Let me be clear here: I’m one of the few people who is genuinely excited for the new Ghostbusters movie and I’m looking forward to getting some of the merchandise (hopefully the action figures will be available in Canada soon), which is why I picked up the Ghostbusters Handbook. This is a book written for young teens, but as a fan of the franchise (and wanting to check out some of the details from the movie before its release) I decided to buy it. BE AWARE: this book contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the new movie and while I won’t reveal them here, you should be warned about that before you read the book if (like me) you haven’t seen the movie yet.
The book sells itself as being a handy-dandy guide to being a Ghostbuster and by all accounts it succeeds. You get details of the seven different classifications of ghosts, profiles on the founding members of the new Ghostbusters and a very brief breakdown of some of the Ghostbusters equipment (proton packs, traps, PKE meter, etc.). However, there is a little bit of silliness included such as the five steps to mastering a high-five and “hand written” notes on some pages which are mostly done for a laugh.
The problem here is that the book should really be read after you’ve watched the movie as it gives away key plot developments while describing the history of the new Ghostbusters team and the various ghosts they’ve encountered, even going so far as to reveal how they defeat the main villain at the end of the film.
That complaint aside, it is a fun little book, with some cool content like the classifications of ghosts, rating ghostly interactions, new details on the ghosts encountered in the film and photos that (to my knowledge) were not released prior to the book being published. It also illustrates that while there are similarities between the new film and the 1984 original there are some big changes in terms of plot and story, with the new movie being much more epic in scope than I had previously thought.
Also a bonus is the price tag: $6.99 U.S./$8.99 Canadian for 95 pages of “insider” info on the new Ghostbusters movie. Even though this is a book meant for younger readers (think 10-15 year olds) it is really well put together and a quick, fun read for all ages.