The Warm Hands of Ghosts

Posted March 25, 2024 by Carole in Reviews / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Warm Hands of GhostsThe Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden
Narrator: Michael Crouch, January LaVoy, Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey, Penguin Random House Audio on February 13, 2024
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
Length: 11 hours 37 minutes
Pages: 336
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • During the Great War, a combat nurse searches for her brother, believed dead in the trenches despite eerie signs that suggest otherwise, in this hauntingly beautiful historical novel with a speculative twist, from the author of The Bear and the Nightingale.

“A wonderful clash of fire and ice—a book you won’t want to let go of.”—Diana Gabaldon, author of Outlander

January 1918. Laura Iven was a revered field nurse until she was wounded and discharged from the medical corps, leaving behind a brother still fighting in Flanders. Now home in Halifax, Canada, Laura receives word of Freddie’s death in combat, along with his personal effects—but something doesn’t make sense. Determined to uncover the truth, Laura returns to Belgium as a volunteer at a private hospital, where she soon hears whispers about haunted trenches and a strange hotelier whose wine gives soldiers the gift of oblivion. Could Freddie have escaped the battlefield, only to fall prey to something—or someone—else?

November 1917. Freddie Iven awakens after an explosion to find himself trapped in an overturned pillbox with a wounded enemy soldier, a German by the name of Hans Winter. Against all odds, the two form an alliance and succeed in clawing their way out. Unable to bear the thought of returning to the killing fields, especially on opposite sides, they take refuge with a mysterious man who seems to have the power to make the hellscape of the trenches disappear.

As shells rain down on Flanders and ghosts move among those yet living, Laura’s and Freddie’s deepest traumas are reawakened. Now they must decide whether their world is worth salvaging—or better left behind entirely.

This was really good! I have been a huge fan of Katherine Arden’s work since I first read her work so I was excited to read this book. This book was very different than her previous work and I love the versatility of her writing. This book was the perfect blend of historical fiction and magic which I found captivating.

This story is set during World War I and is told from two main points of view, Laura and her brother Freddie. Laura worked as a nurse during the war until she was discharged after being wounded. When she receives a package containing her brother’s personal items, she fears that he has lost his life fighting the war. Months earlier, Freddie finds himself in a terrible situation and things look grim. Things become even more interesting when both siblings encounter a mysterious stranger.

Michael Crouch and January LaVoy did a wonderful job with the narration of this book. I have had a lot of luck with both of these narrators in the past and I thought their voices complimented each other’s nicely. They were both able to bring their characters to life by bringing just the right amount of emotion to their reading. I am certain that their narration added to my overall enjoyment of this book.

I would recommend this book to others. I quickly became attached to this wonderful cast of characters and wanted to see things work out for each one of them. I look forward to reading more of this talented author’s work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Del Rey and Penguin Random House Audio.

5 responses to “The Warm Hands of Ghosts

  1. I’ve heard good things about this one from other bloggers, too. The mix of historical and supernatural is what intrigues me.

  2. This looks good! I really enjoyed a previous book by this author and this one really appeals to me. Her writing is always gorgeous.