Title: Ghost Planet
Author: Sharon Lynn Fisher
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Description/Synopsis: 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.
WARNING - SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT - REVIEW BELOW
This book was FANTASTIC. Right away, the rich world-building pulled me into the story. The concept of a planet that spawned ghosts of loved ones as a mechanism of survival was such a fresh idea, and it hooked me from the start. Then, the author threw me a loop, and I discovered the main character was actually one of the ghosts - only she didn't know she was dead.... it was absolutely fascinating and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
The characters in this book were well-defined and full of depth. For once I didn't have a problem keeping track of the myriad of characters and their names. Their personalities and actions were so distinct. The dialog was invisible - just as any well-written dialogue should be. I didn't feel as if I were reading something someone had constructed--but was simply watching people have a conversation. The narrative too was well written and faded into my subconscious. I was completely absorbed in the story. In fact, it was only after I found myself missing dinner by about 2 1/2 hours that I realized I'd gotten so absorbed into the story that I'd forgotten everything else. I could not put this down!
I will say that I'd pretty much figured out the ghosts' connection to the planet and the colonists from the very get-go. In fact, I found it somewhat frustrating that it took so long for the characters to clue into the situation - they'd previously seemed so bright and clever, yet somehow missed the obvious. Still, there were lots of surprises left in store.
The plot of this story was so incredibly clever and interesting - I really have to hand it to the author. This was an entirely new concept than anything I've read before, and it was done amazingly well. I was astounded to find that this was a first novel. I will certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for any further works from this author.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys light sci-fi, romance, and adventure. There were a lot of fast-paced action/adventure scenes in this story, a lot of romance (though I don't feel it was the strongest aspect of this particular book), and superb writing as far as science fiction goes. It's definitely going on my keeper shelf.