Ghost of a Chance

A Comedic Urban Fantasy (The Many Travails of John Smith Book 3)

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
463 Pages
Reviewed on 07/06/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

Make way for a case of ghost-napping with our ridiculous and inexperienced private investigator/mediator John Smith in this comedic urban fantasy Ghost of a Chance by Chris Tullbane. This is the third book in The Many Travails of John Smith series. Having only just discovered the existence of the supernatural world, his knowledge on the subject is quite scanty. So, when The White Ladies, a group of ghosts who make up one of the prominent organizations of the Supernatural Powers of San Diego, contact him to find their missing leader, Graciela, he is more than perplexed. The concept of a ghost going missing is bizarre in itself; finding one is almost ridiculous. Still, beggars can't be choosers, and the fact that he owes his own house-ghost a favor for saving his life ultimately makes him accept the job. In addition to this quest, he has other problems to focus on: a Vampire Queen (Lucia) who considers John is her thrall and, despite his protests, doesn't let him forget that, and his hopes for a romantic endeavor with Ana, a centuries-old Vampire. The more the search for Graciela deepens, the more supernatural creatures, including zombies, werewolves (and other types of weres), demigods, witches, John Smith comes across.

Ghost of a Chance is a hysterical journey into a supernatural political drama. The level of supernatural politics is complex, and our protagonist, Mr. Smith, is only equipped with his sense of humor. Even when he tries to present a competent front, his clients, friends, acquaintances -- and, even total strangers for that matter -- crash his efforts by throwing his past failures, sense of style, lack of money, and even his overall appearance in his face. If you are reading Ghost of a Chance in public, beware! The hilarious dialogues, ridiculous situations, and absolutely genius and funny comebacks will make you giggle. In fact, these can make you break into a burst of laughter. Chris Tullbane has found the perfect antidote for the gloomy Covid-19 atmosphere. He is a clever storyteller. Instead of dedicating the whole book to just one case, he has diversified the story by including several other distractions/projects for John Smith and readers to focus on. Even though Chris has included tidbits of previous books of the series in Ghost of a Chance, reading previous books will help readers better understand certain events and references. The humor in Ghost of a Chance combined with a noteworthy plot, intriguing twists, and well-written action scenes make Ghost of a Chance an absolute delight.

Susan Sewell

In an inexplicable and unprecedented event, powerful ghosts vanish, and San Diego's newest mediator for the supernatural community is called in to find them in the sensational urban fantasy, Ghost of a Chance: A Comedic Urban Fantasy (The Many Travails of John Smith: Book 3) by Chris Tullbane. John Smith is a private investigator with a unique gift; he can withstand the illusions and thrall of supernatural beings, including vampires. Because of his extraordinary ability, John replaced the city's former supernatural mediator. Recently the ghostly leader of the White Ladies disappears, and the White Ladies hire him to investigate her disappearance and find her. The prospect of anyone not only capturing but also holding an ethereal being captive stumps John. Genuinely confounded when two more of the White Ladies vanish, John solicits help from a bizarre source. In the meantime, witches seeking to establish democracy for the city's supernatural citizens enlist John's mediating services to propose the plan to Lucia, the regnant Vampire, with the promise to rid John of her thrall. Everyone knows Lucia is an autocratic ruler, and the chances that she will give up her reign are as slim as a snowball in Hell. So what is really behind the witches' request? Could it possibly be linked to the missing spirits?

Ghost of a Chance by Chris Tullbane is a fun and exciting fantasy novel. Filled with action-packed scenes colored with humor, blood, and guts, the reader goes on a captivating roller coaster ride of thrills and chills, with a side of laughter. John's self-deprecating manner and inept and clumsy ways create a relatable and winning character. This book is the third in the series, and I am fascinated with how John's character is developing in response to his new and unusual circumstances. Although this story is part of a series, bits of the original stories are included in the plot, making it easy to follow the details and motivations of all of the main characters. It is an extraordinary story, and fans of urban fantasies will not want to miss this series!

Rabia Tanveer

Ghost of a Chance: A Comedic Urban Fantasy is the third book in The Many Travails of John Smith series by Chris Tullbane. Life is not easy for a mediator for supernatural beings, and John Smith knew that. The part-time private investigator has seen what happens when the supernatural entities are angry or generally not happy. John Smith is gearing up for the biggest task of his career. Graciela, the leader of the White Ladies, has gone missing, and the remaining Ladies have hired John to find their missing leader before it is too late. However, how is John going to find a ghost that perhaps does not want to be found? Who in their right mind would want to kidnap a ghost? Can John find Graciela before it is too late?

I was not expecting Ghost of a Chance by Chris Tullbane to be this humorous and entertaining. Usually, when authors mix humor with the supernatural, it is more silly than funny. Not this one, though! John is a fantastic character. He is witty, charming, funny, and incredibly thrifty. He knows when he is in trouble and how he needs to get out of it. The actual plot is incredible. The White Ladies and the group they have created for themselves is very intricately balanced. I love the flow of the story and how the plot glides. The mystery behind Graciela’s disappearance and the nifty ways John has to use to find her are amazing. As mentioned, the humor is off-the-charts good, and John’s character is the highlight of the story for me. I loved the action, the sense of urgency, and John’s reactions the most.