Tag Archives: Ghost Planet

Sweet Insect Love: THE OPHELIA PROPHECY by Sharon Lynn Fisher

The Ophelia Prophecy 3D

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Genre: Adult Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: April 1 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Pages: 336

four and a half

The nitty-gritty: An imaginative future, a sizzling romance, and a complex plot full of constantly shifting alliances.

A buzzing cry ripped through the air just above her, and something grazed the top of her head. She yelped and Pax fired a shot. Glancing up, she saw a dark insect the size of a man dropping toward her—gleaming black torso like armor and eyes like gold pearls, oblong and soulless. Huge mandibles clicked with menace as a pair of too-human arms extended from the wasp’s midsection, grasping her shoulders and dragging her off her feet.

Last year I inhaled Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet, an exciting science fiction romance with a unique concept, and so I was very excited to dive into The Ophelia Prophecy, another stand-alone novel. Once again, Fisher has written a hard-to-put-down adventure story that seamlessly combines romance with everything I love about science fiction. And her romances tend to be on the, um, unusual side. In Ghost Planet, the romance is between a human and a ghost (sort of—it’s hard to explain). And now in The Ophelia Prophecy, Fisher throws together a human and a creature that has a combination of human and insect DNA. If you’re envisioning bulging eyeballs, wings, and stingers, well, you would be partially correct. Most of the insectoid characters in this novel are more human than insect, but that simply made them easier to relate to, and ultimately easier to imagine them having sex with a human. For you male readers out there who might shy away at the mere mention of the word “romance,” not to worry. There is plenty of political intrigue, attacks by giant mutant wasps, and a healthy dose of betrayals and lies. In other words, something for everyone.

In The Ophelia Prophecy, humans have been all but wiped out. There are only a handful left in a colony called Sanctuary, after a new species called the Manti, a cross between humans and insects, decided to get back at the humans who created them. The Manti developed and let loose a virus that was deadly to humans, and now they are, more or less, in charge. Asha is a pure human living in Sanctuary with her parents, working as an archivist to try to preserve the past. Her father has taught her to stay within the walls of Sanctuary, or the Manti who patrol the skies around the perimeter might capture her and take her away to the Manti city of Granada.

But one day, Asha awakens just outside Sanctuary, with no memory of how she got there. Even worse, a Manti male named Pax is lying beside her, equally confused. Pax immediately kidnaps Asha and takes her on his ship, certain that she is a spy of some sort. Confused and scared, Asha struggles to remember what she was doing outside of Sanctuary, while trying to convince Pax that she is telling the truth. The two grow closer, but they are both in for some surprises when Asha’s memory returns.

One of the things I loved most about this book was that I was never really sure what the characters were going to do. I thought Asha was one kind of person, but then she would surprise me and make a decision that I didn’t see coming. I mentioned before that the characters form alliances with each other, and then they pull the rug out from under you by switching sides. Humans and Manti are enemies, but the Manti allow the humans that have survived the Bio Holocaust to live safely in Sanctuary, as long as they don’t try to leave. So they are basically prisoners, although Asha certainly doesn’t see herself as such, at least in the beginning of the story. But after she is taken away from her home, she begins to understand that her parents have been lying to her about many things, and I loved the way she became a stronger person because of that.

I really liked Pax as well. In typical romance fashion, Pax has an unquenchable desire for Asha as soon as he meets her—he literally wants to mate with her (I’m assuming that’s his insect side at work!). But luckily he holds back and the two get to know each other before they finally allow their libidos to take over. Pax’s sister Iris, who helps pilot the ship, is not fond of Asha at all, and I liked the way her character tried to keep them apart during their journey to Granada.

One of my other favorite characters was Banshee, Pax’s ship—yes, I said ship. Banshee is the AI persona who interfaces with Pax and Iris, and she eventually becomes a trusted friend to Asha. I loved the way the author described the interior walls of the ship as being flexible and even warm, almost as if Banshee were human.

Probably the most interesting part of the book was the world building itself. I love the idea that the world has gone to hell because of DNA experimentation. And I loved the rebel factions that are trying to hide from both the Manti and the humans. Fisher adds plenty of twists and turns to her story, and yes, there is an “Ophelia Prophecy” that is eventually explained. The author keeps the suspense going up until the very end, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen until literally the last few pages. The Ophelia Prophecy was exciting, sexy, and kept me guessing. I don’t know if there’s a sequel planned, but I sure wouldn’t mind diving back into this fascinating world.

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. Be sure to check back here on April 6th, because I’ll be on the blog tour for The Ophelia Prophecy!

You can find The Ophelia Prophecy here:

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Filed under 4 1/2 stars, Reviews

Tammy’s Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2014

Top Ten Tuesday New copy

It’s Tuesday, and time for another awesome Top Ten list! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This is the time of year when book bloggers struggle to choose our favorite books of the year, as well as the books we’re most looking forward to in the new year. I just looked at last year’s Most Anticipated post, and I’m sorry to say that I only managed to read four of the ten books I was looking forward to! I’m not going to let that happen this year, I swear! This list only includes books that already have a book cover, because I don’t like to talk about books that don’t. I personally need the visual, and I’m sure many of you do to. So here is my list of Most Anticipated Books of 2014, in order of release date (clicking on the book image will take you to Goodreads):

pass_9780385743877_jkt_all_r3.indd1. Acid by Emma Pass. Release date: March 11 2014. This is one of those books that came out in the UK first, and I was confused by the U.S. release date. But now that we have a firm date, I’m very happy. I’ve been following Emma’s blog since I heard about the UK release, and I feel like I know her!

Under-Nameless-Stars-small2. Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett #2) by Christian Schoon. Release date: April 1 2014. I loved Zenn Scarlett, particularly the unique and imaginative world that Schoon created. I look forward to more of Zenn’s adventures.

The Ophelia Prophecy

3. The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Release date: April 1 2014.  Ah, science fiction romance! What a fun genre, and Sharon Lynn Fisher does it really well. I loved Ghost Planet, and I can’t wait to read more SLF!

High and Dry

4. High & Dry by Sarah Skilton. Release date: April 15 2014.  Here’s another second book by a 2013 debut author. Sarah’s Bruised was a powerful young adult contemporary, and her second book looks very different, but just as good.

Morningside Fall

5. Morningside Fall (Legends of the Duskwalker #2) by Jay Posey. Release date: April 29 2014.  Oh boy. The first book in this series, Three, blew me away. In fact, it won one of my top *awards* here on the blog, my Crystal Chandelier Award of Awesome. I’m unbelievably excited about this book, but also worried because of *something that happens at the end but I can’t say because it’s a spoiler*


6. Hexed by Michelle Krys. Release date: June 10 2014. This already has some stellar reviews on Goodreads. That alone makes me want to read it, but it’s also about witches, a subject I can’t get enough of.

The Murder Complex

7. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings. Release date: June 10 2014. Don’t you love this cover? It just screams “murder,” doesn’t it?? This is a futuristic YA, “for fans of La Femme Nikita.”

Rebel Nation

8. Rebel Nation (Viral Nation #2) by Shaunta Grimes. Release date: July 1 2014. I just featured this on a Waiting on Wednesday, and it’s definitely up there in the top ten!

Full Fathom Five

9. Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence #3) by Max Gladstone. Release date: July 15 2014. I almost fell over when I saw this cover this past week! I mean, I just read Two Serpents Rise, and the publisher already has a cover for the next book! Max is one of my favorite writers, and I can’t wait for this one. Plus, I’m dying to know who those people on the cover are. Goodreads doesn’t have a description for this yet, so I guess I’ll just have to wait.


10. Armada by Ernest Cline. Release date: October 7 2014. This might be the book I’m most excited about on this list. Ready Player One is still one of my all-time faves, and I’m curious to see what Cline does next.

Are any of these on your top ten list? Let me know!


Filed under Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Waiting on Wednesday (75) THE OPHELIA PROPHECY by Sharon Lynn Fisher

Waiting on Wednesday copy

It’s Wednesday AGAIN. Didn’t it seem like we just had Wednesday? I swear, time is going so fast for me now, I wish I could slow things down. Anyhoo, Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week a cover was revealed for a book I’ve had on my TBR list for a while, and I’m super excited about it:

The Ophelia Prophecy

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Release date: April 1 2014 (Tor Books). I adored Sharon’s Ghost Planet, and I’m so excited about this book. It sounds pretty amazing:

Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters — the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.

Some of us intend to do more than survive.

Asha and Pax — strangers and enemies — find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource — information — viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other’s secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.


Sharon’s unique blend of romance and science fiction make her books irresistible…and I’ll bet The Ophelia Prophecy is no exception. Are you adding this to your TBR pile? Let me know in the comments what you’re waiting on, and link me to your posts!


Filed under Waiting on Wednesday

Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Book Club Reviews GHOST PLANET by Sharon Lynn Fisher

Ghost Planet biggerThe name may be funny (does it actually say vaginal up there??) but that’s to be expected. After all, Felicia Day, Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum, heroine of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and creator of The Guild isn’t known for being serious. Now she’s joined some friends and started an online book club. Each month they choose a romance novel to discuss, and their April pick is Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher, a book I adored! Read below for more information on how to join in the (sure to be) lively discussion:


Mark your calendars, sci-fi romance fans! Sharon Lynn Fisher’s GHOST PLANET (Tor) is the April 2013 selection for Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Hangout book club.

Actress-producer-writer Felicia Day is a true geek and a reader of science fiction romance. In addition to her many credits, she runs the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout, a lively, entertaining, and no-holds-barred online book club. Members include Veronica Belmont, Kiala Kazebee and Bonnie Burton. The VFH team is sassy, outspoken, and passionate about books.

The GHOST PLANET video discussion will go live on April 30 at 8 PM PST.

Watch the video and join other VFH viewers at the GHOST PLANET Goodreads discussion thread.

Want to know more? Visit the main Vaginal Fantasy Hangout Goodreads page. You can access all of the Vaginal Fantasy videos here, including ones featuring science fiction romances by authors Linnea Sinclair, Nalini Singh, J.D. Robb, and Meljean Brook.


Filed under Book Event

Link Salad (1)

Link Salad button copyWelcome to Link Salad! I know lots of bloggers do roundup posts with links to interesting internet content, and I’ve been coming across so much relevant information lately, that I wanted to start my own roundup of sorts. I’m not sure how often Link Salad will appear, but I’m hoping to make this a weekly feature. Here are some of the fun bookish things I found around the web this past week:

fifty-shades-of-grey-hardcover_510x329Fifty Shades of Grey is a book that just won’t go away. It’s still in the news, and now, after achieving bestsellerdom in paper and digital formats, it’s finally going to be published in, ahem, hardcover. Here’s the article from EW’s Shelf Life.

The Witch SistersAuthor Alma Katsu has written a new short story set in the world of her The Taker trilogy, and it’s only 99 cents on Amazon. I’ve read and reviewed the first two books in the trilogy, The Taker and The Reckoning, and loved them. Book three, The Descent, won’t be out until 2014, but in the meantime The Witch Sisters will help you bridge the gap until book three arrives! Click here to purchase it now!

Subterranean PressSteven R. Boyett, most fabulous writer of fantasy, horror and speculative fiction, has a free novelette in this month’s Subterranean Press called Hard Silver. He’s calling it “fantasy Western,” which is one of my new favorite genre mash-ups. Boyett’s last novel was Mortality Bridge (reviewed here), but it came out almost a year and a half ago, so I’m happy to see something new from him. You can read it for free here.

Madmans jkt Des1.inddAny aspiring authors out there? Are you trying to find an agent? Then you’ll be interested to hear what newly published author Megan Shepherd’s experience at querying her manuscript was like. Megan’s debut The Madman’s Daughter, a retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau,  had a typically bumpy road to publication, and she gives YA Highway the scoop on how she finally landed an agent. You can read her story here.

Ghost Planet biggerAuthor Sharon Lynn Fisher tells USA Today the top five reasons she loves to blend science fiction and romance, another mash-up genre that I’m loving. Ghost Planet is her sci-fi/romance debut, and I loved it! (You can read my review here.) Check out the USA Today article here.

Shades of EarthBeth Revis, author of the Across the Universe Trilogy, did something unique to promote the last book in the series, Shades of Earth. She and her publisher launched a copy of the book into space. Yes, you read that correctly. You can see the video on EW‘s Shelf Life here.  Is it real? Is it fake? I’m not sure how they did it (if in fact they did), but it sure was a cool idea!

And just because this is so damn funny, I had to throw in this dog video (which has nothing to do with books, but I guarantee it will make you laugh…):

That’s it for this week! Thanks for stopping by:)

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Giveaway Winners!

I am thrilled to announce the winners for my last two giveaways! Thank you everyone for entering, leaving thoughtful comments, tweeting and following, it means the world to me. First up, the winners of Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher:

The following people won a paperback copy of Ghost Planet:

Jolene A.

Leslie M.

Nichole M.

Jolene was extra lucky, because she just happens to live VERY close to Sharon, and Sharon actually contacted her and gave her Ghost Planet in person! How cool is that?

These readers won a signed copy of Passion Blue:

Andrea M.

Leigh Ann H.

And these readers won some *swag* from Passion Blue (bookmarks & postcards)

Ron P.

Karen A.

M.C.V. E.

Special thanks to Tor for the Ghost Planet giveaway, and to Victoria Strauss for the Passion Blue giveaway. Congratulations to everyone, and if you didn’t win this time, stay tuned for more giveaways. Sometime before the end of the month I’ll be giving away a copy of Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini:)


Filed under Giveaways

There’s Still Time to Win a Copy of GHOST PLANET!

Do you love strong world-building,  lovable characters and a story that will keep you reading (and guessing!) until the last page? Then you will love Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. My giveaway ends today, so click here to read my interview with Sharon and enter to win one of THREE paperback copies of Ghost Planet.

I also just found an extremely interesting article that Sharon wrote for Tor about how she took a crazy idea and turned it into a published novel. You can read it here.

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Filed under Author Interviews, Giveaways

GHOST PLANET Interview with Sharon Lynn Fisher & Giveaway!

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher
A Tor Mass Market
ISBN: 978-0-7653-6897-3
On Sale October 30 2012

I’m so excited to welcome Sharon Lynn Fisher to the blog today! Ghost Planet was such a great read (you can read my review here), and Sharon has been kind enough to answer some of my burning questions. I also have an excerpt from Ghost Planet that will make you want to read more. And don’t forget to read all the way to the end for a GIVEAWAY of the book!

Welcome Sharon! I’m thrilled to have you visiting Books, Bones & Buffy. Your idea of an alien ghost that attaches itself to each colonist and appears in the form of a dead loved one is so unique. How did you come up with the idea?

Thanks for having me, Tammy!

I was trying to think of a science fiction story idea for the Writers of the Future Contest. I had mostly written fantasy up to that point, but was having trouble coming up with unique ideas. The first thing that came to me was the title, and I asked myself what would be the story behind a world called GHOST PLANET.

Next came the idea for a first scene: A woman travels to an Earth-like world to work as a scientist, meets a man she’s attracted to, and discovers he’s an alien that’s tethered to her. Finally, the moment that really got me excited about this book: “The heroine should be the sexy alien. Only she doesn’t know it.”

The sci-fi classic SOLARIS has a similar premise (I discussed the connection over on SF Signal), but the two books go in very different directions.

Ghost Planet is a very character-driven story and focuses on different kinds of complex relationships. Did you find that writing in the science fiction genre gave you more freedom to explore unusual relationships?

Yes, that’s an insightful question! It’s what I love about both writing and reading speculative romance – exploring relationship dynamics in extreme or unique settings and situations. It really makes for some great conflict too!

By setting your story on another planet, it seems that you would have more freedom to invent details about Ardagh 1 and that research would take a backseat to the more creative parts of writing like character development. Did you have to do much research for Ghost Planet?

Ha ha, more good insights. It’s one reason I like writing fictional worlds: If you get a detail wrong, no one is going to call you on it because it’s all in your head! However, I did not manage to escape research. Since Ardagh 1 and its indigenous inhabitants are symbiotic, I had to research both symbiogenesis and Gaia theory. I also had to do research to help me fill in details about construction of the colonies.

I think world-building probably involves as much research as using a real location. In my second book for Tor I’m having to do both!

I was thrilled to read a science fiction romance, a genre that I’ll have to admit I have not seen or read a lot of. Do you plan on writing more in this genre, and do you have plans for another installment with Elizabeth and Murphy?

I am fairly new to writing this genre, myself, but am loving it. I like how including science-based elements in any type of story can help you come up with unique twists and angles.

My second book for Tor is a post-apocalyptic biopunk romance, about a man with praying mantis DNA and a human archivist-turned-sleeper-agent who is his prisoner. I do have an idea for a follow-up to GHOST PLANET, and am also thinking of writing a short story set soon after colonization.

I’m dying to see exactly what a “biopunk romance” is! OK, this is a two-part question. What writers do you love to read yourself, and have any of them influenced your own writing? And do you read a lot while you’re working on a manuscript? I know some writers worry about being too heavily influenced by other writers and try to stay away from reading completely while they write.

The bad news is I don’t seem to have much time for reading anymore! What with writing, promo, and being a mom. And yes, I do have to be careful reading while writing. I don’t think I’m influenced so much by story as by voice. If someone has a distinctive style I can find myself channeling it a bit.

As for writers I love, I’m a huge fan of classics, and love the Brontes, Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, and George Eliot to name a few. JANE EYRE is probably my favorite book, and it was also my “gateway” classic novel. I also always mention WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams, and A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle, both of which I read numerous times. WRINKLE was the first sci-fi book I loved. WATERSHIP is hard to explain, but it’s brilliant. I think I probably learned a lot about including mystery and plot twists from Adams.

WATERSHIP DOWN is one of my favorite books, too! I understand you’ve written a novel called ECHO 8. Is it available yet to purchase? Can you tell us a little bit about it?

ECHO 8 was my second RWA Golden Heart finalist manuscript. Here’s the pitch:

The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance as three lives entangle: Jake, a man shifted to an alternate Earth, where he must drain energy from others to survive. Tess, the parapsychologist trying to save him. Ross, the FBI agent torn between duty and his love for Tess.

There are some excerpts and such on my web site. It’s not available for purchase yet. Stay tuned!

I’m sure you’ve probably thought about this question! If you lived on Ardagh 1 and you could choose who your ghost would be, who would you choose?

Love this question! I answered it recently (a bit tongue-in-cheek) for a blog that used it for their giveaway. Jane Austen – I think she could give me good writing and relationship advice, and would keep me laughing. If you want me to stick to the rules and choose someone I personally knew, I’d have to say my Granny, for almost exactly the same reasons.

Thanks Sharon! And now, a teaser from Ghost Planet:

We trotted up half a dozen steps and were passing through the glass doors when Murphy said, “We’ll be scanned by security just inside. I hate them being here, raising people’s anxiety level in a place where we want them to feel safe. But all new arrivals pass through here, and someone decided it was a good idea.”

Thinking about the illicit-substance and weapons scans in all the airports and public buildings back home, I raised my eyebrows. “What’s it for?”

“To get a sort of fingerprint on everyone,” he explained, walking through the doorframe-shaped scanner. “Just to make sure we know who’s who. They can’t do it at the transport terminal because no one has ghosts when they first arrive.”

I followed him through the scanner, and a long beep sounded somewhere off to my left as I joined him inside. Murphy’s head jerked toward the sound. His eyes moved to the glass doors we’d just come through, and slowly back to me. He glanced at the security desk on our right.

“Where is it?” Murphy called to the guard, whose fingers were flying over his keyboard. The guard’s ghost leaned against the wall behind him, little more than a shadow.

The man stopped typing and looked up. “I’m sorry, Dr. Murphy?”

“I heard the alert go off, but I don’t see her. My ghost, Simon,” Murphy added, growing impatient. “Do you see her?”

The guard blinked at him a couple times. Then he cleared his throat. “She’s standing right next to you, Dr. Murphy.”

Find Sharon Lynn Fisher here:

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * IndieBound * BooksAMillion * Powells

And now for a Giveaway! Three winners will receive a paperback copy of Ghost Planet! JUST CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM. Contest goes until November 13th and is open to US & Canadian residents.


Filed under Author Interviews, Blog Tours, Giveaways

What’s On My Plate – November

Happy November everyone! Time flies when you’re reading books…I have another month of great things to read, and of course, not enough time to read them all. I also have a couple of exciting blog tours that I am participating in, as well as a few giveaways.  But first, there’s this little thing I’ve signed up for:

This is the second time I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo, and I have to say so far it’s easier the second time around. So far. However, with all the reading and writing I have to do this month, you really don’t want to come over to my house! Mopping and vacuuming are definitely going to take a back seat…

Here’s what else is on my plate:

For Review:

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. I’ve been trying to get to this for two months now. Sometimes a book just keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the pile, and for some reason, this is one of those books. Never fear! Three Parts Dead is the next book I’m reading, after I finish our October book club book (Yep, book club is also behind. We’re meeting in November to discuss the October book!)

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch. This is also out already, but it’s a NetGalley approval so I’ll read it early in the month.

How Beauty Met The Beast by Jax Garren. Release date: November 19th. Received through NetGalley. As I’ve mentioned over and over, I’m going through a serious Beauty and the Beast phase. Can’t wait to read this!

Guardians of Stone by Anita Clenney. Release date: December 4th. I’m trying to get a jump on this since it releases at the beginning of December. I’m so excited to read another book from Amazon’s Montlake Romance!

Indie Books for Review:

Murder Takes Time by Giacomo Giammatteo. I can barely spell Giacomo’s last name, but I’m really looking forward to reading this murder mystery.

Royal Flush by Scott Bartlett. Scott will be giving away a copy of his book, so keep an eye out for my review and giveaway!

The Collected by Brett Battles. This is the sixth Jonathan Quinn book, and I’m pretty excited to read it.

Blog Tours:

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. Next Tuesday I will have an interview with Sharon, an excerpt from the book, and a giveaway!

Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss. My blog tour stop is November 11th, and I will have an interview with Victoria and a giveaway! (I love giveaways, can you tell?)

I loved both books, and I’m super excited to be part of their blog tours.

I’m not even going to list the books I hope I’ll have time for. But next week Days of Blood & Starlight comes out, a book I’m over-the-moon excited to read, so if I add anything extra, it will be this. I hope you read some great books this month!


Filed under What's On My Plate

GHOST PLANET by Sharon Lynn Fisher – Review

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher.

Genre: Adult Science Fiction Romance

Publisher: Tor Science Fiction

Release date: October 30 2012

Pages: 352

Ghost Planet starts off with a fascinating concept: every person who lives on the planet of Ardagh 1 has an alien attached to them, and the alien is identical to someone in their life who has died. I’ll have to admit it took me a while to wrap my brain around this idea. These creatures are not, in fact, ghosts. Each believes he is the human he represents and is able to do just about anything a human can do: eat, touch, feel pain and emotions, and fall in love. But there are a couple of catches: the ghost will feel extreme pain if he isn’t within a certain distance of his host at all times, as the invisible bond that tethers them together can only stretch so far; and a directive called the Ghost Protocol prohibits ghosts and humans from interacting with each other in any way. With this concept, Fisher has set up a marvelous dilemma for her characters, and the themes she explores are complex and thought-provoking. Oh, and did I mention this is also a romance?

The story begins as psychologist Elizabeth Cole begins a new job on the recently colonized planet of Ardagh 1. Upon arrival she meets her supervisor, the very attractive Irishman Grayson Murphy, the man responsible for the Ghost Protocol that drives the behavior of those on the planet. Elizabeth is instantly attracted to Murphy, but Fisher throws a wrench into the story with a brilliant twist in the first chapter: it turns out that Elizabeth has actually died in a transporter accident on her way to the planet, and she is now Murphy’s ghost. What makes this crazy concept so intriguing is that Elizabeth doesn’t even know she’s dead until some tells her. Murphy is now forced to abide by his own rules and ignore Elizabeth, but she has other ideas.

Accepting her fate is difficult, but rather than wallow in self-pity, Elizabeth sets her scientific mind on the path to solving her problems, the immediate one being that the man who she has developed a fondness for won’t talk to her. She soon meets up with another ghost named Ian and forms a wonderful friendship with him, and together they  delve into Elizabeth’s theories about symbiosis between ghosts and colonists. If Elizabeth’s hunch is correct, the ghosts will be able to separate from their colonists and live free instead of being chained to someone else’s life.

But not everyone wants this to happen, and soon the different factions on Ardagh 1 are battling to gain control of the planet. Elizabeth and Murphy find themselves in danger more than once as they try to figure out the connection between ghosts and humans, discover the secret to separation, and save the planet at the same time.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. A lot happens in this book, and I would hate to ruin any reader’s discovery of the many wonderful elements of Ghost Planet. I absolutely loved Elizabeth and Murphy. Their growing relationship, despite the ghost protocol, was so well done, and Fisher has a splendid talent for dialog. The banter between the two is playful, sweet and sexy, and just as in real life, they go through many up and downs before things work themselves out. Elizabeth is just the kind of heroine I love: strong, curious and extremely intelligent.

The ghosts themselves are such an interesting invention. The only physical difference they have from their human counterparts is their yellow eyes, and it’s the one thing that reminds the colonists that they are in fact dealing with aliens. Ghosts also come back when they die (yes, you read that correctly!). More than one ghost is killed during the story, and is resurrected shortly after with very little memory of its life before. There is much speculation among Elizabeth, Murphy and Ian over how each ghost is chosen to be with a colonist, but they never really come to any firm conclusions. It remains a puzzle to the end. It was the one issue I had with the book that didn’t quite bump it up to a five-star review. Although Fisher hints at the reasons behind the alien/ghost/human relationship, my non-scientific brain wanted a little more explanation.

But this book is filled with so many strange and wondrous ideas that will charm everyone who loves good science fiction. One of my favorite parts is when Elizabeth and Murphy discover that when they ignore the Ghost Protocol and spend time together interacting, plants begin springing up around them, even inside their apartment.

Ghost Planet has everything: romance, action, danger and betrayal, and laced in among the entertaining and fast-moving plot are some puzzling questions about the nature of relationships and how human interaction can possibly save a planet. This is also a cautionary tale about the destruction of our environment and what might happen if we don’t work together. Despite the sometimes grim warnings, by the end of the book I felt something that I wish more books made me feel: hopeful.

Many thanks to the publisher, Tor Science Fiction, for supplying a review copy.

You can purchase Ghost Planet here and visit Sharon Lynn Fisher’s website here.

I’ll be participating in the Blog Tour for Ghost Planet next month, so make sure to stop by and read my interview with Sharon Lynn Fisher and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book!

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