Reviews for Gods of Manhattan


Booklist Reviews 2008 May #2
When a magician at his little sister's birthday party performs an impossible trick, 13-year-old Rory Hennessy is deeply shaken. And after seeing one impossible thing, he can't stop seeing others, from a cockroach riding a rat to a Native American warrior in Central Park. The magician tells Rory that he is a Light, one of the rare mortals able to see Mannahatta, a spirit city where people and places of New York history are reborn. But a long-ago evil, perpetrated against the spirits of the displaced Munsee peoples, is causing a slow degradation that only a Light can set right. The burden falls to Rory, though his irrepressible sister, Bridget, frequently hijacks his dangerous mission. This is a fresh take on the supernatural city-within-a-city idea and a clever way of introducing New York City's colorful history. Yet Mebus' comic timing and sense of absurdity will also draw readers far from the Big Apple and ensure an ample audience for the next volume in the planned Gods of Manhattan trilogy. A full-color illustrated map will be included. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 March #1
No sooner does 13-year-old Rory become aware of "Manahatta," 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. (cast list, map) (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2008 November/December
After a slow start, wherein a large cast of characters and a complex mise en scène are established, the story takes off and doesn?t let up. The fast-paced plot comes through as original and fresh. After meeting the magician Hex, 13-year-old Rory Hennessy begins to notice things like a cockroach riding a rat and an Indian brave on the outskirts of the park?s forest. Readers learn that Manhattan hosts a spirit world, inhabited by formerly famous (and infamous) characters from its history, some of whom have become gods. The spirit residents are led by a mayor and a Council of Twelve Gods, guarded by a group of the gods? teenage children, and in conflict with the Munsee Indians who are trapped by magic in Central Park. Soon the spirit residents are stunned when gods are murdered. Rory learns he is a ?Light,? one able to see the truth and spirit residents, and that he has a role to play in saving the spirit world. Although many readers will be unfamiliar with the New York luminaries-turned-gods, the plot outdistances this problem and the story proves thoroughly enjoyable. The preliminary ?Cast of Characters? with accompanying map is invaluable for keeping track of who?s who. Recommended. Amy Hart, Head of Bibliographic Services, Minuteman Library Network, Natick, Massachusetts ¬ 2008 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 April

Gr 5-8-- 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-mch 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 (Hyperion/Miramax).--Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton

[Page 146]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2008 February
Rory Hennessy has held his family together amid the activity of his native New York for his thirteen years, when he suddenly begins to see another equally hectic spirit city co-existing alongside everyday Manhattan. This alternative metropolis is Mannahatta, home to Munsee Native Americans, warrior cockroaches riding rat steeds, a papier-mâch child, and an eclectic set of New York notables, including Babe Ruth, Horace Greeley, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Alexander Hamilton, all of whom have been reborn as dieties. These gods amuse themselves by playing dangerous power games, including wrongfully imprisoning the Munsees's spirits in Central Park. Because Rory is the Light, able to see past reality into the spirit world, only he can free the captives. His quest will be both arduous and perilous Mannahatta, as created by first-time author Mebus, is an intriguing but flawed alternative reality. His deities, who bear such charming titles as Goddess of Wit (Dorothy Parker) and God of Things Were Better in the Old Days (Peter Stuyvesant), are sadly not well drawn; their speeches are often protracted and clich-ridden explanations that enumerate rather than reveal plot details. The explanation of the Munsees's entrapment and its injurious effects on the modern city is also never quite clear. Mebus's style is far from polished; the reader is often distracted by careless errors and choppy sentences that should be corrected by the final version. Perhaps the anticipated sequel will be the proper vehicle for the novel's admittedly appealing conceit.-Jamie S. Hansen 2Q 4P M J Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.

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