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Spirits From Beyond (A Ghost Finders Novel) Mass Market Paperback – August 27, 2013
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Praise for the Ghost Finders novels
“Loads of horrors, thrills, and shocks.”—SFRevu
“A lovely blend of popcorn adventure and atmospheric thriller.”—The Green Man Review
“The newest series…is as good as the Nightside and the Secret Histories sagas.”—Alternative Worlds
About the Author
Simon R. Green is also the author of the Nightside series (The Bride Wore Black Leather) and The Secret Histories (Casino Infernale). His previous Ghost Finders novels include Ghost of a Chance, Ghost of a Smile, and Ghost of a Dream. He has also written the Adventures of Hawk and Fisher and the Deathstalker novels. He appears in the anthology Weird Detectives along with Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, and Patricia Briggs, among others.
Top customer reviews
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Spirits From Beyond is a paranormal series that takes place in modern-day England. It's the fourth book, and my first read, in Green's A Ghost Finders Novel series. I was a little nervous about starting a book so far in a series, but Green does offer a page at the beginning of the book explaining what has already taken place in the series. Granted, there is only so much he can tell us in a page, but I have to commend him for offering it, as most authors make the reader figure things out as they read the book. I Also, I feel I should mention, this is the first paranormal novel I've read, so my review is only based on this book and not on a wealth of information on the genre from past books.
The book has a nice mixture of humor and frightening moments, which I think is needed as it gives the reader time to cool down after a particularly descriptive passage in the book. As an added bonus for readers who may be new to the genre, the book takes place in modern-day England, so there is plenty of British humor and slang to keep you entertained.
The first half of the book is purely dealing with events that took place in previous books, this is the first area of trouble for a new reader, even though Green does a great job of telling us what has happened before-hand I felt he spent too much of the book focused on past events. The first part of the book is heavy on dialogue, which slows the pacing of the book way down. Readers following the series from the beginning probably won't mind, as they are familiar with the world, characters and overall plot. The second half of the book deals with a new case of a haunted inn, which helps to ramp up the action and pacing of the book.
Green does a great job writing action and suspense while also adding in the needed horror aspects and humor. It's a fine balancing act to be able to do all of that without throwing a reader out of the book. My only complaint is when his characters came across several obstacles while battling the dark forces in the inn, and it appeared as if there was no way to escape or win, a character pulled out a literal holy hand grenade to defeat the challenge perfectly at the last second. For me, it felt like a bit of a cheat.
Spirits From Beyond is a fun book in the middle of an ongoing series, however, I would caution readers who would like to read the book to start at the beginning of the series so they can avoid any confusion. I would recommend Spirits From Beyond to anyone who has already read the previous books in the series, or anyone that enjoys witty British dialogue.
In the previous volume, the team traveled to Bradleigh Halt to investigate a haunting. The small community was no longer directly accessible by train, so the team had to travel to a nearby town by rail and then take a taxi to the haunting scene. The taxi driver let them off on top of the ridge overlooking the old station.
Melody unloaded her equipment from the boot and loaded it on a cart. Then she and the men walked down to the station. A group had been restoring the old depot, so the outside looked solid and clean.
They were met on the platform by Laurie. He asked if they were experts from British Rail. Then he told them about the strange events that had befallen the volunteer workers. Some things had moved around and some doors wouldn't stay open or shut.
JC asked whether any strange deaths or disappearances had happened in the station. Laurie mentioned a train that entered the tunnel during Victorian times, but never came out. It was not in the tunnel nor anywhere else known to mankind.
In this novel, Josiah Charles Chance is a team leader within the Institute. JC is usually heavily armed with weapons that would not be approved by the Boss. His team is now an A team, but they are really only working while they search for Kim.
Happy Jack Palmer is a class eleven telepath. He has stopped using pharmaceuticals to keep him sane. Happy is the doomsayer of the team, mainly because he is fully aware of the things that exist alongside humanity.
Melody Chambers is a technogeek. The Institute buys her the latest available equipment for monitoring ghosts. She and Happy have a very active sex life between jobs.
Kim Sterling is a ghost. She was murdered in the first novel and has since developed a relationship with JC. But now she has disappeared.
Catherine Latimer is the head of the Carnacki Institute. She is JC's pentultimate boss. Only the Crown outranks her.
Heather is Catherine's private secretary. She is normally the keeper of the Catherine's secrets.
Adrian Brook is the owner and operator of the King's Arms bar. He hasn't been able to find anyone else to work in the bar for very long.
The Flesh Undying is a creature from the Outside. He fell -- or was pushed -- from his dimension into ours. He has infiltrated the Carnacki Institute.
In this story, JC is trying to sleep, but he hasn't done much of that since Kim vanished. He is lying in bed when Kim reappears at the foot. She tells him to meet her outside the Chimera House.
JC is dialing Happy and Melody when his television turns on. His team members are on the screen. They tell him that Kim had also appear to them and he should pick them up on his way.
JC takes the red Institute car that he had borrowed and soon meet the rest of the team. As he is driving vigorously through the city, JC notices that traffic has disappeared. They reach Chimera House very quickly and then have to wait for Kim.
After Kim reappears, the square in front of the building cracks open to reveal a large hole and a stone stairway leading downward. Kim leads the way for the team. They go down into the London Undertown.
Of course, Melody knows the most about the large space under the city. She briefs the others in what little is known about it. She claims that it dates from the age of the druids.
The team meets the revenants of these druids and the ghost of their god. The Flesh Undying has subverted the druid revenants in an attempt to kill the team. Kim appeals to the god for assistance.
After this foray, JC insists on going to the Secret Library of the Institute to check up on the things they have learned. Catherine had issued him the password to access the Library, but never processed the actual access paperwork. What they find there causes Catherine to order them into her office at 9:00 AM.
While they are waiting for Catherine to admit them into the steel lined office, the team tries to coax some information out of Heather. She informs them that Catherine has told her nothing about the affair. She really appears to know nothing about their appointment.
The newly appointed Minister for Supernatural Affairs storms into the office and demands to see Catherine. Heather sends him away with a bloody nose. When he comes back with armed security guards, Heather faces them with two large bore pistons. She explains the place of the Minister in their hierarchy and tells him to call for an appointment.
Catherine invites the team into her office and asks about the missing Kim. JC says she has temporary amnesia and cannot recall anything right now. Catherine sends the team on a routine case of a haunted country bar.
JC and his team arrive at the bar during a raging thunderstorm. Happy detects something in the parking lot, but the team cannot corner it. They go into the bar to find it full of customers. Brook has told them about the Ghost Finders and they are expecting to see a TV crew following the team.
JC gets them to tell stories about the local ghosts. Then he asks them if anyone has seen or heard anything recently. One woman tells them that lights come on upstairs after most customers have left. Normally the upstairs lights are never turned on night or day.
This tale involves the Ghost Finders in something more than ghosts. JC finally convinces Brook to tell his experiences. Melody and Happy discover a pocket of spiritual power on the grounds that is attracting all kinds of supernatural beings to the bar.
JC's team -- including Kim -- find new powers in this story. Working together, they exert more spiritual force than they can as individuals. Kim also displays some new talents of her own.
JC takes one thing at a time. The next installment in this sequence is Voices from Beyond.
Highly recommended for Green fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of ancient ghosts, outside spirits, and a touch of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
I just found out about the Ghost Finder movie and realized that, maybe, I now understand the purpose of these books. I think they're to drum up interest in the movie. I could be wrong, but either way, this is my last Ghost Finder book.