10 September 2014

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher (Audiobook)

Hello internet,

The (Audio)book:

Apologies this was the biggest picture I could get of the audio version!

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.

Reincarnated 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.
My Thoughts:

As soon as I read the blurb of this book I wanted to own it! It just sounded so amazing as I love science-fiction and I love romance so what could be better than a book that promised to be good at both? I loved the blurb so much I didn’t even listen to the sample narration on audible... this may have been a mistake, however, to do justice to the author I’m going to start with all the reason I loved Ghost Planet.

When I listened to this book what grabbed me straight away was the incredible world building, for me Ardagh 1 just came alive due to the Sharon’s incredible descriptions. I was fully invested in the planet war between the ingenious species known as the ghosts and the humans, or colonists, who view Ardagh 1 as a way of saving or perhaps escaping from the polluted Earth. When we are first introduced to the planet the ghosts are being controlled/contained by the colonists through the Ghost Protocol, as explained in the blurb basically forbids interaction between the humans and ghosts, the theory being that interaction with the ghosts can cause harm to the mental wellbeing of their humans. 

Right from the start of the book, however, it is clear that cracks are already forming in this theory and our heroine Elizabeth is not afraid to point them out. Although it takes a while for her to reconcile with her death and re-birth as a ghost, once this has happened her mind is constantly trying to tackle how ghost and humans can live together peacefully without weakening each other. In fact one of the key themes running throughout Ghost Planet is the idea of detachment; a way of allowing ghosts to be fully independent from their humans.

With all the problems between Ghosts and humans Ardagh 1 is a planet with a dark-side. Throughout the book the reader is witness to battles of power between humans and ghosts, humans and humans and even ghosts and ghosts. Various groups on the planet are trying to achieve independence, believing it will help save the planet that is undergoing major climatic changes. None are doing it in the right way. This is where are hero and heroine enter the picture. Both psychologists, both intensely clever, and both extremely attracted to one another. Throughout the book they challenge conventions and pioneer a way to save the planet, unfortunately for them it is not plain sailing.

As you can see I loved the concept of Ghost Planet, I loved the world created by Sharon Lynn Fisher and considering this is her debut novel (I think?!) it was fairly incredible. Although having read, other reviews of this book, I know some people guessed the solution, yet what I loved was listening to Elizabeth and Murphy figure out how to get their and how to convince everyone else to listen to them.

Now comes the slight negative that for knocked this book from a five stars incredible book to only a four star book. It was the romance, I just didn’t believe in it, although Elizabeth and Murphy are highlighted as this amazingly loved up couple that defy boundaries to be together, at no point did I feel like they fell in love. It was almost as if when Murphy decided to talk to Elizabeth that was confirmation of his love. They went from no interaction to 'I’ll die without you' in basically a chapter. It was odd. Also I’m not completely sure I liked being in Elizabeth’s head the entire time. I felt it would have been interesting to get some other people’s perspectives. Part of the reason I felt this way is due to the highly analytical nature of Elizabeth’s thought process. Although I love her scientific mind when she was figuring out the problems of Ardagh one, for me I needed to feel more emotion from her about her and Murphy’s relationship. Just telling me they love each other isn’t enough. I need to feel they love each other, I need to understand why, I need to hear/read the process.

Now to be fair to the author I did listen to this book and I will upfront say I didn’t like the narrator (I’m sorry but its the truth). For me it came across as stilted, conversation between the characters didn’t flow right due to the pace of narration. Also the accents were all over the place at times and that was extremely off putting. Therefore I expect that if I had read this book rather than listening to it I may have found the romance element more convincing.

Overall I would still recommend this book merely for the science-fiction element and the intrigue of Ardagh 1, however, maybe buy it on Kindle rather than Audible. 

My rating:
Happy listening everyone and see you next time!