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The Ghost Train to New Orleans

(The Shambling Guides #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,575 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Could you find a museum for a monster?
Or a jazz bar for a jabberwock?

Zoe Norris writes travel guides for the undead. And she's good at it too—her new-found ability to talk to cities seems to help. After the success of The Sbambling Guide to New York City, Zoe and her team are sent to New Orleans to write the sequel.

Work isn't all that brings Zoe to the Big Easy. The only p
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,575 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of October Daye
I had almost reached the halfway mark before I stopped in disgust. Although tempted to toss my reading material to the floor, my ingrained love for books is too strong, so I settled for setting it down firmly on the side table and taking a deep breath. What set me off was a scene where Zoe, the lead character, picks a confrontation with one of her closest friends, following the (female) UF trope of: 1) getting in a fight with supernatural beings because they "eat people" when the character alrea ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How would you like to attend a masked Carnival ball hosted by a shady dude called “The One Who Kills and Is Thanked For It” when you’ve packed only grubby clothes and you’re flanked by two omni-gorgeous goddesses? Zoë isn’t crazy about it, but it’s all part of her job editing travel guides for the undead and immortal. It’s a job she’s very good at and while, yes, it can be a little nerve-wracking overseeing writers who’d love to eat her brains, smite her dead, or drink her blood, times are tough ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing Fantasy Romp through Non-Human New Orleans

I actually enjoyed this more than the first book in the Shambling Guide series, "The Shambling Guide to New York City".

In part, I don't think the first book captured New York City (where I live) that well.

It was fun to journey to New Orleans with Zoe and her crew.

I also found this book funnier than the first one.

The basic premise is similar. Zoe Norris is the human editor for a publisher of travel guides for "coterie" (the polite term for non-hum
Oda Renate
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
" Hi, This is the UBP. How May we help you?"
"Hi. Just to be sure, this is the Universal Book Police, that UBP?"
" Yes thats us. Do you have a book problem?"
"Yes I DO! I need to report a crime of the highest order! The shambling guide series by Mur Latterty while the author has many ideas ready in her head, readers ALL OVER THE WORLD must have been brainwashed not to read the first two in the series, cause according to the author only those two will be published, the others she had planned only MI
Dany Burns
I thought this was an enjoyable read. Definitely not super difficult to read or understand. I think if you read the first one and liked it you will also enjoy this book. A lot of the main action is saved for the very end of the book much like the first one which I think is something that can be improved but I am looked forward to another sequel if there going to be one. I finished this book in 4 days so this is not a long read but this is a nice light read if you want to take a break and read so ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, vampires
The Ghost Train to New Orleans picks up where The Shambling Guide to New York City left off, taking Zoe and her team (some of them new, some familiar) to New Orleans, and deepening the plot concerning Zoe’s abilities. It’s a little tropey — Zoe is an orphan, and the reason that her ability is rare is due to a purge in the coterie community where, for some reason, they felt a bit cross about people like her using their abilities to kill people. Zoe continues to be rather put off by some of the co ...more
Alex Ristea
The biggest thing going for this novel is the sort of modern humour that only an urban fantasy novel can do. Geeky references and jokes galore!

The subtle touches that we've come to love from The Shambling Guide to New York City are still there, and make this short book a pleasure to read.

However, I have to say that the novelty of the premise wore off. The first book was so excited because of the idea of writing a travel guide for monsters, but it lost some steam in this sequel.

Also, it felt like
I'd read a few of Mur Lafferty's early shorter stories, in her Afterlife series, where she juxtaposes fantasy stories with everyday, normal joe, characters. Fast forward eight years later and Lafferty's The Ghost Train to New Orleans is the second novel in her Shambling Guides series. A more traditional urban fantasy series, we follow normal everyday Zoë as she leads her assorted band of undead misfits to New Orleans to write the second travel guide for supernatural beings: gods, vampires, zombi ...more
Jeff Raymond
Probably closer to a 2.5.

I really enjoyed The Shambling Guide to New York City, which was a fun, light urban fantasy about a writer who gets involved with publishing travel guides for the supernatural. The second book in the series stays with the conceit but goes more serious than fun in a setting that might have called for more levity.

The good is that we get a broader explanation and exposition regarding Zoe's powers in this one, but we trade it off with what ultimately feels like more meanderi
Zoe, the editor of a series of travel guides for supernatural beings travels to New Orleans with her team to write the definitive book on the city for the undead, gods, goddesses and zombies. But trouble seems to follow Zoe and it isn't long before she finds herself the target of a vengeful god, while another god of unspecified powers has taken an interest in her and wants her help.

These books are a quite a hoot. The actual story isn't all that interesting. I've seen everything in this book man
Hisham El-far
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nice follow-up to the first book, hopefully we'll get to read many more editions of The Shambling Guide!
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the first installment in this new urban fantasy series though perhaps calling it an urban fantasy (though that’s what it really is) series is wrong because it conjures up images of strong, ass kicking heroines who more often than not wear leather and have fatally sharp wit that allows for fun dialogue and riposte. Mur Lafferty’s series brings a new type of heroine to the fore, one who is an editor though she doesn’t seem to do too much of her job as more often than not she is ri ...more
Ghose Train to New Orleans es, como el anterior libro de la serie, fantasía urbana con sentido del humor, personajes llenos de vida y Zoe Norris (estrella de la serie) encargada de escribir una nueva guía turística: Nueva Orleans. Por supuesto esto no ocurre sin que Zoe quede enredada en conspiraciones y otras situaciones peligrosas. El encanto del mundo creado por Mur Lafferty es una gran olla de fantasía con aromas y sabores palpables. La escritora otorga a su personaje principal una espina re ...more
Zoe is a human (mostly) editor of travel books for coterie which are the non-human like vampires, dragons, demons, gods and goddesses etc. For a mostly human woman working with staff who would consider her a meal she does a good job even without a plan. She is best in a crisis.
She and her team have taken the Ghost Train to New Orleans to write their second travel book (the first was about New York). Trouble is immediate, but that is OK because as the god of disease has told Zoe, she is unusual.
Samuel Lubell
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This felt a bit more serious than the first book. Zoe and her team of writers, now including a death god, go to New Orleans to write a travel guide for supernatural beings. Her boyfriend comes too, hoping to replenish magical supplies that stop him from turning into a zombie. There is lots more about Zoe being a citytalker and at times the background seems to overwhelm the plot, which seems to go from one incident to the next. Still, a quick fun read. Excellent urban fantasy.
Ben Nathan
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great second book. I really want the third one to be out already, but sadly, I'll have to wait. Perfect continuation, as the world and the main character evolved notably. Also, they brought on a character I really enjoy. The changing of characters is going to be something this series does a fair amount of, I think, and that's a good thing. I'm a huge fan and can't recommend it highly enough.
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed the second book as much as the first. It progressed nicely off the Shambling Guide to New York City. I like that the different books will be looking at different cities, and I liked that this one had a distinct New Orleans flavor of plot to match the location.
A really fun read. The idea of citytalkers is genius!
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Big spoiler alert! This book is the sequel to The Shambling Guide to New York City, and the tremendous revelation at the climax of the first book forms the core of this one, so even the blurbs for this one, let alone the reviews, spoil the main surprise of the first book. This book also tells who dies at the end of the first book and spoils another revelation.. I gave The Shambling Guide five stars at, so if you haven't already read it, do so now, then co ...more
AudioBook Review:
Stars: Overall 2 Narration 1 Story 2

The second in the series, I do think that, despite the info-dumping and frequent attempts to provide some backstory and history of the past events, it is best to have the experience of the first book. The concept is super clever: the protagonist Zoe is a human book editor, working for a Vampire Publisher that creates travel guides for paranormal beings, making sure that their own special needs and requirements are attended to. Now, Zoe is st
Alice-ginevra Micheli
I really enjoyed this sequel! Lots of fun, adventure and added lore made this a thoroughly entertaining read. What it did do was make me ravenous for another!
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A decent enough read, but not as good as the first one. Zoe becomes fairly powerful, so that might be the reason that there is no #3.
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
** This review was first posted on Notes of a Book Lover.

First up, I have to confess that I’ve pretty much forgotten everything that happened in The Shambling Guide to New York City, the first book in the series. I’ve forgotten who the characters were and the dynamics between them what they did and what happened to them at the end of The Shambling Guide to New York City. However, Mur Lafferty did a great job in recapping the important information from the previous information without making
Berni Phillips
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like these Shambling Guides. I find them funny and interesting. Too bad Lafferty's editor or publisher didn't agree as there are just the two. The good new is that Lafferty continues to write other stuff, so she's still getting published.

In this novel, Zoe learns more about herself and her power. She's not a plain old human: she's a city talker, and the only person she knows who could train her was killed off in the big battle in book 1. Sigh.

The new book is to be a Shambling Guide to N
Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)
Check out even more book reviews on my blog at:

I had originally meant to start the Ghost Train To New Orleans when it was initially released but it ended up falling on the back-burner of my TBR. Because of that I was a little rusty about the knowledge of characters and events of the previous novel, but once I picked up the book everything came back to me.

The second book starts off with Zoe reeling from the loss of friends from the battle in New York. Thou
Jun 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Review from Backchatting Books

Our intrepid human travel guide Zoe quickly discovers there is something rotten in the state of New Orleans. Zoe and her band of coterie get drawn into another mess involving zealots, zoetists and zombies. In order to stay alive, Zoe must get to know the spirit of New Orleans and try not to avoid all the good advice coterie give her.

I had hoped that Zoe would hone her skills and develop more as a character and was partially rewarded. Zoe finds out more about her cit
David Harris
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mur Lafferty has followed up The Shambling Guide to New York City with a book that is, of anything, even better. Zoë is now off the New Orleans with her team, to research the second in the series of travel guides for monsters (or ("coterie") as they prefer to be described. Where can a visiting zombie be assured of decent brains? Where does a vampire sleep? And what are the dos and don'ts for the visiting minor god or goddess? All vital information, needing practical experience, so she's supporte ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Zoe is an editor of the Shambling travel guide series. However, this is not your Eyewitness or Berlitz guide, the Shambling guide have a particular clientele, no not backpackers but the coterie. These are the vampires, goddesses, the sprites and the succubi, the dragons and need I say more.

On her second outing as editor in chief, she and her team visit New Orleans, travelling on the ghost train (how else), and on the way she finds herself sharing a carriage with thralls and zoetists and in dang
David Schwan
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not as funny as the first book but still very entertaining. Phil (the publisher) hot off the success of the New York travel guide sends his team of writers to New Orleans. They travel via a "Ghost Train" and right from the beginning Zoe finds herself in the middle of trouble. Zoe learns a lot about Citytalkers and by the end of the book is on quite equal terms with her coterie writers who view her as a valuable member of the team (and not food).
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still finding its legs as a series, but definitely improving. Seeing New Orleans from the supernatural side was fun. I hope she sneaks in a Boston book.
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Mur Lafferty is the author of Solo: A Star Wars Story and the Hugo and Nebula nominated novel Six Wakes, The Shambling Guides series, and several self pubbed novels and novellas, including the award winning Afterlife series. She is the host of the Hugo-winning podcast Ditch Diggers, and the long-running I Should Be Writing. She is the recipient of the John Campbell Award for best new writer, the M ...more

Other books in the series

The Shambling Guides (2 books)
  • The Shambling Guide to New York City (The Shambling Guides, #1)