The Spirit Phone
by Arthur Shattuck O'Keefe
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Pub Date 15 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 03 Nov 2022
Aleister Crowley and Nikola Tesla confront the enigma of Thomas Edison's new invention: a phone to communicate with the dead.
It is August 1899, and Thomas Edison proclaims his most amazing invention yet: the Spirit Phone Model SP-1. At nearly the same time, a cocksure young mage named Aleister Crowley inexplicably teleports into the home of Edison’s archrival, renowned inventor Nikola Tesla.
As insanity and suicide multiply among spirit phone users, Crowley and Tesla combine their respective skills in “magick” and technology to investigate the device’s actual origin and ultimate purpose.
Embarking upon an adventure of astral travel, demonic invocations, and high-speed airship journeys, they are soon embroiled in a desperate race to stop the spirit phone's use by an unknown adversary to inaugurate a hell on earth from which none shall escape.
A Note From the Publisher
“Startlingly original and strangely engrossing, I kept thinking this is E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime on psychedelics. We are no doubt witness to a new talent in the speculative fiction genre, a writer who has a deep understanding of historical figures and events and knows the true meaning of creative fiction.” —Rex Pickett, author of Sideways
“This is a strong first novel and gripping read, with a neatly crafted plot that seamlessly blends weird technology and supernatural events. It’s well set up for both further adventures and a potential film adaptation. Watch this space!” —Matthew Allen, screenwriter for the producers of such films as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Boondock Saints, and The Equalizer
“In this novel you will encounter mystery, suspense, adventure, whimsy, science, occultism, and teleportation through time and space, all in a very entertaining mix. I highly recommend The Spirit Phone for anyone who seeks a lively and intelligent read.” —Bruce Boston, four-time Bram Stoker award-winning author of Dark Matters and The Guardener’s Tale
For fans of alternative historical fiction, The Spirit Phone delivers. What a wild, entertaining romp, following Tesla, Edison, and Crowley through space and time. This tale unfolds with demonic glee.” —Richard Thomas, author of Spontaneous Human Combustion and Bram Stoker / Shirley Jackson nominee
“The Spirit Phone succeeds page by page, especially in the compelling interactions of two Victorian era geniuses, one of science and one of the occult. With relentlessly engaging dialogue and fantastic, gripping scenes, this book is a multifarious pleasure not to be missed.” —Ryan Blacketter, author of Down in the River
“[A] demonic jigsaw that [O’Keefe] masterfully drops in sizzling, sulfuric pieces, keeping the reader waiting for more revelations, until he presses that final answer into place.” —Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker award-winning author of Black & Orange and Bottled Abyss
“A twisted, twisty and novel take on science, the supernatural and modern history. Surprising, engaging, thought-provoking and fun.” —Ian R. MacLeod, author of Red Snow winner of the World Fantasy, Sidewise, Locus, John W. Campbell, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards
—Indie Next List (November) Nomination
—Library Reads (November) Nomination
—National Review Coverage
—#thespiritsarecalling social media campaign
—Extensive marketing to Booksellers, Librarians, and Book Influencers
—Digital ARCs Offered on NetGalley, et al.
—Featured title in Fresh Fiction’s Book Box for October
—Targeted Consumer Email Marketing
—Extensive Social Media Promotion
Key Selling Points:
—The Spirit Phone is based on the supposed invention of the same name that Thomas Edison had been working on prior to his death.
—The novel will have wide appeal as it mixes dark fantasy, the occult, and elements of horror to create this extremely unique novel.
—Using historical figures Thomas Edison, Aleister Crowley, and Nikola Tesla, O’Keefe creates a riveting and fascinating “What if?” alternative history about the possibilities of a device to communicate with the dead.
Average rating from 8 members
I wasn't excepting to like this book as much as I did. The premise drew me in; I have a large affection for the spiritualist movement and ghosts and the paranormal etc.
When I was approved to read this ARC I thought it would be a solid three star read as the whole "let's take real historical people and have them do fictional things" trope is not my favorite.
Boy was I wrong. This is a solid read. It's a little confusing to begin with and I was planning to have that be a con in this review but I see that it was entirely purposeful as the book progresses. At a certain point, however, I did get a little exhausted with the constant addition of more mystical/paranormal things being shoehorned into the narrative. Precisely when this limit was reached, however, there was no more unnecessary additions. It felt like the author knew that the limit had been reached.
Crowley and Tesla are quite the duo and I thoroughly enjoyed their relationship throughout the book.
I highly recommend that this book be checked out when it is released on 11/15/22.
Thank you to NetGalley and BHC Press for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
When Alister Crowley climbed to the top of the mountain in the Himalayas he encounters a demon who knocks him off the mountain. This is when he astral planes into the apartments of Nikola Tesla. This begins a most humorous friendship in caper to obtain Thomas Edison’s Spirit phone. Thanks to Alister‘s supernatural shah mine abilities and Tesla‘s scientific no how they decide to make their own, but they’re going to need the recipe. From beginning to end this book is hilarious there’s demons threatening to ruin life as they know it and it’s up to Alastair and Tesla to save the day. The best thing about this book is the funny characters they run into and the historical events that are happening during the interim. I absolutely love this book and now I will read it again in the future. It is witty and clever and original. If you love historical mysteries with historical personality saving the plot you will love the story I certainly did and highly recommend it. I received this book from netGally and publisher and I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own. A truly awesome read!
A very cerebral historical scifi mystery that stylistically reminds me of Arthur Conan Doyle and should be interesting for fans of historical fiction, science fiction, and mystery.
Two famous figures of history - inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla and occultist Aleister Crowley - team up to solve a mystery and stop the bad guys from destroying the world as we know it. Tesla plays the Dr. Watson to Crowley's Sherlock Holmes (ish) and Thomas Edison makes some brief appearances as well. This is a fun adventure with nods to famous historical incidents/moments that will entertain people familiar with late 19th century history without derailing the main plot, with just enough steampunk elements thrown in to appeal to fans of that subgenre as well.
The Spirit Phone is reminiscent of an Arthur Conan Doyle type tale, except in this book, Holmes and Watson are Aleister Crowley and Nikola Tesla. It was an interesting take on the crime thriller genre with two very famous real life people heading the investigation. The story is an intelligent whodunnit or howdunnit about a supernatural invention by Thomas Edison. The occult and scientific implications drag the world's most famous occultist Aleister Crowley and the world's most genius inventor, Nikola Tesla into the mix.
Magick and science intersect in unusual ways which causes deadly consequences for this 19th century set story. There were a lot of occult bits throughout which made Crowley the star of the show. I think Tesla felt more secondary and I think the author could have incorporated more of Tesla's personality quirks and beliefs into the plot. The supernatural aspect of The Spirit Phone was complicated and there was a lot going in the story--too many ideas in my opinion. It was an interesting story and using two famous names from the 19th century to solve the mystery was a clever idea, although not everyone might agree with their fictional representations. This book could turn into a series with Crowley and Tesla solving supernatural scientific mysteries but I think the ending of this story wouldn't allow it. I believe fans of the supernatural Victorian genre and steampunk genre will like this story as it strikes a good balance between the technological and magical.
Overall The Spirit Phone is a fast paced occult detective story that I rate 3 out of 5 stars because there was a bit too much going which did not compliment the complicated mystery.
A magical sci-fi inspired by Einstein's 'spirit phone'. In this story, Nikola Tesla and a magician named Crawley, race against time to destroy the Spirit Phone and all the evil that comes with it.
It's a different take on historical figures x detective story.
A story about Tesla and Edison and mixed with fantasy. The relationship between the two are interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. There are lot of things going on and I had to read it slowly but overall, I love the pacing and the story. A truly interesting read.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me an E-Arc in exchange for an honest review.
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