Author: Sharon Lynn Fisher
Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: NetGalley
About the book:
Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world—a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she’d struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.
As a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy—creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone—oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love—Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.
But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man that she loves.
What Nima’s talking about:
I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet grabbed me into one of those book trances that leaves you unable to do laundry, sleep, or function in the real world until you finish. When forced to put the book down, you walk around in a book bubble thinking about the plot and how it might twist and turn until you can pick it up again. This is when you decide pancakes are awesome for dinner so you can go back to your comfy spot and slip back into the emotions of the book.
I love science fiction and have never felt that it should exclude romance. Relationships always drive a story whether it’s between warring factions, governments, scientists, or star crossed lovers. Where would Star Wars be without Hans and Leia? Ghost Planet blends them seamlessly and this is a story where neither the science nor the romance takes a backseat to the other. They both hold their own in a way that as they interact, they are each become more. The sum is greater than its parts. The science is also approachable for those of us who didn’t major in molecular biology.
More than anything, this is a book about perspective. Like Gulliver’s Travels everything seems crystal clear—until you have the advantage of seeing the situation from another position. The light from a new angle makes you question what you were sure you knew about these characters. Fisher does this beautifully as she takes your hand and leads you precisely where she wants you to go. And you go.
My insides did experience a little niggle which I identified as echoes of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host. Unquestionably it is a completely different premise, but in many ways, Fisher created what I wanted The Host to be. It’s a tighter read with better action…and sex. We get the intimacy both emotionally and physically. It’s a more complete story.
I have only two real criticisms of this book. This first is that after a gripping first half, the pace slows slightly before picking up again for the climax. Meyer’s book suffered the same flaw, but Fisher doesn’t let it wallow for hundreds of pages. Perhaps the Ghost Planet’s climax is better for it. The second criticism is the title. It’s unfortunate because when I type it into search engines; I get over 1,300 references to other media including music, phantom planets, even the movie “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol.” This book is too unique for such an unremarkable name.
In the end there were some minor unanswered questions for me and I hope very much that Fisher will turn this into a series. I will read them. I will even pre-order them and that’s saying a lot.
Personal favorite – a must read (A+)
Great review, Nima! Five stars will guarantee it goes on my TBR list. I’m a sucker for a book that approaches science intelligently, without the sense of superiority that some sci-fi titles I’ve read fall into. Throw in a good romance and I’m sold on it!