For the thirtieth book in the challenge, I read <a href=”http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13538863-ghost-planet” target=”new”> Ghost Planet</a> by Sharon Lynn Fisher. This was a Vaginal Fantasy book group book. I gave it four out of five stars, largely for the world-building and the fact that I was very interested in finding out what happened. I was a little iffy about the second half of the book, to be honest.
Elizabeth Cole is a psychologist, an intelligent young woman with a life she might possibly be escaping from, and a new job on a newly terraformed alien world that has some….quirks. Every person who arrives on the planet is soon shadowed by the ghost of a deceased relative or friend, and nobody knows why. The need for psychologists and psychiatrists on this new colony is high, as one might imagine, as is the development and adherence to the Ghost Protocol, a technique of pretending those ghosts don’t exist. Elizabeth is surprised to learn that her new supervisor, Murphy, the inventor of the protocol, is actually someone she met years ago on a trip to Ireland.
She is even more surprised to learn that she perished in a transport accident on her way to the planet, and that she isn’t just a ghost mindlessly following Murphy around, but symbiotically linked to him. While other “ghosts” stare blankly and don’t respond to stimuli, shuffling after their counterparts like tattered zombies, Elizabeth tries desperately to discover what she is now and why she feels so…perfectly normal and not ghost-like at all.
It’s a romantic sci-fi novel, so there is the early attraction and other typically romance-genre elements, but the world itself is an interesting puzzle. Given that the main character is a psychologist, I guess I expected she might try to analyze the people around her a bit more, rather than accept what they say at face value. Maybe that would really screw with the plot, or make the main character harder to relate to by a layperson, but it sounds interesting to me. The first half was mainly about figuring out what the heck is going on, the middle bit is waiting for something to happen, and the second half is ostensibly about other things, but felt to me to be mostly about the relationship. I would have liked to see more about the world, and exploration, but I suppose that will have to wait for a second book. If there’s going to BE a second book.