Imagine Ocean's Eleven if the heist was all about the supernatural, specifically, stealing a ghost. In Ghosted: Haunted Heist (978-1607068365) by Joshua Williamson and Goran Sudzuka, Jackson T. Winters is tasked with that very mission: steal a ghost. Continuing the Ocean's Eleven comparison, imagine if during the middle of that movie, everyone except Clooney's character was killed, and he ended up in prison. Then someone broke him out of prison, dragged him to a rich, possibly insane, multi-millionaire collector of the supernatural, who offers him his freedom in exchange for the one thing that will make his collection the envy of his peers: a ghost.
Winters assembles his team, all specialists with ties to the supernatural. Their destination is a haunted house scheduled to be demolished. The former owners murdered over 100 people in the house, but Winters only needs one ghost to become filthy rich. The only problem? The house doesn't want to give up any of its inhabitants. Or its secrets.
If this were a movie, it would be a blockbuster. There is a lot going on in this book, including subplots, betrayals and mysteries that I don't want to spoil for anyone. It definitely falls in the supernatural horror genre, and if you're a fan, you'll like this.
The art is intense and moody. The first wide shot of the haunted Trask Mansion reminded me of something out of Dark Shadows; an American gothic castle with towers and gargoyles looming above you. At the same time, some of the more graphic panels and pages felt as intense as an old B-movie slasher flick. Certainly this isn't a book for the young, or anyone easily bothered by violence, nudity and gore.
As far as the characters go—well, there's not a lot to like about them. And you can almost tell from the get-go who will make it out of the house, and who won't. I didn't actually get a sense that any one of these characters changed for the better by the end. They simply were
If you like horror, the supernatural, and gritty comics and characters with tons of flaws, Ghosted Volume One: Haunted Heist might just hit the spot.
Patrick Hester is an author, blogger and 2013 Hugo Award Winner for Best Fanzine (Editor - SF Signal). He lives in Colorado, writes science fiction and fantasy, and can usually be found hanging out on his Twitter feed. His Functional Nerds and SF Signal weekly podcasts have both been nominated for Parsec awards, and the SF Signal podcast was nominated for a 2012 and a 2013 Hugo Award. In addition to his Kirkus posts, he writes for atfmb.com, SF Signal and Functional Nerds.