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Harlan Phoenix writes...

I finished Rain of the Ghosts earlier today and to cut to the chase, I absolutely loved it. I spent a lot of my early teens reading middle school and up fantasy series like Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, or His Dark Materials and Rain of the Ghost felt right at home with the tone of those stories (maybe slightly less so with His Dark Materials, but eh). In a weird way, Rain of the Ghosts was laced with a lot of pleasant nostalgia for me despite being a brand new property in your body of work. I have two young nieces and Rain is the exact heroine I would love to see them grow up on. When they're much older (being a toddler and baby respectively), I more than intend to raise them up on Rain of the Ghosts when they're old enough to relate to Rain and empathize with her journey. After all, they'll need something to read when I'm not watching Gargoyles with them.

As mentioned in my Mecha-Nation review, your heroes are really among the best in animation (and, now, general all ages fiction!) and Rain of the Ghosts continues that trend. I absolutely adore Rain as a protagonist and even though I'm a decade older than her I can definitely relate to her fears of a future locked in stone. 'Bastion was an incredibly welcome return to your love of WW2 iconography and his backstory, and his scene with Rain near the end was nothing short of adorable. Charlie brought a lot of welcome humor and awkwardness to the story that only emphasized his strength as a friend to Rain. It's a solid cast and I am very eager to see their next adventures.

And Opie may tie with Matrix as my favorite character you've ever written. I adore Opie. And Ariel definitely fascinates me and I like to imagine she, Owen, and Mercy Graves have the most intense poker games ever.

All in all, it's a lovely book that took me back to a time that makes me feel warm and fuzzy but with the added benefit of your personal style. Though I love all of your writing, there's something nice out of getting an original property amidst the more common adaptations. It's why, as great as Young Justice is, I felt a bit more connection to Mecha-Nation. It's a truly underrated comic that I'm sad we've yet to get more of and though it was Victor Cook's brainbaby, your voice really did come through and presented genuinely intelligent themes in a charming Saturday morning guise.

So I felt a nice connection to Rain. I've been a fan of your work essentially my whole life and with Rain, I feel like I'll be able to instill the Weisman love to the next generation of my family because, quite frankly, I'm a big enough dweeb to immensely value that. I'm with Rain for the long haul and am endlessly happy I've gotten to read it. Here's hoping some more of your ideas find their way to fruition and, in the mean time, here's to Spirits of Ash and Foam and Star Wars Rebels. I am very excited for both of them.

Now to shamelessly exploit your errors for attempted personal gain.


For my stab at finding a typo, I'm going to point out an anomaly with your tenses. Though your italicized thoughts for the characters are all in present tense (as thoughts should be!), there's one instance where this isn't quite so.

Second full paragraph, page 171, which reads as such:

"Here!" He guided her hand. [i]All those video games were finally paying off...[/i]

My tags note the italicized portion of the paragraph, i.e. the final sentence. I was hesitant to make this my entry, since the possibility of it being a stylistic choice is always there (and I didn't recall seeing it in your proofreader notes on the site). But after leafing through and comparing it with the other italicized thoughts throughout the book, it doesn't feel consistent with them and sounds more in tone with Opie's narration than Charlie's internalized gratitude.

Therefore, my submission to the contest is the final sentence of the second full paragraph of page 171, specifically the tense created by the use of "were."

Greg responds...

Thanks! I hope - if you haven't already - that you'll consider writing a review of the book up on Amazon. I'm review light, I'm afraid.

TYPO Contest:

Well, that definitely was NOT one of the two I had in mind. But I'm going to award you with a TYPO prize none-the-less, because, ultimately, I think you're right. Should have been present tense.

So email your snail mail address to Gorebash. He'll send it to me, and I'll send you your prize! Congratulations on finding a typo I missed!! (Rats!)

Response recorded on April 02, 2014