Book Reviews of Gods of Manhattan

Gods of Manhattan
Gods of Manhattan
Author: Scott Mebus
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ISBN-13: 9780525479550
ISBN-10: 0525479554
Publication Date: 4/17/2008
Pages: 272
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 7

3.4 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Gods of Manhattan on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

Rory Hennessy is firmly rooted in reality. In some ways, far too much so for a thirteen-year-old boy, but that's sometimes what happens when it's just a boy, his mom, and his little sister. Regardless, Rory has always been able to see through and explain magic tricks. So in the interest of not spoiling his sister Bridget's ninth birthday party, Rory is avoiding the magician she insisted on having. The magician, however, is intent on Rory's participation. The result is a trick that Rory can't begin to explain or understand, and a cryptic message about Rory being in danger.

Suddenly, everything is different. Rory is seeing things that couldn't possibly be real; gargoyles eating pigeons, a cockroach riding a rat like it was a pony, an Indian warrior that Rory's dreamt about... Maybe there's more to that magician than some silly card tricks. Or else Rory's losing his mind.

With Bridget in tow, Rory goes to find the magician. According to the magician there is an entire shadow world that coexists with the Manhattan that Rory and Bridget know and love. It's called Mannahatta, and it's populated by Gods of every kind. Like the God of Justice, or the God of Sample Sales, or the God of Jaywalking. To borrow the magicians words: "When a mortal does something great, he is reborn in Mannahatta as a spirit. If his legend grows enough, he might be fortunate enough to ascend to godhood."

But there is struggle in Mannahatta: the spirits of the Munsee Indians are trapped in Central Park. The Munsees are connected to the land, but since they are trapped in a man-made park they can't actually connect to the land anymore, upsetting the balance between the two worlds. As possibly the only true mortal who can see Mannahatta without assistance (Bridget can only see things after Rory points them out), Rory is the key to setting the Munsees free.

Rory isn't sure he trusts or believes the magician, but there does seem to be a few creepy things trying to attack him. Whether or not Rory is ready or even interested in the adventure, Bridget is ready to kick some butt, starting yesterday. Now Rory has to worry about navigating a world no one else can see, saving it and the world he knows, and keeping Bridget safe. He's got his work cut out for him.

Rory is a strong and interesting main character, and Bridget is the irritating little sister who makes things worse by trying to help. The author has managed to balance serious ideas (like global warming and the Indian/Colonist conflict) with lighthearted moments (like a rat and squirrel kung fu fighting). The story jumps back and forth between Manhattan and Mannahatta, until they merge with Rory's full understanding. Which is a little bit confusing until you figure out who
everyone is.

This is a great adventure story that not only keeps you involved, but doubles nicely as a history and geography of Manhattan. I imagine it's particularly poignant if you're a New Yorker, but never having been there I can tell you it didn't lose anything.

I think we may not have seen the end of Rory Hennessy, or Bridget, and I'm looking forward to finding out what else Mannahatta has in store for everyone.
reviewed Gods of Manhattan on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

Rory Hennessy is firmly rooted in reality. In some ways, far too much so for a thirteen-year-old boy, but that's sometimes what happens when it's just a boy, his mom, and his little sister. Regardless, Rory has always been able to see through and explain magic tricks. So in the interest of not spoiling his sister Bridget's ninth birthday party, Rory is avoiding the magician she insisted on having. The magician, however, is intent on Rory's participation. The result is a trick that Rory can't begin to explain or understand, and a cryptic message about Rory being in danger.

Suddenly, everything is different. Rory is seeing things that couldn't possibly be real; gargoyles eating pigeons, a cockroach riding a rat like it was a pony, an Indian warrior that Rory's dreamt about... Maybe there's more to that magician than some silly card tricks. Or else Rory's losing his mind.

With Bridget in tow, Rory goes to find the magician. According to the magician there is an entire shadow world that coexists with the Manhattan that Rory and Bridget know and love. It's called Mannahatta, and it's populated by Gods of every kind. Like the God of Justice, or the God of Sample Sales, or the God of Jaywalking. To borrow the magicians words: "When a mortal does something great, he is reborn in Mannahatta as a spirit. If his legend grows enough, he might be fortunate enough to ascend to godhood."

But there is struggle in Mannahatta: the spirits of the Munsee Indians are trapped in Central Park. The Munsees are connected to the land, but since they are trapped in a man-made park they can't actually connect to the land anymore, upsetting the balance between the two worlds. As possibly the only true mortal who can see Mannahatta without assistance (Bridget can only see things after Rory points them out), Rory is the key to setting the Munsees free.

Rory isn't sure he trusts or believes the magician, but there does seem to be a few creepy things trying to attack him. Whether or not Rory is ready or even interested in the adventure, Bridget is ready to kick some butt, starting yesterday. Now Rory has to worry about navigating a world no one else can see, saving it and the world he knows, and keeping Bridget safe. He's got his work cut out for him.

Rory is a strong and interesting main character, and Bridget is the irritating little sister who makes things worse by trying to help. The author has managed to balance serious ideas (like global warming and the Indian/Colonist conflict) with lighthearted moments (like a rat and squirrel kung fu fighting). The story jumps back and forth between Manhattan and Mannahatta, until they merge with Rory's full understanding. Which is a little bit confusing until you figure out who everyone is.

This is a great adventure story that not only keeps you involved, but doubles nicely as a history and geography of Manhattan. I imagine it's particularly poignant if you're a New Yorker, but never having been there I can tell you it didn't lose anything.

I think we may not have seen the end of Rory Hennessy, or Bridget, and I'm looking forward to finding out what else Mannahatta has in store for everyone.