Ghost Train to New Orleansby Mur Lafferty (Website, Twitter)
Series: The Shambling Guides #2
Narrator: Mur Lafferty
Published by Hachette Audio, Orbit on 2014-03-04
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy, Fiction, Urban, Urban Fantasy
Length: 9 hours and 12 minutes
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Could you find a museum for a monster?
Or a jazz bar for a jabberwock?
Zoe Norris writes travel guides for the undead. And she's good at it too—her new-found ability to talk to cities seems to help. After the success ofThe Sbambling Guide to New York City, Zoe and her team are sent to New Orleans to write the sequel.
Work isn't all that brings Zoe to the Big Easy. The only person who can save her boyfriend from zombism is rumored to live in the city's swamps, but Zoe's out of her element in the wilderness. With her supernatural colleagues waiting to see her fail, and rumors of a new threat hunting city talkers, can Zoe stay alive long enough to finish her next book?
In The Shambling Guide to New York City (my review here), human Zoe Norris wound up working for a coterie publisher, putting together a travel guide to New York City for the supernatural creatures who live and visit there. Trouble has a way of finding her, especially after a large showdown with an evil Zoetist–who just happened to be the wife of the boss whom she had an affair with in a Southern State before they were found out and Zoe fled jobless and heartbroken to New York City. Luckily she had the backup of her new Supernatural coworkers and the training Zoe had been receiving by the mysterious old woman Granny Good Mae. It turns out that Granny Good Mae is a Citytalker and Zoe is to. It’s their special ability to speak with the souls of cities, to be able to commune with them. Zoe is advised to keep this a secret from everyone, but of course her secret slowly gets out one by one in this second installment.
Since the first travel guide to New York City was so successful, Zoe is assigned to write a follow up book for New Orleans. Zoe and her team take the new ghost bullet train to New Orleans. The problems begin on the train and they only get worse once their feet hit Louisiana soil. While most of her employees are fine with Zoe, Vampire Kevin has hated Zoe from the start, and he certainly doesn’t respect her as a boss. He starts fights with her at any turn, but Zoe doesn’t back down. This just seems to make him even more dangerous, and he finally snaps.
Zoe’s Public Works employee boyfriend Arthur comes along for the ride since he needs a new supply of magical herbs to keep from turning into a zombie, but he doesn’t want to accept her offer of help once they reach New Orleans. She grudgingly accepts because she has a book to research, and there’s also the pesky Citytalker thing happening. Zoe finally learns a bit of how the citytalking works, and more importantly, why she’s a Citytalker. I was very excited to see that Zoe took the initiative to investigate her heritage and to develop her abilities. She gets quite inventive when put in life or death situations–with very surprising results. Being a Citytalker is an ass kicking and amazing thing, but I don’t want to spoil too much of exactly what it is.
I give Ghost Train to New Orleans a four out of five. A fair amount of new Coterie are introduced in this second book, as well as exploring the deeper aspects of the Coterie coworkers that Zoe employs and travels with, such as the dragon, the death and healing goddesses, and the vampires too. The characters are inventive and descriptive, and a lot of the situations are humorous and include pop culture references that made me laugh. While the story was a bit slow in the beginning, about halfway through it really picked up and got very exciting and adventurous. I’m really looking forward to the third book and how much Zoe’s abilities have advanced!
I listened to the audiobook provided by Hachette Audio
Get your own Audiobook at Audible: Ghost Train to New Orleans.
The author narrated this second installment, just like the first novel. I definitely enjoyed listening to this one just as much as I did the first book. She is a veteran podcaster of I Should Be Writing fame (which I highly recommend).