Reviews for Spirits in the Park

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #1
Rory returns to the spirit city of Mannahatta to right the bad history between the Munsees and the Gods in this sequel to Gods of Manhattan (2008). After Manhattan suffers a devastating earthquake, the balance between the real city and the spirit city is in peril, and Rory realizes he must open the Trap before the city destroys itself. However, setting the Munsees free may start a war. In order to find a peaceful resolution, Rory must uncover the truth behind the Trap's creation, and to do that, he must find his missing father. Mebus' fast pacing and quirky humor assist a sprawling plot that just keeps rushing forward. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #1
Mebus's romp through mythical "Manahatta" (Gods of Manhattan, 2008) becomes more of a slog in this sequel, but there are still enough oddball characters, scary villains and inspired one-liners to keep the plot ticking over. With the magical Trap that has long confined the indigenous Munsees in Central Park about to open, bloodthirsty schemer Willem Kieft is hard at work fomenting fear of the consequences among the spirits inhabiting the rest of the island. Meanwhile, young Rory's search for his father takes him into remote reaches of New York Harbor, and Rory's kick-ass little sister Bridget sets out to find the Mayor's long-lost daughter. Not only does the tale progress in fits and starts thanks to frequent shifts among multiple points of view, but the action grinds to a halt with tedious frequency for wordy explanations of motives, past actions and background history. Fans of the opener will be delighted to see Rory, Bridget, the awesome Spirit Dog Tucket, the clan of intrepid Battle Roaches and the rest back in action--but can only hope for less talk in future episodes. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
With an earthquake, blackout and new information about 13-year-old Rory Hennessy's notorious absentee father, the second entry in the Gods of Manhattan series hits the ground running. Rory is the last "Light," a human being gifted with the ability to see the spirit city of Mannahatta, where New York City's history coexists with the modern world and is also populated by spunky, talking "battle" cockroaches. As Rory and his sister, Bridget (through Rory, she can see Mannahatta too), navigate the city, they encounter such infamous spirits as Typhoid Mary, Walt Whitman, Billie Holiday and Bill the Butcher. In addition to Rory's obligation to help the Munsee Indians escape "the Trap"-a diabolical force preventing them from leaving Central Park-Rory also tracks down the whereabouts of his father, whose role in Mannahatta remains elusive. Mebus's vision is richly layered and the pace never slackens-while some readers may struggle to keep up with the intricate mythology and frequent shifts in point-of-view, fans of the first book will be satisfied. Ages 10-up. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September

Gr 5-8--In this sequel to Gods of Manhattan (Dutton, 2008), 13-year-old Rory, his sister, and the spirits of Manhattan lock wits over Central Park, where the spirits of the Munsee Indian tribe have been trapped for the last century. Rory struggles to find the clues that will allow him to understand the history of the mystical Mannahatta and the future that his powers as the Light will create. Bridget is no meek little sister following her brother's lead. She is strong and mischievous and integral to the tale. Off to a slow start, the story builds to a hectic and satisfying conclusion while leaving room for, but not making necessary, future books. History buffs will enjoy how figures from different eras all come together as gods in the spirit world of New York City, including Walt Whitman, God of Optimism; Jimmy Walker, God of Leaders Who Looked the Other Way; and Aaron Burr, a fallen god. Less-well-informed readers should still be able to follow and enjoy the novel on a different level. Mebus provides enough information for those new to the series, although certain characters take a lesser role here and have more depth if both titles are read.--Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, formerly at New York Public Library

[Page 167]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2009 August
Merely a month has passed since the events described in Gods of Manhattan (Dutton, 2008/VOYA February 2008), the first volume of this series. During that tempestuous time, thirteen-year-old Rory Hennessey discovered that he was the last Light in New York City, able to walk in Mannahatta, the spirit city co-existing alongside everyday Manhattan. For hundreds of years, the denizens of this spirit world, historical figures that have become gods, have held shut the Trap enclosing the Munsee tribe of Native Americans in their alternative Central Park. Rory alone possesses the ability to open the Trap, creating a new Mannahatta before the spirit world ends, but he is trailed by vicious enemies like Bill the Butcher. Even worse, he has discovered that the real key to saving Mannahatta lies with the man Rory never wanted to see again--his own father who deserted his family years before. Only Rory's courage and his allies, such as the immortal children of the old gods, a spirit dog, a warrior cadre of humanoid cockroaches, and his tough little sister, will ensure his success Fans of the first series volume will not be disappointed. Some captivating new characters and intriguing revelations about familiar ones help to advance the narrative, although the bewildering number of story lines and plot threads may confuse the most loyal reader. Despite the occasionally awkward turn of phrase and jarringly anachronistic dialogue, lovers of quest fantasy will seize the new installment of Rory's adventures with glee.--Jamie S. Hansen 3Q 4P M J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.