Before you read Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher, forget everything you know about ghosts – or think you know. I chose to review this book because I thought it was a combination of two of my favorite genres: Paranormal and sci-fi. I thought it would be a science fiction type of ghost story. It was neither of these things. More like a romance. The only thing marking it as sci-fi is that it takes place on a fictional planet with futuristic technology. The so-called “ghosts” in this story, also called symbionts, are just like people. They feel pain, hunger and desire. They can bleed, eat and have dreams. They have a heartbeat. They even get wet in the rain. They have to open doors to walk into a room just like everybody else and take showers or baths just like everybody else. Granted, these are beings on another planet, but I still found it hard to perceive the character, Elizabeth, as a ghost. She was more like a human being.
That said, there was one thing I liked about this story: The scientific discussions of the bond between symbionts and their hosts. It makes for intellectual reading and, thankfully, Elizabeth has the brains to back up her theories. Aside from this, though, there wasn’t a whole lot of other stuff I liked about this novel. For one thing, the character Murphy starts out all tough, confident and manly, but after he and Elizabeth escape from a clinic, it’s like he has overdosed on estrogen. He turns into a whiny, self-conscious, insecure, clingy and confused shadow of a man. The whole book might as well be dripping with estrogen, because it certainly did not strike me as the way a male character would really act no matter how bad the situation is. There’s a lot of touchy-touchy going on in the story, nuzzling and sex – and that last one is too much of a stretch beyond belief to accept. Humans and ghosts cannot have sexual intercourse the same way humans do with each other. I found it hard to read this novel to the end because it was just too heavy on the romance for my taste. Still, if you like a different take on conventional ghost stories, then by all means check out this book.
Elizabeth Cole takes on a job on the newly-discovered world of Ardagh 1 but tragically dies in transit from Earth. Now not only must Elizabeth adapt as a ghost on this planet, bound to the man, Murphy, who would have been her superior, but she must also come to terms with her growing love for him, the same man who created the Ghost Protocol, a set of guidelines forbidding human interaction with ghosts. The situation escalates after Elizabeth is kidnapped by a medical professional with dangerous plans for the ghosts of Ardagh 1, and now Elizabeth and Murphy must survive in order to save their world and their love.
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.