- This article is about the novel. For the series, see here.
First in a series about an adventurous young girl, Rain Cacique, who discovers she has a mystery to solve, a mission to complete and, oh, yes, the ability to see ghosts.
Welcome to the Prospero Keys (or as the locals call them: the Ghost Keys), a beautiful chain of tropical islands on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. Rain Cacique is water-skiing with her two best friends Charlie and Miranda when Rain sees her father waiting for her at the dock. Sebastian Bohique, her maternal grandfather, has passed away. He was the only person who ever made Rain feel special. The only one who believed she could do something important with her life. The only thing she has left to remember him by is the armband he used to wear: two gold snakes intertwined, clasping each other’s tails in their mouths. Only the armband . . . and the gift it brings: Rain can see dead people. Starting with the Dark Man: a ghost determined to reveal the Ghost Keys’ hidden world of mystery and mysticism, intrigue and adventure.
The original idea for this novel harkens back to the mid-nineties, when Greg Weisman was working at DreamWorks Television Animation. Originally created by him, Rain of the Ghosts was developed in conjunction with a team of professionals that included John Skeel, Lydia Marano and Jon Weisman. They sold the project to Nickelodeon and Weisman wrote an hour pilot. However, the deal fell through and the project was put on hold. In 1998, Weisman enacted a version of the pilot as part of the first Gathering Players' Radio Play, during the second "Gathering of the Gargoyles".
Weisman eventually acquired the publishing rights for the project from DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, and wrote a novel. He attempted to sell it, but his efforts didn't come to fruition.
Over a decade later, when Weisman had finished his work on Young Justice, he decided to revisit his novel and did a rewrite. He sent it out again to his managers and to an acquaintance editor at St. Martin's Press. Three weeks later, the publisher bought the novel, as well as the second book in the nine-book series.
"Greg Weisman really 'gets' the deep-seated emotional angst of teenagers, and he's an expert at creating complex stories filled with intrigue, mystery, drama, fantasy, adventure, you name it - always with just enough comedy peppered throughout. From his work on DC's cartoon 'Young Justice' to his first novel, 'Rain of the Ghosts,' he hits it out of the park every time!"
"I read and thoroughly enjoyed Rain of the Ghosts last night cover to cover (if there is such a thing on the IPad). Rain is a wonderful, empowering heroine... funny, impulsive, and yet sensitive. The generational bond between 'Bastian and Rain is particularly endearing. Magical realism for all ages! ... The writing style is clear, textured and moves with alacrity and never feels like it panders to kids... beautiful and clever...the soundtrack in Rain's mind adds a filmic layer to an already visual story. I look forward to ... many returns to The Ghosts!"
San Próspero, a tourist town, is crawling with tourists. Two thirteen-year old natives, Rain Cacique and her best friend, Charlie Dauphin, ride their "bikes" (borrowed from Charlie's mother without permission) through town. Fully engaged in playing a game of "Attack of the Killer Tourists" which consists of avoiding getting "shot at" by cameras, the pair did not notice that the omniscient narrator is observing them.
Rain takes a wrong turn and are eventually cornered by a pair of tourists: Bernie Cohen and his wife Maude. Although Bernie tries his best to take a picture of them for "local color", they are too fast and manage to bike the opposite way into the misty night before he can click the shutter.
Rain and Charlie continue biking, but since there were too many tourists to evade, they decide to head towards a safe haven. Upon reaching the edge of the town adjacent to the San Próspero jungle, the pair confidently enter the jungle. They head towards the N.T.Z., short for "No Tourist Zone", which is a thirty-foot diameter clearing at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. The marker for the zone is a purloined pedestrian crossing sign, with "N.T.Z." scrawled across it.
Upon reaching the "finish line" at the N.T.Z., Rain hugs Charlie in joy (much to his delight). They are interrupted when a stranger their own age shyly makes her presence known. Rain and Charlie are mortified at the prospect of having led a tourist into the no-tourist zone—a crime that would result in their expulsion from their peer group. The new arrival introduces herself as Miranda, and tries to reassure Rain and Charlie that she was a native of San Próspero, and not a tourist.
Her initial attempt to soothe their fears was not successful—she mistakenly refers to the island chain as the Próspero Keys, when a native would call them the Ghost Keys. She realizes her mistake, and explains that she got used to the tourist term because she was sent to boarding school. Charlie softens towards the "cute" girl, but Rain remains unconvinced. In an attempt to build rapport, Miranda offers to take both of them waterskiing in her father's boat the next day.
Rain and Charlie walk back towards Charlie's home, both discussing Rain's decision to accept Miranda's invitation after interrogating her. She defended her actions, claiming to be a shallow teenager. After chatting about "renting" mopeds the next time and needing to have fun before school starts, the pair separate.
As she is walking home, Rain gets an impression that someone big was following her. Braving the rain, the scared girl runs home; still, the footsteps followed. Finally cornered, she confronts her pursuer, who turns out to be a six-foot tall Australian man. He claims that he wasn't pursuing her—it was raining, and he wanted to reach the Nitaino Inn—Rain's home—before he gets drenched. Chastened, Rain invites him inside, and her mother checks him in. He puts in only one word: Callahan.
Rain heads for the kitchen, and is pleased to meet her grandfather, Sebastian Bohique. She joins him in eating breakfast cereal, but was interrupted by her father, Alonso. Alonso informs her that he needs her help to operate their charter boat the next day. Rain desperately wants to keep her appointment with Miranda, but Alonso remains firm. Sebastian then volunteers to cover for her, claiming that she needed some slack because school starts soon. Alonso accepts, and tells her to thank her grandfather.
After Alonso leaves the room, Rain thanks her grandfather. Bastian senses she is still unhappy, and asks why. Rain explains that her life is over—summer is over, and she is trapped on the island, fated to spend the rest of her life serving tourists around the Prospero Keys. Sebastian comforts her by saying that she is an adventurer who is destined for greatness. Sebastian's grandmother used to tell him that in order "to unlock the door, you need two things: a key and someone who knows how to turn it." And Rain strikes him as someone who can turn a key.
As if he finally reached a decision, Sebastian removes the gold band, which consists of two intertwined golden snakes clasping each other's tails in their mouths, from his right wrist and gives it to Rain. She is reluctant, since the band is an heirloom and was in the family for 400 years. Sebastian insists on giving it to her regardless, and placees it around her biceps. Unbeknownst to the two, the eyes of one snake flashes blue, and the other snake flashes gold, as did Rain's own eyes. Neither Sebastian nor Rain notice this; both of them suddenly feel tired, and Rain almost falls from her chair.
Having passed on the relic, Sebastian and Rain both head off to bed. In her room, Rain carefully removes the band from her arm, and places it on the nightstand. She turns off the light, and falls asleep. Meanwhile, outside the Nitaino Inn, Maq and the narrator stood in vigil through the night.
Outside the Nitaino Inn, the narrator, who was dubbed "Opie", waits with his friend Maq. Opie claims to be omniscient about present events, while his Maq is clairvoyant about future events. They are specifically there to witness Rain's "awakening".
Back inside the Inn, Rain is asleep. She shifts into REM sleep just before sunrise, and dreams that tourists are chasing her on the street. Her family call out to her, and she sees her gold armband on the ground just out of reach. And worse, Callahan is chasing her towards it.
When she finally grabs it, the snake comes to life, grows, and envelopes her in darkness. Suddenly, a woman pulls her to safety, and Rain finds herself in a big wintry city. The woman tells Rain to leave behind her home, and explore the world.
Rain explores the city, and finds Charlie waiting for her. The dream turns surreal, with the snow melting away and the city drenched in bright hues. Then Rain awakes.
There is a man in her room, with black hair and broad shoulders, looming over her bed. She forces herself to identify himself, but the dawn breaks. The ghost disappears, and Rain eventually concludes that it was part of the dream.
Going downstairs, she checks the guest register to discover the identity of the woman in her dream. It was Judith Vendaval, from New York City. Rain finishes her chores, and heads off to the docks to meet with Charlie and Miranda.
Miranda invites the pair towards a speedboat, whose pilot is a she introduces as Ariel. Ariel undocks from the harbor, and heads off into the ocean. Upon reaching the Florida Straits, the teens prepare for their waterskiing.
Rain goes first, while Charlie and Miranda make small talk. Charlie excitedly discusses Rain's stunts, but she abruptly wipes out after a slip. The teens take turns waterskiing, and Rain notes that Ariel remained silent throughout the fun.
They head back, and Rain softens towards Miranda. They chat in Spanish at Charlie's expense (he doesn't understand it), and Rain invites Charlie to the End of Summer Party at the N. T. Z.
After Miranda accepts, Alonso interrupts the conversation. He whispers something to Rain, and she breaks down in tears.
Alonso drives Rain home back to the inn, subdued at the turn of events. Rain bolts straight towards her room, and sees Callahan standing with his hand on the knob of her bedroom door. He mutters an apology, and tells her he is sorry about her grandfather. Rain enters her room, and finally bursts into tears—her grandfather Sebastian had died the night before, and she feels alone and trapped. Her mother goes in to comfort her, and hugs for her daughter until sunset. They finally let go, and Iris leaves the room, closing the door behind her.
Suddenly, a ghostly form materializes inside the room, and takes the form of the Dark Man from her dream. He takes a step forward and reaches a hand out to Rain. Realizing that she was not dreaming, Rain lets out a scream. The Dark Man di that draws her mother, father, and an inquisitive Callahan towards her room. Rain tries to point out the ghost, but her parents don't see it. Alonso politely but firmly invoked family business, and closed the door on Callahan's face. Although the tourist was offended, he decided not to pursue the matter and walked away.
Back in Rain's room, her parents try to calm her down when the ghost vanished through the closed door, appearing to have been yanked right through. In a fit of rage, Rain forces the door open to confront the ghost, but there was nothing in the hallway. Rain is physically and emotionally drained, and her parents prod her to get some rest. She has had a long day.
Meanwhile, Callahan stalks past Ms. Vendaval and steps outside the Inn. He looks back in the direction of Rain's room, and stalks away.
- Chapter 1: "Drums"
- Chapter 2: "The N.T.Z."
- Chapter 3: "Snakes"
- Chapter 4: "The Ghosts"
- Chapter 5: "Sunset"
- Chapter 6: "Fishing"
- Chapter 7: "A Wake"
- Chapter 8: "Grave"
- Chapter 9: "Searcher"
- Chapter 10: "In Black and White"
- Chapter 11: "The Ferryman"
- Chapter 12: "The Storm"
- Chapter 13: "The Last Summer Rain"
- Chapter 14: "'Bastian"
- Chapter 15: "Healer"
- Chapter 16: "The Final Flight of the Island Belle
- Chapter 17: "Rendezvous"
- Chapter 18: "The Cache"
- Chapter 19: "Laissez les Bontemps Rouler..."
The book cover is a composite of the following pictures:
- Vintage Palm Background, by Sundari (Shutterstock)
- Nature Background in Vintage Style, by Sundari (Shutterstock)
- B-17 Bomber, by Truyen Vu (Shutterstock)
- Woman Standing on High Rock, by Terri Bidgood (Trevillion Images)
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Weisman, Greg (2013-05-13). Question #18582. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- ↑ Rain of the Ghosts. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013-02-12). Rain of the Ghosts. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013-04-15). RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, BOOK ONE UPDATE: NICE THINGS FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE SAID #1. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013-04-16). RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, BOOK ONE UPDATE: NICE THINGS FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE SAID #2. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013-04-17). RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, BOOK ONE UPDATE: NICE THINGS FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE SAID #3. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013-04-18). RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, BOOK ONE UPDATE: NICE THINGS FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE SAID #4. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013-04-19). RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, BOOK ONE UPDATE: NICE THINGS FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE SAID #5. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013-04-19). RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, BOOK ONE UPDATE: NICE THINGS FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE SAID #6. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013). Drums. In Rain of the Ghosts (pp. 1-5). New York City: St. Martin's Press.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013). The N.T.Z.. In Rain of the Ghosts (pp. 7-15). New York City: St. Martin's Press.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013). Snakes. In Rain of the Ghosts (pp. 17-33). New York City: St. Martin's Press.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013). The Ghosts. In Rain of the Ghosts (pp. 35-49). New York City: St. Martin's Press.
- ↑ Weisman, Greg (2013). Sunset. In Rain of the Ghosts (pp. 51-58). New York City: St. Martin's Press.