Shadow Game is the first book in Christine Feehan’s ongoing GhostWalker series. It is a fast paced, compelling beginning to a series that I certainly hope continues for a very long time since I definitely want to know what the future holds for every single member of the Ghostwalker team.
We are introduced to Captain Ryland Miller and members of his special forces team in perhaps the worst of circumstances. Ryland and his men are caged like wild animals deep within the laboratory headed by Dr. Peter Whitney, the doctor who’s psychic enhancement experiments created the special abilities of the Ghostwalkers. An experiment that appears to have gone horribly wrong as several members of Ryland’s team have died from side effects of the enhancement process.
Any military special forces member already has an edge over the average person, be it in a specific knowledge or ability or even sheer strength of body or mind. Imagine if you will, if that military specialist were able to communicate with other members of their team telepathically, if they could ‘suggest’ through that special ability that a guard look the other way for just long enough to slip past them unseen. These psychic gifts and much more have been given to the Ghostwalker team, yet at a price. Unable to block out the constant stream of information to their brains, the constant barrage of ‘noise’ has seemed to have caused an overload for some men who took part in the enhancement program – resulting in their deaths. Or was it something else…
When Dr. Lily Whitney walks into the lab where Ryland is being held, the continual assault on his mind is eased, he can think more clearly without the constant knives of pain driving into his brain. Although his mental relief is immediate, not even the razor sharp slices of pain clouded his reaction to Lily. She was simply the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on, add to that she also appeared to be an anchor of some sort, clearing out the mental trash and the emotions of those around him which constantly attacked his mind. Dr. Peter Whitney, Lily’s father, closely watched Ryland’s reactions, not with a parent’s protective eye but with the intense observation of a scientist documenting a research project.
Although Ryland is very aware of Dr. Peter Whitney’s close scrutiny, only a small part of his attention is on the father – Lily holds his interest, not only for his physical and emotional reaction to her, but because she has just become part of the puzzle…perhaps the most important part of all.
I completely fell in love with the many characters of Shadow Game. Their story caught me, held my attention and had me wishing for more, much more.
In the early part of this novel it seems that Dr. Peter Whitney got just what he deserved. Yet, we never really remove Dr. Peter from the story as the results of his mad scientist style experiments continue with even more surprising results and discoveries.
Lily is just as strongly attracted to Ryland but she is more experienced in shielding her thoughts or so she believed. Lily’s scientific mind works to help Ryland to develop blocking and controlling his thoughts and mind actions as he slowly and often times brashly lets her see just how deeply he is attracted to her. Born with psychic abilities, just as all the men involved in the Ghostwalker team were, Lily has had a lifetime to learn to channel her thoughts and to anchor those that cannot stand the constant barrage of information. She also has had the benefit of being surrounded by the totally non-psychic members of her household who helped raise and protect her. Constantly blocking out the noise of the world takes it’s toll on Lily as well, but she has some experience in doing so, Ryland and his men must learn and quickly.
After Dr. Peter Whitney’s unexplained disappearance, Lily discovers a secret lab deep within the security of her own home. In an effort to help Ryland and his men escape and be able to function in the world, Lily begins to review the data found in her father’s lab uncovering totally unexpected secrets during her search. Her discoveries shake the foundations of her safe, protected life. She is not the biological daughter of Dr. Peter Whitney…and she is not the only female child that he tested the earlier versions of his psychic enhancements on.
Ryland and Lily work on freeing the Ghostwalker team from the underground laboratory, teaching them to exist in the world without their psychic abilities destroying them or driving them mad. And begin to path out the future of the Ghostwalkers. Beginning the search for the other girls who were enhanced and sent out unprepared to adoptive parents.
I completely loved this book. The pace is fast, yet with enough touches of unresolved information that I’m looking forward to discovering the fates of the other characters in future books. The book is certainly highly sexually charged, Ryland and Lily make no secret of their emotional and physical attraction. And while the passionate part of the story did at times over take the main story, it seemed to flow throughout each chapter.
I cared about Lily and Ryland, and I want to know more. That’s what a good series is to me..the need for more. All the novels in the Ghostwalker series could be a stand alone read, however following from the beginning ties all the loose ends together. There are more Ghostwalker novels, but this was the start of it all.
I highly recommend Shadow Game.