good as he was digging up secrets he was just as good at keeping them. But of course no one can hide from their past and his is about catching up with him. To run it off for a few more days he makes a deal with the mysterious Regina Dunkel who sends him to New York in chase of a very rare first manuscript of one of Poe’s short stories. Which starts as a simple investigation and an easy case turns into a complicated maze of lies and mystery. Lionel’s world turns upside down and it’s time for him to unlearn everything he knew and believed in.“Ugh.” She rolled her eyes. “Ever wonder why that’s the conversational default? People always want to know your job. Not what you love, what you hate, but what you do to earn money. What does that say about us as a society?” – MaddieSchaefer has a talent for writing a bit cynical, sarcastic but at the same time charming and relatable male protagonists. I really enjoyed reading about Lionel and the way he dealt with hard pressing situations. His no-nonsense attitude and his stubbornness. I seriously didn’t envy Brianna, his boss at the Chicago News for having to deal with him. Not that you could get mad at him, but the way he jumps into dangerous situations not caring about anything but the story can be such a pain in the ass. And a nightmare to sort insurance out afterwards. All that said, I would love seeing Daniel Faust and Lionel get together at one point. The way we slowly learn about Lionel’s past is really well done and I liked how it was worked into the plot to give the story more layers.Lionel crosses two women’s path and they set his world upside down. There is cold, ruthless Regina Dunkle, whose role in the grand scheme of things isn’t revealed until the endgame and whoa, I didn’t see that coming. Then there is Maddie. At first I liked her, she was mysterious and obviously had a past and some (in)visible scars, and some interesting tricks. She cries blood for one thing. I was intrigued by her and how she’ll fit into the picture. She was a bad-ass and liked her view on things.“We are all a story,” she told him. “I’m a character in your story; you’re a character in mine. And we’re both part of the story of New York, along with eight million other people. It’s all fiction, it’s all true, and just like you were taught as a child, there’s a world of possibility on every new page.” – Maddie Then she started to annoy me because I couldn’t wrap my mind around why she did let Regina treat her the way she did. What could be so bad that she punishes herself this way? Of course we get an answer and if I didn’t see Regina’s true identity coming then I’m sure as hell didn’t expect to learn THAT about Maddie’s past. And Lionel, like a champion took everything in stride. Maaaybe a bit too easily at that, but then he hardly had time to sort things out as everything kept happening. It’s a small miracle he didn’t freak out right there and then.“His thoughts raced too fast to put the words together, because the words he wanted to say – the truth, mostly – wouldn’t come out. When he’d crashed to a dead stop, they’d crashed along with him, lying in a broken pile at his feet.”As for the plot, I liked how Schaefer blended Greek mythology with Poe, and witchcraft and ghouls. The concept is a bit of a cliché with a sceptic protagonist with a secret to hide which comes back to bite him in the ass while he discovers the world is not exactly as he imagined, while of course meeting and falling for a gorgeous woman. And honestly, that’s fine. Schaefer’s characters are coming into life and feel very real and complex. You feel like you’re walking right beside Lionel as he discovers New York for the first time. And, as I said, Schaefer mixes things very well. I have to give him extra points for using lesser known figures from Greek mythology!I had a few issues though, mostly minor things that didn’t make much sense or weren’t really explained: for example, at one point, Lionel asked for help from Brianna, digging up some info about a secret society, and she agreed to set some interns on the matter. But then this gets dropped as Lionel find his own way to them. In the end we didn’t learn much about the society itself apart from their role in the plot. Another thing I didn’t quite puzzled out is how Maddie found Lionel when he got into trouble. She popped up conveniently at the right time to save the day, but how did she know where to find him? Well, okay, this is really just me nitpicking, as probably she did it the same way as Lionel found the place in the first place. Still.The ending. While some of the revelations caught me off guard, there was one I suspected toward the end. But overall it left me a bit underwhelmed for some reason. Don’t get me wrong, this book is really great and a total page turner, but the last big confrontation left me, well, underwhelmed as I said. The story built up nicely until the scene in the train tunnel, but from then on, it was a bit rushed maybe. Even though the big revelations come right after each other, and you basically have no time to blink. The confrontation scene I mentioned was used more like to show off who is who than a satisfying cathartic end.That said, I still like Craig Schaefer’s style of writing and the worlds and characters he creates. I had quite a few lines marked as I read and let me tell you, it was damn hard to choose just a few for this review! He really does have a way painting a scene, an emotion to make us feel what he wants us to.“Strobes washed his vision in flashing white and scarlet, ambulance lights, turning the crowded club into the scene of an accident. Bodies writhed in the glow – dancing, fighting, bounding against each other like pinballs of flesh and bone.”Considering everything, I think Ghosts of Gotham is my favorite novel from Craig Scheafer so far, and definitely not the last I’ve read. Ghosts of Gotham is fast paced, magical and one that is hard to put down. I don’t think I’m far from the truth if I say that this was only the beginning of a series that would rival his Daniel Faust one. I urge you to give it a chance if you like: Greek mythological figures in a modern setting, protagonists with mysterious and dark past, magic, characters you can enjoy hating and wondering about (Regina), and a mystery which means leaving bodies all over the place. In short: it has everything you might wish for!
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  • Melliane
    January 1, 1970
    Mon avis en FrançaisMy English reviewI was very curious when I discovered the theme of this novel. An impossible manuscript of Edgar Allan Poe or even the somewhat paranormal side that the author has added? All this could only intrigue me! That’s also why I plunged into the story with pleasure.Lionel is a journalist whose mission is to find and expose charlatans. But now, his past catches him up, a past he does not want to hear about, or even to remember. To prevent this, he spends a deal with a Mon avis en FrançaisMy English reviewI was very curious when I discovered the theme of this novel. An impossible manuscript of Edgar Allan Poe or even the somewhat paranormal side that the author has added? All this could only intrigue me! That’s also why I plunged into the story with pleasure.Lionel is a journalist whose mission is to find and expose charlatans. But now, his past catches him up, a past he does not want to hear about, or even to remember. To prevent this, he spends a deal with a strange woman who wants him to find and authenticate a manuscript of Edgar Allan Poe. However, this investigation will take him on unsuspected paths that will change his life and that will allow him to meet Maddie.I thought the ideas and the mix were very interesting and original, and if I was interested in events from a distance, I admit that I had a hard time getting into the story. I also admit that I have trouble explaining why, but perhaps it is due to the somewhat complex style of the author. I do not know.An interesting novel in many ways, but with which I had a little trouble.
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  • Krystal
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds really fascinating but tbh I'm gonna be disappointed if there's no sneaky Batman reference with a title like that.
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Nothing gory or shocking about the pictures, not a drop of blood, but the animals were dead. One charcoal sketch depicted a pair of rabbits and some kind of bird on their backs, eyes shut, a hunter's fresh catch. Another captured a single spread-winged pheasant, neck bent in eternal slumber.Would you like a story that has ghosts, witches ghouls – and a crime noir style plot with an intrepid reporter. Have I got the story for you.Ghosts of Gotham is about Lionel Page, referred to as little lion o Nothing gory or shocking about the pictures, not a drop of blood, but the animals were dead. One charcoal sketch depicted a pair of rabbits and some kind of bird on their backs, eyes shut, a hunter's fresh catch. Another captured a single spread-winged pheasant, neck bent in eternal slumber.Would you like a story that has ghosts, witches ghouls – and a crime noir style plot with an intrepid reporter. Have I got the story for you.Ghosts of Gotham is about Lionel Page, referred to as little lion occasionally, a thirty-something investigative journalist. Lionel is given an investigation by a mysterious woman, Regina Dunkle. Is she just a wealthy reclusive heiress with a fascination for all things old or is she more? What follows is a well-written adventure into the world of antiques, the Poe Manuscript, mythology, and lore. Instead of going the way of some crime books, with a “who done it?” Schaffer has involved all sorts of creatures of myth and lore that are dealt out to you slowly like receiving cards while playing poker. He expertly and slowing brings the “things that go bump in the night” into the narrative that by the end of it you realize had you followed the clues the whole story you would have realized they were there all along waiting for you in the wings.These days I prefer to interact with humanity through books, as exclusively as possible. The pages, the type, they’re like…the glass walls of a zoo enclosure. I can watch the wild animals all evening long, safe on my side of the window.I haven’t read any of Schaffer’s books, something I plan on rectifying, but I found this book to be a very well formed story. Plot and pacing were perfect for me, the dialog was some of the best I have read, and it was simply a very fun read. The story could go on to more in a series or be an excellent stand-alone story and a great place to start reading his work. This story was a great introduction to me of Schaffers works, and I am looking forward to diving into his other series. Check it out.
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  • Karen ⚜Mess⚜
    January 1, 1970
    Buddy read with the MacHalos This was my first Schaefer experience, and it was exceptional! The best part is now I get to sit with the cool kids in the Schaefer Cult. Ghosts of Gotham fits snuggly in the Urban Fantasy genre. It had all the juicy bits I come to expect from an UF. Action, magic, gods, creatures, and a dose of gore. Schaefer also threw in some romance and sex to give it that exceptional spicy taste. One of my favorite aspects in a good author is how well he uses dialogue in te Buddy read with the MacHalos This was my first Schaefer experience, and it was exceptional! The best part is now I get to sit with the cool kids in the Schaefer Cult. Ghosts of Gotham fits snuggly in the Urban Fantasy genre. It had all the juicy bits I come to expect from an UF. Action, magic, gods, creatures, and a dose of gore. Schaefer also threw in some romance and sex to give it that exceptional spicy taste. One of my favorite aspects in a good author is how well he uses dialogue in telling a story. Schaefer has top of the line dialogue between characters. The flow was easy and carried plenty of personality. The story was intriguing without being confusing or convoluted. Now that I've had my first taste of Schaefer I plan on gorging myself with all his books. If you haven't had a taste of Schaefer, I recommend starting with Ghosts of Gotham I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book, so I could give an honest review.
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  • Nichole
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars for the book, maybe 3 stars for the audiobook.I thought this was an entertaining read. I liked the writing style. I would recommend this to urban fantasy readers.I wasn't sure of my rating because even though I enjoyed the parts that I read, the parts that I listened to were not good. I didn't like this narrator at all. The voice she used for Maddie made me dislike her character. I finally stopped listening to it and read the rest. Much better. This was the first book that I have read by 4 Stars for the book, maybe 3 stars for the audiobook.I thought this was an entertaining read. I liked the writing style. I would recommend this to urban fantasy readers.I wasn't sure of my rating because even though I enjoyed the parts that I read, the parts that I listened to were not good. I didn't like this narrator at all. The voice she used for Maddie made me dislike her character. I finally stopped listening to it and read the rest. Much better. This was the first book that I have read by this author. I will definitely check out more of his work.I received a copy from Net Galley.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED IT!! I don't even know where to start. The writing was beautiful and out me into the story immediately. I loved the characters and the plot. I was not expecting anything that happened. It started out pretty mild and normal and tame then BOOM I was like WTF is happening!! It was one of if not THE best book this year at LEAST!!
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  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    This was my second book by Craig Schaefer and I enjoyed this one just as I did the first one I read (that reminds me, I really have to finish the Daniel Faust series sometime soon).Ghosts of Ghotam was different, entertaining, and kept my attention. I love stories about magic in a modern setting and this one didn't disappoint. This story is whimsical and yet heavy at the same time. Fast paced plot and an edgy tone made for interesting characters without seeming superficial. The writing was good, This was my second book by Craig Schaefer and I enjoyed this one just as I did the first one I read (that reminds me, I really have to finish the Daniel Faust series sometime soon).Ghosts of Ghotam was different, entertaining, and kept my attention. I love stories about magic in a modern setting and this one didn't disappoint. This story is whimsical and yet heavy at the same time. Fast paced plot and an edgy tone made for interesting characters without seeming superficial. The writing was good, the characters pretty well-defined, the plot easy to follow, without being too simplistic. The only thing that didn't really live up to my expectations, after the book gripped me so in the beginning, was the resolution of the mystery/book. I was a little disappointed in how all turned out (but not so much that I didn't fall asleep with a content smile on my face after finishing the book at 1 a.m.). I will defenitely read more of this author.***I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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  • S. Naomi Scott
    January 1, 1970
    ** WARNING - This review may contain spoilers **Lionel Page is a professional debunker, a Chicago-based journalist who has made it is life's work to hunt down fake psychics and charlatan spiritualists, and reveal them for the frauds that they are. But when he's hired by a rich recluse for what initially appears to be a simple job he gets far more than he expected, including his first taste of real magic.Lionel's problems start when a cub reporter threatens to uncover the truth of his dark past. ** WARNING - This review may contain spoilers **Lionel Page is a professional debunker, a Chicago-based journalist who has made it is life's work to hunt down fake psychics and charlatan spiritualists, and reveal them for the frauds that they are. But when he's hired by a rich recluse for what initially appears to be a simple job he gets far more than he expected, including his first taste of real magic.Lionel's problems start when a cub reporter threatens to uncover the truth of his dark past. Luckily for Lionel, the aforementioned recluse, Ms. Regina Dunkle, offers to keep his backstory under wraps if he does one little thing for her - fly to New York and confirm the authenticity of a previously lost manuscript by none other than Edgar Allen Poe. Expecting this to take no more than a day or two, Lionel jets off to the Big Apple and soon finds himself walking into a pretty gruesome crime scene. His day gets even more complicated when he finds out that the cub reporter in Chicago has been found murdered, and Lionel was the last person known to have seen him.Thus begins a hectic rollercoaster ride of supernatural noir. Joining Lionel on the ride is Madison Hannah, a kick-ass femme fatale with a secret past of her own, and between the two of them they gradually uncover a plot that threatens the entire world.I'll admit it took a few chapters for me to get into this book, but once the story started rolling it grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go. It's an insanely fun book that pulls together a number of disparate supernatural elements and turns them into a cohesive whole. There are witches who derive their magic from their worship of (and pacts with) the goddess Hekate, ghouls who live and thrive beneath the streets of New York, and a necromancer whose main goal seems to be to open a portal to another, unspecified realm (though from the way I read it I get the impression that the Great Old Ones or similar may be involved in some way).The plot of this novel relies very heavily on coincidences. The shadowy figure behind the backstory death of Lionel's mum turns out to be the main antagonist. Madison and Lionel are both in New York on the same mission, and just happen to end up at the same diner, the same party, the same crime scene. Lionel is pointed in the direction of a secondary character who just happens to be an old contact of Madison's. Coincidence piles up on top of happenstance on top of serendipity, so much so that it's not that surprising when we find out that it was all part of a Grand Plan set up many years before. The thing is, this really didn't spoil the story for me. If anything it made it more enjoyable, the author deliberately pulling back the curtain to show us how it all works. Sometimes this doesn't work, but here it works in spades.Stylistically the prose owes a lot to classic pulp noir. There's a hint of hardboiled detective in Lionel's make-up, and Madison very much epitomises femme fatale (especially when you find out her backstory), but Schaefer has given the whole a decidedly modern spin. If you're a fan of modern urban fantasy with neo-noir undertones then this is definitely a book you'll enjoy. I'm giving it a solid four out of five stars, and really hope there's going to be a sequel or several in the future.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    Check out my blog, One Man Book ClubThe Value of a Star: Ratings ExplainedNope, it's not about Batman.I'm all for urban fantasy, paranormal discoveries, modern-day witches, magic, even horror--PLUS a mystery to solve. I came across Ghosts of Gotham, saw it was full of all that, and jumped right in expecting to be impressed.And I was impressed. A couple times.All the elements were there. It had it's moments. Some of it was even fun. But mostly Ghosts of Gotham left me feeling underwhelmed and dis Check out my blog, One Man Book ClubThe Value of a Star: Ratings ExplainedNope, it's not about Batman.I'm all for urban fantasy, paranormal discoveries, modern-day witches, magic, even horror--PLUS a mystery to solve. I came across Ghosts of Gotham, saw it was full of all that, and jumped right in expecting to be impressed.And I was impressed. A couple times.All the elements were there. It had it's moments. Some of it was even fun. But mostly Ghosts of Gotham left me feeling underwhelmed and disappointed because of the lame romantic subplot and it's strong adult content. Oh, and Batman was missing.Lional Page (is it just me, or is Lional a stupid name for a leading man?) is a journalist. He seeks out paranormal hoaxes and other mystical fakery to expose the con men behind faith healing, fortune telling, and the like so they can't steel any more money from old ladies. Very noble.Except it's also not. Something mysterious and magical happened to him when he was a kid that he can't remember, and so he's subconsciously trying to prove that magic is actually real. Except he doesn't know that. Except he should.Ya, I was confused too.Anyway, when he gets a tip there's a lost Edgar Allen Poe manuscript with magical ties being peddled in the shady underground of New York City, he's off to uncover the secret.And finds MUCH more than he expected...All that's good. I'm pumped for a magical mystery ghost adventure in New York City! But then there's this romance thing. He meets a woman who turns out to be key to the story, and of course they fall desperately, powerfully, fantastically in love. In a day. And it's stupid.So the lame romance, combined with distracting adult content (sex, language, violence), ruined the experience for me. It started dragging, the fun vanished, and it ended up taking me two weeks to read a 400 page book.Plus, no Batman.I probably should have just cut it loose, but I did want to see how the mysteries came together. So there's that.Sorry kids, adults only for this one.Happy Reading!
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  • Zenik
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent start to a new series by a phenomenal author. It ramps up slow, takes its time with mysteries and some detective work, but when the action kicks in it kicks in hard. Wonderful characters, great atmosphere, absolutely cannot wait for the next book.
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  • Vigasia
    January 1, 1970
    Hello, meet Lionel, he's a hoax finder, actually magic hoax finder, because he doesn't believe in magic. Or he says so. So many years he does his job and every trick is just it... a trick.Until he meets Regina, a rich mystery woman who has an errand for him. She sends Lionel to New York to retrieve some special manuscirpt and check if it;s a real thing. In New York Lionel meets Maddie. And the adventure begins...Lionel is put into the world of witches, demons and gods and reader goes there with Hello, meet Lionel, he's a hoax finder, actually magic hoax finder, because he doesn't believe in magic. Or he says so. So many years he does his job and every trick is just it... a trick.Until he meets Regina, a rich mystery woman who has an errand for him. She sends Lionel to New York to retrieve some special manuscirpt and check if it;s a real thing. In New York Lionel meets Maddie. And the adventure begins...Lionel is put into the world of witches, demons and gods and reader goes there with him. So if you're afraid of magic, you don't want to be a pawn of gods, you don't like when there's danger around the corner... maybe you should step back. But if you think there's more in this world than average eye could see, if you can feel the magic in the air and generally if you are a fan of gothic mystery with many paranormal elements, You won't be disappointed.Craig Schaefer gives us another very good adventure in the world a little different from his earlier works. Again we get from him fast paced but complex story with great characters, especially females, because I think that ce can create great women.So why not 5 stars? It's probably Lionel. I mean the character is really good, but ... he's kind of Daniel Faust only on the other side of the law (at the start at least). Well, I love Daniel, so I like Lionel, but I wish they could be a little more difference between their personalities.
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  • Jessica Smith
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review and all of my others over at www.readbookrepeat.wordpress.com I received a copy of this book from the publisher, 47North, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Lionel Page is a journalist, and he is extremely good at his job. He chases a story, and he always gets his man (or woman). His speciality is debunking those who claim to be more than what they are, charlatans, people who are tricking others out of their hard earned money. He's debunked You can find this review and all of my others over at www.readbookrepeat.wordpress.com I received a copy of this book from the publisher, 47North, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Lionel Page is a journalist, and he is extremely good at his job. He chases a story, and he always gets his man (or woman). His speciality is debunking those who claim to be more than what they are, charlatans, people who are tricking others out of their hard earned money. He's debunked psychics, quacks, faith healers, you name it, he's gotten to the bottom of it. So when he receives a phone call from one Ms. Regina Dunkle, about a private job he is of course a bit sceptical. She's had word that there is a first draft edition of an Edgar Allan Poe manuscript, and she wants it, as long as it's real of course. So Lionel sets of to the city of New York for a meeting. After accepting the job, Lionel can't help but wonder if he's bitten off more than even he can chew. Between Russian mobsters, a strange connection to his past, an intriguing beautiful woman named Maddie and the weird stuff that is beginning to happen, can Lionel hold up his end of the bargain? Will he even get out alive? So I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I originally requested it because I just LOVE a good mystery, and one that follows a debunking journalist on the tail of a never before seen Poe manuscript. Ugh. Sign. Me. Up. It just SOUNDS amazing. And it really did not disappoint. At first, I found it a little bit slow to get going, I would definitely put this in the category of a slow burn story. Trust me though, if you feel like adding it to your DNF pile, please don't, the story does pick up, it does get faster paced, and it is TOTALLY worth it. The character of Lionel was incredibly well written, I really enjoyed his character and not once did I feel like punching him in the throat, so that is a huge bonus. He's a sceptic by nature and I love that we find out WHY he is like this. We are told why he made debunking charlatans his life's work, and by god is it a doozy. For me anyway. I found that the story of Lionel Page was written so flawlessly into the overall story, I could not fault it. Every single strand is tied up in a nice little bow by the end and I absolutely love it. Maddie's character was also well written, her flaws, her reasons, her overall driving force was done brilliantly. I absolutely loved that both of our main characters had flaws, I love a good protagonist with flaws, because let's face it, none of us are perfect, hey? All of the supporting characters had purpose, which I loved, no character was thrown in just for the hell of it, there is a reason behind EVERYONE in this book and Schaefer wrote his characters so well.The story surprised me so much. I was prepared for a mystery, a dark mystery if I'm totally honest, but what I received in this book was SO much more. Not only do we have a dark mystery in regards to following the trail of the Poe manuscript, it takes a surprising turn into the paranormal/supernatural/fantasy whatever you want to call it. And this isn't just a dabble, ohhhhh no, this is a full on thing. So I was so pleasantly surprised in the way this story unfolded. And once again, everything had a purpose, stuff hasn't just been thrown into this story to fluff it up, EVERYTHING. HAS. A. PURPOSE. Everything is connected some how, and let me tell you, when those connections are actually revealed? Ooooooh boy, it was amazing. I seriously did not pick a single thing up before any of the reveals. It was absolutely amazing. The world building was fantastic, yes it's largely based on present day New York, but the actual supernatural elements of the story, the way they were woven into the real life locations and the way they were all connected into their own little sub world was done flawlessly. Not once did I find myself thinking "Pfft, yeah right" everything was believable. Schaefer did a wonderful job of making this story and all of it's characters REAL. There's not too much more I can say without beginning to give stuff away, so I'm going to leave it at that. As I said earlier, this is a slow burn story, which I wasn't so prepared for, hence the mark down in stars. It did give me a slight post-book buzz, but it's not that feel good tingle you get when you've just finished a book that sure as hell is now in your top favourites. Overall this was a pleasantly surprising story that has so many twists and turns but keeps it easy to follow. Go on, follow Lionel down the rabbit hole, you know you want to ;)
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  • Shaye
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally posted on A Reading BritARC provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThe PlotThis was full of twists, turns and devious machinations, and I thoroughly enjoyed it throughout. I love a book that has twists and conclusions that I don’t predict, and this has that in spades. It had a good pace. There was little lull, and when there was, I didn’t feel like it was too much. It was a balance that worked for me. The beginning dropped us straight in the middle of the Review originally posted on A Reading BritARC provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewThe PlotThis was full of twists, turns and devious machinations, and I thoroughly enjoyed it throughout. I love a book that has twists and conclusions that I don’t predict, and this has that in spades. It had a good pace. There was little lull, and when there was, I didn’t feel like it was too much. It was a balance that worked for me. The beginning dropped us straight in the middle of the action, showing exactly what sort of character Lionel was, and the ending was terrific. I read it so quickly, it felt like I wasn’t blinking, just so I could see what was coming next.The CharactersThe characters in this were well-rounded and had strong personalities that helped them to really come to life. Some based in myth and legend, and some, just normal people caught up in occult madness. Lionel Page Lionel is our main character in Ghosts of Gotham. He’s a journalist who isn’t afraid to speak out about any injustice he sees, and he’s also very good at his job. Perhaps too good, as he catches the eye of someone he might’ve been better off running away from. Lionel is a main character who is more than capable of carrying this story. The whole plot is intricately woven around Lionel’s life, from things that happened when he was 5, right up to modern day. I put this book down feeling like I knew him, what he was about, and how he’d react to a situation, purely from the few thousand words I’d read. Schaefer knows how to create characters. Maddie Maddie, my favourite character in this book. Probably because she’s a strong, badass witch. I feel like anything else I might say about her would be too spoilery, because the things that made her stand out for me are things that are massive spoilers. Just know that Maddie is awesome, and I was cheering her on the whole way. She’s not afraid to do what needs to be done, and I love that in a character. Regina Now, Regina is one hell of a character. She’s a tricky one, with lots of power, money and a master ability to manipulate. At first, I thought she was a little eye-roll worthy. A mysterious rich benefactor sort, that was more there to push the characters in the right direction, than really supply anything meaningful herself, but I was so wrong and ridiculously happy to be wrong. Come the end, I wanted to give Regina a high-five.The WorldThe magic and its rules and restrictions were great. The negatives of everything Lionel tried to do, the risks that Maddie took doing things incredibly advanced. The balance between myth and real world is what sold this for me. Mixing Greek goddesses, magical powers and undying creatures with modern-day New York in a way that seemed effortless and just worked. That’s not something just anyone can do, and given this is the second book I’ve read of Craig Schaefer’s and thoroughly enjoyed, I’d say I’m definitely a fan!Would I read it again? It’s going to be a long time before there’s a sequel, I imagine, so yes, I’ll probably read this if there’s another one in a few years.Will I be picking up the next in the series? Yes! Although this one’s not even out quite yet, and I’m not sure this is a series, but if it is, yes!Would I recommend it?Badass witches ✓Greek Goddesses ✓Fight scenes ✓Steamy scenes ✓What more do you want?Is it going on my favourites shelf? Yes!
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