Customer Reviews for

Ghostwalk

Average Rating 3.5
( 60 )
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5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(16)

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(16)

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(12)

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(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 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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  • 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 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 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 5, 2010

    not impressed

    'nuff said.

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    Posted May 29, 2010

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