Ok… so… WOW.
What do you mean that’s not enough???? Oooh.. ok, so you want some details. Fair enough. Here comes the why.
For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you will already know that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only is it a brilliant new concept, but the chemistry between the two main characters is great, and you really get a fabulous idea of the world in which it all takes place. For me, it was one of those books, where, when you have finished, you want to take yourself off to visit the location… sadly, with Ghost Planet I can’t, but I really do want to.
We meet Elizabeth Cole, as she disembarks a transport from Earth, to Ardagh 1 (more commonly known as The Ghost Planet) en route to her new job, at a small counselling centre on the north of the planet. It’s here she meets Grayson Murphy, the lead psychologist at the much larger New Seattle Counselling Centre, and due to a change of circumstances on the planet, Elizabeth’s new boss, as well as someone she is most definitely attracted to!!
Ardagh 1 needs a large contingent of psychology staff, due to the nature of the aliens on the planet and the need to enforce the Ghost Protocol that Mr Murphy has developed in order to stop the people that have moved to the planet from going doolally tap. The natives on the planet, (or rather ghosts) are people that individuals have come across at some point in their lives. It could be someone that they have had a long term connection with, say, their life partner, or even someone that they briefly met many years ago. The thing with these ghosts, is that they follow their special person everywhere… their own personal stalker, that just so happens to look like someone that they used to know…who is now dead. OK, so let me try and explain that a bit better…you move to the planet for a job, and within hours you have your own personal living and breathing shadow, who looks like your dead mother. She has your mother’s memories, and for all intents and purposes is your mother, reincarnated… but she is never far away from you, lives in your house, follows you to work, etc. Not too bad, you say… ok.. now imagine your mother was a homicidal maniac, and you may see one of the problems!
The Ghost Protocol dictates that in order to survive being on Ardagh 1, you should just ignore your ghost. DO NOT talk to them, or interact with them in any way. DO NOT acknowledge their existence, and eventually they will settle down, leave you alone, and just fade into the background. They will still be there, but won’t cause you any problems. Elizabeth thinks she can cope with this… until she discovers that she died on the way to the Ghost Planet, and that she is now a Ghost herself. To add insult to injury, she is not just anyone’s ghost, but Murphy’s ghost. Murphy walks off once he discovers Elizabeth is a ghost, leaving her in the foyer of his work building, and Elizabeth suffers crippling pain, showing her quite clearly, why it is that the ghosts follow their partners everywhere they go.
Elizabeth decides that she is not going to be an average ghost, and sets about figuring out how to separate herself from Murphy, so instead of fading into the background, she figures out that if everyone is going to ignore her, she can pretty much go where Murphy goes, and do as she pleases so long as she is within a certain distance of him. This doesn’t go down too well when she crashes important meetings, and generally refuses to be ignored. Add to that the sexual tension between herself and Murphy and you end up with rather combustive situations.
All this doesn’t look too good for Murphy, who is supposed to be the head man where Ghost Protocol is concerned, and when he can’t control his own ghost, his work colleagues try to step in and help him. Whether he wants their help or not.
Elizabeth is then drawn into a battle between ghosts and humans, trying to survive, and desperate to figure out how she can separate herself from Murphy without killing herself or him.
I find myself having to reign myself in whilst writing this review, as I really could go on for ages about Ghost Planet. I really loved the concept, and truly would love to visit, just to see who would be following me around. The chemistry between Murphy and Elizabeth is smouldering, and whilst there are sex scenes, they are not massively long drawn out affairs. The world building really is wonderful, and you get a real sense of what Armdagh 1 is like, from its civilised bits, to its rougher, more natural, areas.
There are characters in Ghost Planet that you just feel like slapping, others you really feel for, and some that you just want to see what happens next with them. There is one character that leaves a bit of a loose end which I was a little disappointed with… perhaps we will find out if there is a book two…
I hope it comes across clearly how much I enjoyed this book. There were some good twists and turns, and I really didn’t want to tell you that Elizabeth was a ghost, because it really came as a shock to me… but as it is there in the blurb I can’t really avoid it. Some of the storyline was easily predicted but it didn’t detract from the story as a whole.
My recommendation? Go buy the book!
BUY YOUR COPY