Powers has created a strange and wonderful Los Angeles in which to set this novel: a city full of ghosts—and full, too, of unpleasant characters who extend their lives and enhance their power by catching and absorbing the ghosts of the recently dead.
Young Koot Parganas is growing up in Los Angeles in the 1990’s, but his parents won’t let him do anything normal. His weirdo parents venerate the spirits of dead Mahatmas. At the age of eleven, Koot has disobeyed his parents, broken into a plaster bust of Dante, stolen the small glass vial concealed inside it, and set in motion events that will change his own life, and everyone else’s. For trapped in the vial was the preserved ghost of Thomas Alva Edison, and there is no telling what power the possession of that ghost could confer.
The exposure of Edison’s ghost lights up a beacon for those who can see such things. Koot is pursued through the dark underside of the city, aided by allies as strange as his enemies: a bum and his dog; a man concealed by the ghostly mask of Houdini; a psychiatrist sorceress; and a former television child-star who has been dead for several years, but who is not yet ready to leave his body of abandon his revenge on the woman who murdered his godfather.
Koot Parganas has stolen the ghost of Thomas Edison, preserved in a hidden glass vial. Now he’s on the run through the dark underside of Los Angeles, among characters who extend their lives and enhance their power by catching and absorbing the ghosts of the recently dead. Like The Anubis Gates and On Stranger Tides, this fantasy has an astonishing power that remains long after the last page is turned.