It took me ages to finish Ghost Talkers, and it really shouldn’t have — it’s well written and well paced, the idea is fascinating, and I wanted to know what happened… I just also came over all sulky because I (foolishly, given the setting) wanted a happier ending, and what I hoped for was quashed surprisingly early in the proceedings. Not that that surprised me, but I’d been hoping it would somehow… do something else. The book did surprise me later with one or two twists and turns, but that initial disappointment made me reluctant to get on with reading it. I imagine that should very much be filed under ‘it’s not you, it’s me’.
I enjoyed the main character, Ginger, and her relationship with her fiancé. I enjoyed the concept of mediums becoming involved in the war, and ghosts reporting in to them with their last known whereabouts, etc. It almost doesn’t need the murder mystery, though that experience does give Ginger a personal stake (as if the other circumstances weren’t enough) and gives Kowal a chance of demonstrating what the mediums in this situation would go through, experiencing the last moments of ghost after ghost. I wished there’d been more of some of the other mediums, especially Helen; her limitations in society given her ethnic origin would’ve made the story quite difficult if she was the main character, but I can’t help but wish she had been. Not that I didn’t love Ginger, but Helen would’ve been extra special.
Overall, very enjoyable; I just wish it had dodged the plot element that I immediately predicted. It’s not that it’s a bad plot or that keeping the plot very similar while constraining one of the characters in another way wouldn’t have been rather cliché, because it’s a fun story and the workaround I’m thinking of (trying not to give spoilers) would’ve been fairly predictable in itself. And certainly, that a character experiences a major loss in the context of WWII is just appropriate. But… but… I wanted different for Ginger.