Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus

Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus
2008 Penguin Young Readers Group
Brief Synopsis:
Rory Hennessey and his sister Bridget discover that Rory is the last Light in New York City. That is, Rory is the last person able to help save Mannahatta, the spirit city that co-exists with Manhattan, from civil war. Of course it wont be easy. But Rory has help. A paper mache boy, Indian Sachems, warrior cockroaches and the children of the immortal gods of New York all help Rory in his quest to help right a wrong.
GODS OF MANHATTAN was a quick read. It was an enjoyable read. However, it did have one drawback. This is another serial! I am so sick of serial books. I understand that writers have to make sure that they have money coming in on a regular basis and work continuously to build their fan base. I get it. But I'm over it. That said I am this one for the long haul. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fast and action packed, with enough gross things to engage the 13 year old boy in me. (Talking cockroaches, anyone?) There was a great deal of history without being preachy. There was a lot of history that I didn't know and I love history. I would recommend this book to any reader over the age of 10.

Other Review:
An inventive fantasy-adventure by a first-time author. Rory, 13, and his sister Bridget, 9, live in present-day New York City unaware of the spirits from Manhattan’s or “Mannahatta’s” past that coexist alongside them. Rory has a gift for seeing this other world but has repressed this ability until the day he notices a cockroach riding a rat, an ancient Indian warrior, a papier-mâché boy, and other oddities. He’s able to see such historical figures as Peter Stuyvesant, Walt Whitman, John Jacob Astor, Alexander Hamilton, and Babe Ruth–all immortal gods in this parallel world–and he learns that it’s up to him to thwart an evil assassin who has been killing the gods, and free the Munsee Indians who are imprisoned in Central Park. He’s joined by other immortal teens, including Nicholas Stuyvesant, Peter’s son, and Lincoln Douglass, Frederick’s son. The use of real historical figures and events lends authenticity to this compulsively readable and fast-paced fantasy. Rory may be the one destined to save Mannahatta, but Bridget, spunky and determined, also does her part. This book will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series.-School Library Journal
No sooner does 13-year-old Rory become aware of “Mannahatta,” the world of ghosts, monsters and spirits that twines through the familiar streets of New York City, than he is swept up in a tide of deadly intrigue in this uncommonly entertaining crossover debut. Though someone has found a way to kill the supposedly immortal gods of the title—all figures from New York’s past—that subplot takes a back seat to the machinations of Hex, a magician who enlists Rory in the seemingly worthy effort to break the magical barrier that has imprisoned the spirits of the island’s native Munsees in Central Park. Largely clueless but brave and subject to occasional fits of canniness, Rory gets help along the way from a rousing supporting cast led by his kick-ass little sister Bridget, who has an alternate persona she dubs “Malibu Death Barbie,” and a diminutive but intrepid Battle Roach named Fritz. Along with plenty of action, Mebus stuffs his pages with references to New York’s history, draws most of the threads together in a suspenseful climax and provides a satisfying sense of resolution at the end while leaving plenty of issues for future episodes.-Kirkus Reviews

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