Shadow Game is book 1 in Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series. Here’s the premise: an elite group of military men have signed up to be human guinea pigs for an experiment designed to expand their psychic powers. Some have telepathy; others can communicate with animals; some have telekinesis; and the list goes on. Unfortunately for our team (who have dubbed themselves Ghostwalkers), problems develop: seizures, brain bleeds, even death. So the men in charge of the project put them on lock down. Separate them. Study them. For the past year, they’ve been like rats in cages.
The leader of the Ghostwalkers is Captain Ryland Miller. At the beginning of the story, he is squaring off with Dr Peter Whitney (the scientific mastermind behind the experiment) and Col Higgins (high ranking military dude who hates Ryland’s guts.) In walks Whitney’s daughter, Lily. She is also a brilliant scientist and her father has called her in to consult on the project. She is telepathic too and has an instant connection with Ryland.
As the story progresses, Peter Whitney is murdered. Although in later books we discover he faked his own death. He reaches out to Lily telepathically at the last moment telling her to help the Ghostwalkers and to right the wrongs of his experiments. Lily finds her father’s secret lab and discovers she is not really his daughter after all. She, too, had been an experiment… one of several young girls with psychic abilities, studied and manipulated by Whitney. When that experiment failed, he adopted out all the other girls and kept Lily for himself to raise.
Lily helps the Ghostwalkers break out and hides them in her uber-mansion. She helps them learn to control their powers. And she continues developing a scorching hot relationship with Ryland. She works with the Ghostwalkers to figure out who is behind her father’s death and who was trying to manipulate the Ghostwalker program for their own gain.
I didn’t love this book the first time I read it. But I find, I liked it a little better on my second read. One of my initial problems with it was the lightning fast relationship between Ryland and Lily. We find out in later books that Whitney’s experiments created matches between his young girls and military men. So that explains it in hindsight. Another problem: there are ALOT of characters to keep straight. You’ve got several Ghostwalkers to remember, plus all the men involved on the experiment who may or may not be bad guys. I found myself flipping back in the book for reminders of who was who… even as I got close to the end.
I can promise hot and frequent love scenes. And I’m happy to say that the language is less flowery and metaphoric than Feehan uses in her Carpathian books.
If this book doesn’t float your boat, don’t give up on the series. In my opinion it really hits its stride with Conspiracy Game. The books featuring the Ghostwalker SEALs are my favorites.
3 1/2 stars.
Click to purchase: Amazon