Adult, book review, Fantasy, paranomal, romance

Book Review: SHADOW GAME and MIND GAME by CHRISTINE FEEHAN

We are the Ghostwalkers, we live in the shadows

The sea, the earth, and the air are our domain

No fallen comrade will be left behind

We are loyalty and honor bound

We are invisible to our enemies and we destroy them where we find them

We believe in justice and we protect our country and those unable to protect themselves

What goes unseen, unheard, and unknown are Ghostwalkers

There is honor in the shadows and it is us

We move in complete silence whether in jungle or desert

We walk among out enemy unseen and unheard

Striking without sound and scatter to the winds before they have knowledge of our existence

We gather information and wait with endless patience for that perfect moment to deliver swift justice

We are both merciful and merciless

We are relentless and implacable in our resolve

We are the Ghostwalkers and the night is ours

Nox noctis est nostril

THE GHOSTWALKER CREED

Hello Readers,

Welcome back to my blog, I hope you have been doing okay during this quarantine period. Please still keep safe even as lock-down rules are relaxed.

I just want to take a moment to thank our real life Ghostwalker, the health care worker that are on the front-line during this pandemic and those who are working tirelessly to bring awareness and change for racism.

This blog post was written weeks ago but in the coming weeks I will post full reviews on the books I have read by black authors.

Today I am reviewing the books mentioned above and I was very excited to start this series of books because Christine Feehan is also one of my favourite authors. To learn more about Christine Feehan go to this link < https://www.christinefeehan.com/about.php

Shadow Game

This is the first book in the GhostWalker series published in 2003.

“Most of my men are Special Forces. The men in the various branches were asked to be tested for psychic ability. There were certain criteria to be met along with the abilities. Age, amount and type of combat training, ability to work under pressure conditions, ability to function for long periods of time cut off from the chain of command, loyalty factors. The list was endless but surprisingly enough, we had quite a few takers. The military issued a special invite for volunteers. From what I understand law enforcement branches did the same. They were looking for an elite group.”

Shadow games is about a group of military men that have their psychic abilities enhanced and are now suffering the consequences of the experiment, the focus of the story is on Captain Ryland Miller (the team leader).

Ryland Miller is the leader of a military group that volunteered for the psychic enhancement experiment run by Dr. Peter Whitney. Instead of an honourable act for the sake of their country, Ryland and his team are imprisoned and turned into lab rats. Lily Whitney (Peter Whitney’s daughter) is brought in to consult on the experiment but she is not given any details, before she can be fully appraised on events she loses her father. He leaves her with a mission to right his wrongs and free the captured soldiers.

Ryland and Lily are very attracted to each other on their first meeting but they each don’t think they are good enough for each other (so relatable, as some of us often feel that way on meeting a potential partner) but as the story progresses they both suspect that their attraction for each other has been manipulated. While Ryland is willing to accept the attraction as real and quickly falls in love, Lily fights the attraction unwilling to believe that the suspected enhancement of their attraction is not clouding both their minds.

Lily pressed the heel of her hand to her throbbing forehead. “Not because you loved me, Dad, but because I was the least problematic.” She saw it too clearly, her father as a young man, logically choosing the one child who would give him the least amount of trouble. He knew he should give up his experiment, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so after all the time, effort, and money he had poured into it. So he had kept her. “And what of those other little girls, trying to cope without help, not knowing what was wrong with them? You abandoned them. Half of them could be dead by now or in institutions.” Tears were burning and she struggled against them. How could he have done such a hideous thing? It was so wrong, so against nature.

In the course of finding a way to help Ryland and his men, Lily discovers her father’s other secrets (e.g Ryland and his men are not the only people that Peter Whitney experimented on). Ryland and Lily have to find the other people that were experimented on by Peter Whitney but they have to figure out who to trust because there are betrayals all around them.

Christine is adept at writing sex and action scenes, goodness. You can feel the heat coming off the pages in either the sex or action scenes. And let’s talk about the dialogue oh, divine equal part witty and humorous, I loved it. The POVs flow from one person to another with no clear demarcation on where one starts and the other finishes at times, I wasn’t so keen on that setup.

I read this book when I was having a really bad time at work and it gave me relief, I was able to escape and refresh my mind before heading back into the fray.

Shadow Game by Christine Feehan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mind Game

First published in 2004, this is the second book of the GhostWalker series.

The second book continues from the end of the first book and concentrates on the search for the other girls that Peter Whitney experimented on.

“How could she possibly exist in the outside world without being taught shields?” one of the men sitting in the shadows asked. Lily turned her head to look at him, sighing as she did so. Nicolas Trevane always seemed to be in the shadows, and he was one of the GhostWalkers who made her nervous. He sat in such stillness he seemed to blend in with his surroundings, yet when he went into action, he exploded, moving so fast he seemed to blur. For part of his childhood he was raised on a reservation with his father’s people, and then he spent ten years in Japan with his mother’s relatives. His face never seemed to give anything away. His black eyes were flat and cold and frightened her almost as much as the fact that he was a sniper, a renowned marksman capable of the most deadly and secret of missions.

Nicolas Trevane is one of the GhostWalkers that we met in the first book. He is always in the shadows and possibly one of the most lethal in the team. He volunteers to retrieve Dahlia (one of the little girls Peter Whitney experimented on) and when Nicolas speaks, his team mates do not argue with him.

Dahlia is a woman now and she has been living in a sanatorium (a disguise) that was set up for her needs by Peter Whitney. She has been exploited and used as a government agent on missions that could get her killed.

The story progresses as Dahlia comes home to find her sanctuary in flames and the few people she called family dead or kidnapped. Nicolas has made it just in time to save Dahlia but they are hunted through the bayou by the very assassins that want Dahlia dead. On their way, they find more of Peter Whitney’s secrets and more betrayals.

He nodded thoughtfully. “I consider myself an innocent victim in this situation,” Nicolas said. “I’ve always had control, in fact I pride myself on self-discipline. You seem to have destroyed it. Permanently.” He wasn’t exactly lying to her. He couldn’t take his eyes or his mind from her body. It was an unexpected pleasure, a gift.

As Nicolas and Dahlia chart their way to safety avoiding assassins and the bayou wildlife, they become more aware of each other as more than comrades in arms. Their attraction to each other is so intense at times that it literally creates fire. They both have to rely on each other’s skill in different situations even though neither of them trusts easily, which makes for an interesting dynamic.

It felt good to be clean and dry again. He dragged on a pair of jeans and thought about what Dahlia’s life had to have been like. While he was hunting and fishing and learning martial arts, she was alone in rooms filled with one-way glass and silent watchers. His grandfathers loved him and often hugged him, beaming with approval when he succeeded. There had been two women in Dahlia’s life, and their loyalty had not been entirely hers. She needed time. Even if a sexual relationship bound them together, Nicolas knew it would never be enough for him. He knew he wanted all of Dahlia Le Blanc, not just her body.

Something that is very striking is the contrast between Nicolas and Dahlia’s childhood and yet they are so similar in their love for solitude, although in Dahlia’s case the love for solitude is not really a choice but a necessity.

The other GhostWalker team is now emerging in the story, we don’t know much about them yet but looking forward to more explorations.

Mind Game by Christine Feehan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars