Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides) by Mur Lafferty (2014)
Genre: Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Page Length: 352 pages (paperback edition)
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 of The 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? (description from Goodreads)
*Click here to see the review of book one.
I had originally meant to start the Ghost Train To New Orleans when it was initially released but it ended up falling on the back-burner of my TBR. Because of that I was a little rusty about the knowledge of characters and events of the previous novel, but once I picked up the book everything came back to me.
The second book starts off with Zoe reeling from the loss of friends from the battle in New York. Though is she more knowledgeable about the coterie (supernatural) world she still has a lot learn. The novel takes its readers to New Orleans home of delicious seafood, creole culture, Mardi Gras, and notable locations all from the view of the spirit world. Zoe and her crew continuously work on the travel guide while she tries to enjoy the city and stay out of danger.
I like that the second book is set in a new city full of new characters, good and bad. It added extra zest to the plot and while New York was full of coterie, Zoe comes face to face with many new creatures all while dealing with her own personal issues. It’s revealed early on in the book that she is in fact a city-talker and has to keep this secret under wraps since her kind are extinct.
Zoe bonds more and becomes closer to characters such as Gwen (my favorite) and learns that even though she feels alone she still has someone to talk to. Zoe also goes through a major character development in this books. Arthur’s impending zombie-dom and her job puts a strain on their relationship and she comes so close to danger after mysterious and deadly events happen on her trip. I admired her bravery to stand up for herself and navigate through obstacles.
I love urban fantasy and what makes these books so fun it that it meshes the supernatural with travel. I’ve always wanted to travel to New Orleans and I felt I could experience a bit of what the city had to offer. My favorite scenes were the ones that took places on the ghost train. They were action packed and the concept was really cool!
These books were published some years apart and there’s been no news of whether the series will continue or not. I hope it will since it’s such an immersive urban fantasy series!
*Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links!