Customer Reviews for

Ghostwalk

Average Rating 3.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

The Ghost of Isaac Newton Still Haunts the Cobble-Stoned Streets of Cambridge

A spate of killings terrorize Cambridge, and an extremist animal rights group is blamed. However, one woman who seeks the truth has fallen so deeply into this mystery that she can predict, to the day, when each murder will take place and the circumstances in which the v...
A spate of killings terrorize Cambridge, and an extremist animal rights group is blamed. However, one woman who seeks the truth has fallen so deeply into this mystery that she can predict, to the day, when each murder will take place and the circumstances in which the victim will be found. Writer Lydia Brooke returns to Cambridge to attend the funeral of her dear friend and mentor, Elizabeth Vogelsangs. While there, she is asked by Elizabeth¿s son to complete what would have been Elizabeth¿s crowning achievement: an in-depth portrait of Isaac Newton the Alchemist. Although reluctant, Lydia agrees and becomes involved in a murder mystery that has spanned over three hundred years. Can Lydia solve the mystery before someone she truly cares about is killed, or will she realize that these events must take place and there is nothing she can do to stop them? Ghostwalk is a ghost story without the cheap thrills, with an intriguing plot that steadily builds pace throughout the story and characters who are interesting and equipped with enough human frailties that the reader can empathize with them. As stated previously, this book lacks the cheap thrills or dramatic scares that usually riddle this genre (it will not keep you up at night listening to every creak wondering if it is the ghost of Isaac Newton out to get ya.) Instead, it is a very subtle book ¿ there is no haunted mansion residing on a cliff¿s edge and no obvious or visible monsters, but surely subtlety is something which should be commended in this genre. I recommend Ghostwalk to anyone who enjoys good literary fiction with a touch of history thrown in. I do not recommend it to anyone who likes a nice, neat ending with all their questions answered. This novel will leave you wondering about the final outcome, and everyone¿s interpretation of the story will be different.

posted by Anonymous on March 22, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Not what I expected

I guess I may be different from the other reviewers on my take of the book. While I thought it was well written, to me it was just all about this woman's obsession with a married man and her affair with him. I was hoping for a good ghost story involving Newton with some...
I guess I may be different from the other reviewers on my take of the book. While I thought it was well written, to me it was just all about this woman's obsession with a married man and her affair with him. I was hoping for a good ghost story involving Newton with some science and history mixed in, but it just keep going over and over this woman's fixation with this man - how dull. To me there was very little science, some history, and only a smidge of a ghost story. If I wanted to read something about an affair and how it affects a woman's life, I would pick up a Daniel Steele book or something - which I won't. Great idea for a book just this one fell well short.

posted by 136448 on August 2, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

    Not what I expected

    I guess I may be different from the other reviewers on my take of the book. While I thought it was well written, to me it was just all about this woman's obsession with a married man and her affair with him. I was hoping for a good ghost story involving Newton with some science and history mixed in, but it just keep going over and over this woman's fixation with this man - how dull. To me there was very little science, some history, and only a smidge of a ghost story. If I wanted to read something about an affair and how it affects a woman's life, I would pick up a Daniel Steele book or something - which I won't. Great idea for a book just this one fell well short.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2007

    The Ghost of Isaac Newton Still Haunts the Cobble-Stoned Streets of Cambridge

    A spate of killings terrorize Cambridge, and an extremist animal rights group is blamed. However, one woman who seeks the truth has fallen so deeply into this mystery that she can predict, to the day, when each murder will take place and the circumstances in which the victim will be found. Writer Lydia Brooke returns to Cambridge to attend the funeral of her dear friend and mentor, Elizabeth Vogelsangs. While there, she is asked by Elizabeth¿s son to complete what would have been Elizabeth¿s crowning achievement: an in-depth portrait of Isaac Newton the Alchemist. Although reluctant, Lydia agrees and becomes involved in a murder mystery that has spanned over three hundred years. Can Lydia solve the mystery before someone she truly cares about is killed, or will she realize that these events must take place and there is nothing she can do to stop them? Ghostwalk is a ghost story without the cheap thrills, with an intriguing plot that steadily builds pace throughout the story and characters who are interesting and equipped with enough human frailties that the reader can empathize with them. As stated previously, this book lacks the cheap thrills or dramatic scares that usually riddle this genre (it will not keep you up at night listening to every creak wondering if it is the ghost of Isaac Newton out to get ya.) Instead, it is a very subtle book ¿ there is no haunted mansion residing on a cliff¿s edge and no obvious or visible monsters, but surely subtlety is something which should be commended in this genre. I recommend Ghostwalk to anyone who enjoys good literary fiction with a touch of history thrown in. I do not recommend it to anyone who likes a nice, neat ending with all their questions answered. This novel will leave you wondering about the final outcome, and everyone¿s interpretation of the story will be different.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    A Gripping Psychological Thriller

    We listened to the audiobook version on a long trip, made short by the suspense, and yes, science. Even now, 72 hours after the the conclusion, I am still caught in the light of the studio, waiting for Cameron's footstep on the garden path. I cannot wait for Dr. Stott's next novel to appear.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    gripping

    As a huge fan of historical fiction, I couldn't put this book down. It was beautifully written and compelling all throughout.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2007

    Gripping Mystery

    I found this book extremely difficult to put down. The characterization was vivid and the story riveting. Every time I thought I had the story figured out, I turned a page and discovered I was wrong. This is well worth the read!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2007

    Too much science, not enough thrill

    I was hoping for a ghost story with a steady but entrancing chill. Instead, this book circles around Isaac Newton, his scientific studies, and the company he kept. I kept waiting for the story to grab me, to thrill and impress me, but it was like hearing the story from a friend who'd heard it from their friend: there was just too much distance from the narrator to get fully involved.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2010

    Good Story

    Spooky. Interesting characters. Rich setting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    I tried to like this book....

    I was expecting alot more from this book. Like the other reviewer, there was way too much science in this book instead of a mystery. If I wanted to learn about Newton and his experiments I would have gotten I biography. I was sick of reading about the science and just wanted to read the story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Good start, but lost vigor in the middle

    This novel sounded intriguing, especially with the description of Issac Newton's mysterious life. The book started off interesting, with the plot moving quickly in spite of the lovely, detailed descriptions of the lake house, but after the first few chapters, I lost interest. Although there was plenty of intrigue, there was little action to go along with it. I also thought it was interesting that Cameron, the murdered writer's son and Lydia had such an entangled past, but once the author detailed their past relationship, there were hardly any further interactions, at least not any significant moments. I found the relationship with the afterlife and ghosts very vague, and once Lydia tried to contact someone to assist her who was experienced in the occult or spiritualism, the older lady whom she consulted was not very likable. To sum it up, the book seemed to be torn between character-driven plot and scholarly repetitions. Perhaps if the author had relied more on other characters, like Cameron, the story would have progressed better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Well..it was original...

    I really enjoyed the writing style and thought the plot was original...I felt the parts dealing with Elizabeth's writing on Newton was way too tedious to read - I just thought those parts didn't need to be that involved and the plot could have been developed more. As far as Lydia and Cameron....I felt like giving them both a good smack - they were way too full of themselves and pretty shallow people that quite frankly, were pretty selfish individuals. Stotts writing style saved the novel....but the "spirit world" was just too much and too far fetched for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    could have been as intriguing as the cover

    By godness, it is a slow read. I am on page 160 and still waiting for something to happen.... despite the plot itself seems to be very unique and intriguing. I will update the review when (if?) I finish it. If you are looking for a good historical thriller or fiction, Rosetti Letter or Brotheren/Crusede/The Fall of the Templars are much faster and better reads.

    So I'm back. I finished it but am sorry to say that the best part of the book was its cover; the rest did not measure up to it. The topic was original and seemingly very intriguing. While Ms. Stott beautifully presented the physical surroundings of the story (particulary that of the light), the worst flow of the book was the character development, both of those from the past and the present. I hardly cared for the love affair of the protagonist and it was unfortunate that it had to play out as the background (or foreground rather) of the entire story. I wish Ms. Stott had focused more on the essence of the alchemy Newton practiced (by going into further details; I was particularly hoping that she would go deep into the nature of the spirituality of his version of alchemy) and developed the story around it. I think I kept turning pages in the hope that this would happen at some point. The book is hardly a page turner. If you are looking for one, this is a very slow book. If you are seeking to see the depth of Newton's alchemy, this story only touches the surface. It is a shame that Ms. Stott must have had all the tools to satisfy her readers in this department with. Having said that. every reader approaches a book with different expectations; some people might have found this book satisfying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable Story

    I read this book on vacation last year and found myself really drawn into it. I had a hard time putting it down. I wouldn't say it was the best book I've ever read, but it was an interesting read, it held my attention and it was ultimately enjoyable. I think the concept is unusual and the stuff about Isaac Newton was pretty cool. Despite the mixed reviews, I recommend giving it a try.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Kept my interest all the way. Kept my interest all the way.

    My neighbor gave me this book to read. Knowing that I truly respect and admire one of the greatest scientists that ever lived, Sir Isaac Newton. Well, I jumped at the chance to read a story where Newton was given a role, maybe even center stage. Needless to say I never became bored with this book. The author created a great tale blending the new world with olden times of Newton. It was very apparent that Ms. Scott did a tremendous amount of research into the subject matter, which I appreciated.
    I enjoyed the book and it kept my interest all the way until the last page.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I had a love/hate relationship with this book.

    I enjoyed the historical and ghostly elements the most, in fact that's what kept me going through the book. I wish there were more history and ghosts, and less Lydia and Cameron. I thought Cameron was nothing more than an ass, and Lydia was dumb as a doornail. I guess the fact that I have such feelings for these two characters is kudos to Rebecca Stott. I've seen The DaVinci Code referenced in many reviews for Ghostwalk, and I think that's a shame. I read the DaVinci Code, and I don't feel ...more I enjoyed the historical and ghostly elements the most, in fact that's what kept me going through the book. I wish there were more history and ghosts, and less Lydia and Cameron. I thought Cameron was nothing more than an ass, and Lydia was dumb as a doornail. I guess the fact that I have such feelings for these two characters is kudos to Rebecca Stott. I've seen The DaVinci Code referenced in many reviews for Ghostwalk, and I think that's a shame. I read the DaVinci Code, and I don't feel these two books should be compared. You're dealing with apples and oranges here.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Illusions for the Fragile Eye

    "This most beautiful system could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful being." -Sir Isaac Newton

    A suspenseful tale twisting in and out of the seventeenth century and modern-day England. No topic is safe as alchemy, animal liberation, psychics, bio-terrorism, and neuroscience are all targets of Rebecca Stott's spot on historiography, using facts to create a fiction. The protagonist, Lydia Brooke, must make monsters out of men and illusion of out reality to uncover the myth of Isaac Newton: man, mystic, and maniac.

    With a rich vocabulary and keen insight to details, Rebacca Stott trails a romance troubled by murder and illusion. At times, the text gets a bit dense with scholarly language, forgetting its literary audience. With a narrative in not only first and third-person, the second-person dialect disjoints the reader from the subjects on display. The campy dialogue and sappy syntax unfortunately overshadows the brilliant ideas and connections made through masterfully artful language. No matter the ineffective element overseen by editors, the story is nonetheless entertaining, drawing from chapter to chapter with a curiosity pleasantly surprised by the ending result. Rare treasures seldom are published with a magnificent blend of scholarly research and creative genius. Definitely a book to pass on to friends, but possibly not one to wear a worn seam from repeated reading.

    Follow my book reviews at: http://thetornpage-areadersjournal.blogspot.com/

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good for a quick read

    "Ghostwalk" originally caught my eye on the 'Publisher's Remainders' table at my local B&N--when I found out that it was a historical mystery with a touch of the supernatural, I decided to give it a try, since I have enjoyed books with similar premises previously. While "Ghostwalk" is by no means the worst book I've ever read, it's certainly not the best, but that's not to say it wasn't worth my four hours. The descriptions of Cambridge (England) were vivid, and as an Anglophile, I found myself wanting to be there along with the protagonist, searching the streets of Cambridge for clues. The characters were great--Stott creates memorable characters in the glass-eyed psychic and the narrator's hippy-sque best friend, Kit--and served as an anchor for the entire book. One element of the novel that I actively resisted was the insertion of the supernatural: keep in mind that I am usually gaga over the supernatural in a work. It's just that Stott is out of her realm when she tries to combine Newton's supernatural appearances with that of the 21st century characters. Stott obviously knows a lot about Cambridge, and a lot about Newton, but she's not a writer of ghost stories (or stories that center around the presence of ghosts--see Roslyn Domingue's "The Mercy of Thin Air" for what I see as a much better melding of past/present/ghosts/humans).

    In parts, I felt as if I were reading Stott's (slightly fictionalized) thesis on Newton: as an academic myself (and recent thesis writer), I greatly respect the knowledge that this woman holds on Newton's early life. She's definitely done her research! If I wanted to read a thesis on Newton, I would--I wish that she had more effectively combined the non-fiction/fiction elements, as they seem clunky (much as the insertion of ghosts into this otherwise very non-metaphysical tale does).

    For historical mysteries that rely heavily on academics and research, I would recommend "The Historian," "Hawksmoor" or "The Thirteenth Tale," as both use the same elements as "Ghostwalk," only to a better end result.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Things aren't always as they seem...

    Just as a prism fragments what is perceived as simple white light into it's myriad complex components, the many shadings of this story layer fact and fantasy, past and present. History lesson, love story, murder mystery all presented with a respect for the readers intelligence and willingness to suspend what is believed to be fact; opening the possibility for even time to be fragmented. There is a subtlety in the revelations of character and plot sometimes requiring patience, but all will be revealed; the various stories connected and some implications left open for interpretation.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    not impressed

    'nuff said.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    Worth a read if you like history, science, mystery, ghost stories, romance, or drama!

    There were only two parts to this book that I didn't love, but they were major- the first being that it took a good 40 pages or so for the story to "grab" me. Once I got there, I didn't want to put it down, but the initial experience was not all that enjoyable.
    The second thing I didn't love was how the author chose to end the story-we all know if we don't love an ending, it kind of ruins the whole thing!
    I loved the originality of the plotline, I loved the main character and her struggles/insights and ultimate "choice" to stay in a bad situation- I think a good number of readers, myself included, can strongly identify with that, the idea of being "stuck", but still following a path that seems almost pre-determined.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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