Summary: A HORROR/CRIME MASHUP THAT’S EQUAL PARTS OCEAN’S 11 AND THE SHINING. Jackson T. Winters is one of the greatest criminal masterminds to ever live…except he’s rotting in jail after his last, doomed score. But when a filthy rich collector breaks him out, he’s tasked with putting together an elite team of paranormal experts to do the impossible: Steal a ghost from a haunted house of horrors!
Ghosted, vol. 1, by Joshua Williamson, Goran Sudžuka and Miroslav Mrva 7.0
‘Ghosted’ is an ongoing series by Joshua Williamson. It tells the story of Jackson, a master thief who is broken out of prison by a wealthy collector. The condition for his freedom: he must capture a ghost from a notoriously haunted mansion and deliver it to him.
After assembling his team of experts, Jackson then has to explore the mansion to find any evidence of ghostly apparitions. In so doing, he and his crew stumble upon all sorts of peculiar (and sometimes scary) occurrences. And danger. And death (People die. Of course they do…).
Frankly, I have mixed feelings about this book, by the author of the fun but thin ‘Sketch Monsters‘ books. ‘Ghosted’ was an enjoyable and easy read, but it was also a bit sloppy. At no point was I convinced that any of this could happen – from the jailbreak to the ghost capture.
I really liked the whole idea of rounding up his crew (a trite device but an enjoyable one in this context) and the idea of exploring the house; it was basically a mash-up of ‘Ocean’s 11’ and ‘The Haunting‘, and, although both types of stories have been done to death, this combination hasn’t.
But it’s got plot holes in it that you could drive a 1959 Cadillac through:
- After being broken out, Jackson is left to his own devices – as if he wouldn’t skip town at the first chance. Sure, he’s initially saddled with a mercenary, but he later convinced her to help him rob from their respective employer – so clearly her loyalties wouldn’t have been a huge factor.
So… what’s keeping him around?
- He himself leaves his crew with far too much freedom: he instructs them to only go in during the day, when there’s little supernatural activity. But how can he stop them from returning at night (the medium seems especially interested in that)? This seems very short-sighted on his part.
So much for being a master planner.
- On a sillier note, neither Jackson nor his employer discuss how he’s supposed to retrieve a ghost – especially in light of the fact that he’s never dealt with the supernatural before. He just takes the job and tells his crew that they’re going to have to figure it out. That’s a significant lack of foresight.
- On a similar note, at the end of the third chapter, one character decides that the only way to capture and transport a ghost would be for it to possess one of them. Duh. That leaves them with the same exact problem later: how to transfer and contain the ghost in the old man’s collection.
So I’m not entirely sure that I like this book. It’s dumb fun, I guess. I would like to hope that it gets better, but I’m not sure that I want to give it another shot – because, quite frankly, another one like this would be a huge disappointment. As a series debut, this really doesn’t bode well.
At least the art is nice, for what that’s worth.