City of Ghosts: On the day the villagers were forced to flee Hensu, not everyone got out alive.
Jackson Stone is touring the abandoned Chinese city when he slips away from the group to spend the night, determined to publish an account of his ghostly experiences there.
Then he meets Yuèhai, a strange, soft-spoken woman who can tell him the city’s secrets—secrets the Chinese government would kill to keep hidden.
As Jackson uncovers the truth about Yuèhai and the ghost city, he’s drawn into a web of conspiracy, betrayal, and murder. He must risk everything to save himself and bring honor back to Yuèhai and her family. – Goodreads
City of Ghosts Review
City of Ghosts is a paranormal fantasy about a disgruntled IT worker who decides that he should write about ghosts and the trouble that gets him in.. For research, he travels with tour groups to various places around the world. His most recent trip finds him in China, and it’s not long before it’s revealed that something fishy is going on. Between the tour-guide giving him the stink-eye, the girl appearing in his bedroom, and the dreams he’s having, he’s suddenly forced to reevaluate his life choices. And, you know, not be ‘disappeared’ for some reason or the other. Nothing goes to plan.
For those searching for diversity, the main character in City of Ghosts is a POC. He also doesn’t fit any of the stereotypical roles of his race, which is pleasing. His companion during most of the novel has abilities that make her different, yet she is not written stereotypically either. I rather liked her, actually. The rest of the group fades into the background enough that it’s hard to remember if there were any other examples of diversity within it.
J.H. Moncrieff does make a salient point in City of Ghosts about the difference (or lack of) between males and females getting raped. It’s a simple scene, but given the way it’s written, not one I’ve ever read before. It’s well handled, and I’m glad she decided to address it. It’ll take readers by surprise, but it’s worked in perfectly to the story. Especially Jackson’s thoughts on the subject.
I liked City of Ghosts, but it’s a read that quickly fades from your mind. Just a few days after reading it, I can remember the basic plot and that’s about it. In fact, I had to look up the main character’s name – Jackson Stone, by the way – before I could write this. It’s competently written, and I was completely sucked in the whole time that I was reading it. It just lacks any sort of staying power. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another one of the author’s works again (in fact I have one on my wishlist now!), but I just can’t rave about City of Ghosts.
City of Ghosts is worth the time, just not worth the buy. Persuade your local library to get it instead.