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Ghosts of Columbia (Of Tangible Ghosts and The Ghost of the Revelator)

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Ghost of a Chance

    L. E. Modesitt, Jr. creates a solid alternative universe in which technology is at a lower level, political boundaries are vastly different, and the existence of ghosts has caused there to be less warfare than exists in our world. As is usual for Mr. Modesitt, discovering that universe is a project for the reader as elements of it are presented along with his character building. This causes what is essentially a Science Fantasy mystery novel to be a mystery on two or three levels. This behavior is typical of Mr. Modesitt, as can be seen by anyone familiar with the Recluce and Spellsong series of books.

    "Ghosts of Columbia" (being the first two novels of the "Ghosts" series: "Of Tangible Ghosts" and "The Ghost of the Revelator") blends the physical world as we know it with a major helping of active imagination. Political boundaries and history are vastly different. Technology is at a different level, in some areas lower tech while other areas are somewhat advanced. These are a background for the unwilling adventures of a spy turned history/ecology professor and a former professional vocalist turned voice teacher. Told from a personal point of view, the plot is exposed through the everyday experiences of the two principle characters. This method of developing the plot is normal to Mr. Modesitt but not necessarily common to Science Fiction/Fantasy readers, and requires a bit more work on the part of readers to understand where the story is coming from and going to.

    I backed into this series, having acquired the third of the trilogy, "Ghost of the White Nights", and enjoyed it long before I realized that there were two other novels out there. And even there I was backing into reading "Ghost of the White Nights" due to my enjoyment of the Recluce series of books. Mr. Modesitt's active imagination and ability to keep the reader (me) interested while developing a plot and main character led me to try something a little different. His ability to take one "what if" idea and develop it into a novel, much less a series of novels, and keep it coherent and in character throughout is exceptional, and ranks right up there with other notable authors such as Robert A. Heinlein, Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey. And like those three, the principle development is through inter-personal relationships. "Ghosts of Columbia" has become a part of my permanent library, to be enjoyed again and again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

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