May 25th, 2016

Me

Book Critique 2016 – 02/23/2016: Deadly Game (Ghostwalker Series #5)

Mar 15 2019: Updated the review and added Spoiler Alerts section.

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all books under Ghostwalker series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: A definite pick if you are into paranormal romance with a touch of eroticism and the unbelievable.

Deadly Game is the fifth installment in the Ghostwalker Series by Christine Feehan and published in February 2007. The plot centers around Ken Norton - GhostWalker from Team Two and twin brother of Jack Norton - and Marigold "Mari" Smith - one of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphan Girls from Group One and long lost twin sister of Briony "Bri" Jenkins.



GhostWalkers are a group of women and men who are sent on special missions. They have enhances psychic and physical abilities along with genetic modifications, using in some cases not just human genes but all kinds of animal and plant genes. However every GhostWalker would need an "anchor" to draw back the psychic backlash, especially that would instigate violence. They are complex characters trying to live with their enhanced abilities and at the same time fight against the corrupt people around them, executing their missions successfully. So far we are introduced to two teams of GhostWalkers Men serving in various areas of law enforcement and armed forces and one group of Orphan Girls on whom Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented. He has paired each of his GhostWalker men with the women in the hopes to breed the next generation of GhostWalkers.

In Shadow Game we had seen that Dr. Lily Whitney-Miller, married to Captain Ryland "King" Miller - head of Team One - find the details of the Orphan Girls that Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented on along with Lily. Now adopted or held in a different lab or on their own, Lily and Ryland are determined to find those girls now women, rescue them and provide a safe haven. So far they have rescued Dahlia Le Blanc, Iris "Flame" Johnson and Briony "Bri" Jenkins.

In the previous book, Conspiracy Game, we had seen that Jack and Ken Norton - twins from GhostWalker Team Two - promise Briony "Bri" Jenkins to find her twin sister - Marigold - who is held in some laboratory by Dr. Peter Whitney for his breeding experiments. This is where this plot begins.

The Norton twins - Jack and Ken - along with few members from GhostWalker Teams One and Two are sent to stop an assassination attempt on Senator Freeman, the one they had rescued from Congo. However, what they encounter is another GhostWalker team who had the same mission but were told the other teams were coming for assassinating the Senator.  In the tug of war the two groups have, Ken injures Marigold "Mari" Smith and captures her.

Every breathe in him tells that she is paired for him, but she is the enemy. To top it, she is the twin sister to his sister-in-law Briony Jenkins, married to Jack. What twisted game was Dr. Whitney playing with them but neither were trusting each other enough nor liking the situation they are put in, while trying to find a way out of this deadly game.

When I read about Ken's torture in the previous book, I wondered whom she would pair him with and how she would be. Marigold turned out to be surprisingly a very strong woman with a very strong spine. And she is his equal in every way. But, it tore me out the way she leaves him despite all the risks he takes to rescue her, it tore me out that she was so vulnerable when it came to matters of her heart, yet so strong when she wanted to protect others including Ken. Christine certainly created a complex character for Ken as much as he was.

In building his character, Christine certainly had all the readers fooled with his "nice and happy go lucky" act. We see in this book, how much more complicated he is, with all his fears and experiences, that he is worse than his brother, Jack. Yet, he is as noble and honorable as Jack and would have never done everything he thought he would do wrong in his relationship with Mari.

The plot is action packed, with suspense thrown at the reader at every turn of the page. And not to forget the tortures and experiments that Dr. Whitney does, every page you read, some new method not thought of pops up. Even the love scenes between Mari and Ken are so intense, it borders on erotic battle between them.

This book touched me a lot because of several reasons. Both Ken and Mari had faced tortures at Dr. Whitney's hands that run deep in them. Both come with abilities that no one knows about and some they themselves hadnt known. Then the various tortures the rest of the ghostwalker women endure. The cruel and cold behavior of Dr. Whitney to the ghostwalker women. The enhanced super solders who form Whitney's personal force show no compassion towards these women which wrenched my heart.

The plot is fast-paced with lot of action and emotions, all spun in together. A master story teller as such can only spin as well as Christine Feehan has. Recommend to continue to read the series for the plots, the characters and the web that is all around them.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Plot Reveals:
a. Christine thanks her dear friend Cheryl L. Wilson again in this book. She has thanked Cheryl in several of Carpathian books from the Dark Series and also in the Leopard Series. We, as readers, know Cheryl Wilson as C. L. Wilson, and for her famous series Weathermages of Mystral.
b. Senator Ed Freeman, the one the Norton twins tried to rescue and were in turned kidnapped in Congo, is married to Violet Smythe - one of the Orphan Girls from Dr. Whitney's Group in the secret compound. She is also a GhostWalker paired to the Senator. The Senator gets shot in the ensuing battle between his super soldiers and Whitney's during the escape attempt of the orphan girls in the compound. His fate is undecided.
c. Jacob Abrams, a loaded banker, and Senator Freeman's father, Andrew Freeman, are in cohorts with Dr. Whitney, supporting his experiments.
d. Marigold confirms that Dr. Whitney has indeed some kind of psychic ability, which we had seen briefly in the first book, but wasn’t confirmed until this plot by Christine.

2) Sub-Plots:
a. In the first book, Shadow Game, we were introduced to Dr. Brandon Adams - GhostWalkers own doctor who takes care of them as well as keeps them safe from Dr. Peter Whitney and his rogue super humans. In Deadly Game, another doctor, Dr. Eric Lambert, is introduced who takes care of these GhostWalker teams.

b. GhostWalker Team One, Army Rangers and Army Green Berets; first introduced in the first book, Shadow Game - under direct command of General Theodore Ranier
i. Headed by Captain Ryland "King" Miller, can walk in dreams and also psychically link his team. His story was told in Shadow Game, and he marries Lily Whitney, one of the orphans from Group One and adopted daughter of Dr. Peter Whitney, at the end of that book. Lily is pregnant as of the third book Night Game.
ii. Nicolas "Nico" Trevane can walk in dreams and is an anchor. His story is told in Mind Game, and he marries Dahlia Le Blanc, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book.
iii. Raoul "Gator" Fontenot can control animals among other powers and is an anchor. His story is told in Night Game, and he marries Iris "Flame" Johnson, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book.
iv. The other team members consists of Kadan Montague, his second-in-command and also an anchor; Sam Johnson can move objects; Jeff Hollister can walk in dreams, move things and levitate; Ian McGillicuddy can sense danger coming; Tucker Addison; Jonas Harper; Kyle Forbes

c. GhostWalker Team Two, Paramilitary Ghostwalkers Team (Navy SEALs) working with NCIS; first introduced in the second book, Mind Game; under direct command of Rear Admiral Frank Henderson - headed by Logan "Max" Maxwell; Jesse Calhoun; Martin Howard, Neil Campbell; Trace Aikens
i. As of Mind Game plot, Jesse Calhoun suffers immense torture, losing his ability to use his legs from below knees, confined to wheelchair. After getting treated for his torture decides to go back to his home town to run his radio station. In Deadly Game, we see that even with him being on wheelchair, Jesse is back to handling missions for his team in his own way.
ii. Jack Norton, oldest of the Norton Twins. His story is told in Conspiracy Game, and marries Briony "Bri" Jenkins, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book. Bri is pregnant with twins as of that plot.

d. Group One of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphans: Twelve orphan girls on whom he had conducted his experiments to make them psychically enhanced - Lily Whitney-Miller, the only girl he had adopted for himself; Dahlia Le Blanc; Iris "Flame" Johnson; Briony "Bri" Jenkins; Marigold; Tansy; Jonquille; Laurel; Rose; Camellia "Cami"
i. Ivy, supposedly killed by Dr. Whitney to teach the orphans girls the consequences of trying to defy or escape him.
ii. Rose, Cami and Mari along with two others live in a secret compound that Dr. Whitney has for his own army of super soldiers. Unclear if they were part of the first group of orphans or were they a second group of orphans.
iii. Rose is pregnant with another GhostWalker at the compound, Kane, with whom she is paired with. In their effort to escape from the compound, Rose gets separated from Kane and her sister. A clear segue that a story would soon come up for Rose and Kane. But who is Kane? Which group does he belong to?
iv. In that escape effort, all the remaining four sisters also spread away. Curious to see how Christine will bring them back in.
e. The Fontenot family is introduced in Night Game - Raoul's three brothers (Wyatt, ) and his grandmother, Nonny. Wyatt is shown to have romantic feelings towards the lost and found girl, Joy Chiasson.
f. Dr. Peter Whitney who thought be dead in the first book Shadow Game, is shown to be alive as of this plot with more devious plots in his mind. As the books progress, we see the various kinds of horrific experiments he had done on the GhostWalkers - tracking them with a computer chip in their body; pairing the Orphan girls not only with one of the two Ghostwalker teams, but his personal enhanced team that no one is aware of and those who had never passed the psych evaluation and are cruel as they could come; didn’t matter if the girls liked the men or not but he wanted the men to mate with them to produce super soldier babies. Injecting them with Zenith, a fast-healing medicine but with serious repercussions.

3) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
a. On Pg. 184, line 20, it should be "…you been fraternizing with…"
b. When the GhostWalker Team Two was introduced in Mind Game, Christine had mentioned one of the members as Todd Aikens. But in this book when she mentions the entire team, she names him Trace Aikens. Is he Todd or Trace? Had she named him first as Todd and then later changed it to Trace?
c. On Pg. 267, Line 23, it should be "…that would be a negative…"
Me

Book Critique 2016 – 02/24/2016: Predatory Game (Ghostwalker Series #6)

Mar 17 2019: Updated the review and added Spoiler Alerts.
Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all books under Ghostwalker series: Go here.

Stars: 3.5 / 5
Recommendation: A definite pick if you are into paranormal romance with a touch of eroticism and the unbelievable but for a  few lull moments.

Predatory Game is the sixth installment in the Ghostwalker Series by Christine Feehan and published in February 2008. The plot centers around Jesse "Jess" Calhoun - GhostWalker from Team Two - and Saber Wynter - one of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphan Girls from Group Two - and it is set in Sheridan, Wyoming.



GhostWalkers are a group of women and men who are sent on special missions. They have enhances psychic and physical abilities along with genetic modifications, using in some cases not just human genes but all kinds of animal and plant genes. However every GhostWalker would need an "anchor" to draw back the psychic backlash, especially that would instigate violence. They are complex characters trying to live with their enhanced abilities and at the same time fight against the corrupt people around them, executing their missions successfully. So far we are introduced to two teams of GhostWalkers Men serving in various areas of law enforcement and armed forces and one group of Orphan Girls on whom Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented. He has paired each of his GhostWalker men with the women in the hopes to breed the next generation of GhostWalkers.

In Shadow Game we had seen that Dr. Lily Whitney-Miller, married to Captain Ryland "King" Miller - head of Team One - find the details of the Orphan Girls that Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented on along with Lily. Now adopted or held in a different lab or on their own, Lily and Ryland are determined to find those girls now women, rescue them and provide a safe haven. So far they have rescued Dahlia Le Blanc, Iris "Flame" Johnson, Briony "Bri" Jenkins and Marigld "Mari" Smith.

Jesse Calhoun was first introduced in the second book, Mind Game, in which he goes through immense torture protecting Dahlia Trevane and in the process he loses his ability to use his legs from below knees and confined to wheelchair. At the end of that book, we saw that after getting treated for his torture, he decides to go back to his home town to run his radio station, although he runs missions from his office there when needed.

I had been waiting for Jesse's story since that second book. Even though Ken captured my mind, somewhere in the back Jesse lurked in my brain and couldn’t wait to see how Christine would write his tale. And finally here it is.


Jesse Calhoun hires Saber Wynter for his nightly radio show, then offers her shelter in his home. However, the instant chemistry they have is hard to ignore and afraid to be acted upon by them. But, someone is hunting them. At the crucial time when both of their pasts are catching up with them and while they sort out their feelings for each other, the prey becomes the predators in another of the action packed thriller by Christine.

So long in the series, Christine has been showing the various experiments that Dr. Whitney conducted on the GhosttWalkers and his personal team of super soldiers. However, we see a different side of those experiments in this plot, where there is some kind of good coming out of it. Nonetheless they are still experiments, with a second point of view.

Christine gives us a lot of medical jargon and hypothesis into medical miracles, that actually happen in the plot, but are a distant future in real, perhaps. However, all that talk made me wish that it would indeed become real and be used for good rather than for evil.

I could empathize with Saber very much here especially after reading what kind of experiments had Dr. Whitney performed on her. One gets to grow angrier and angrier at Whitney. However one cant route for Saber and Jesse - the underdogs who come out shining in the end. Another web spun well again by Christine however  repeat paraphrasing is seen occasionally. But for that this is a definite recommendation for continuing the series on.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Plot Reveals:
a. Christine thanks her dear friend Cheryl L. Wilson in this book. She has thanked Cheryl in several of Carpathian books from the Dark Series and also in the Leopard Series. We, as readers, know Cheryl Wilson as C. L. Wilson, and for her famous series Weathermages of Mystral.
b. Jesse has an older sister Patsy Calhoun, whose fiancee, David, was killed by Dr. Whitney.
c. In this plot it was more clear that Dr. Peter Whitney has more than one group of orphan girls that he had experimented on, just like the GhostWalker teams and his personal army.
d. It is also revealed that Dr. Peter Whitney has two more teams of GhostWalkers who are sent on missions similar to the two teams we have been reading so far. And we meet one from one of those teams in this plot. More meat for more plots for Christine, for certain.

2) Sub-Plots:
a. In the first book, Shadow Game, we were introduced to Dr. Brandon Adams - GhostWalkers own doctor who takes care of them as well as keeps them safe from Dr. Peter Whitney and his rogue super humans. In Deadly Game, another doctor, Dr. Eric Lambert, is introduced who takes care of these GhostWalker teams.

b. GhostWalker Team One, Army Rangers and Army Green Berets; first introduced in the first book, Shadow Game - under direct command of General Theodore Ranier. They plan to build a base in the mountains of Montana along-side Team Two as of this plot.
i. Headed by Captain Ryland "King" Miller - His story was told in Shadow Game, and he marries Lily Whitney, one of the orphans from Group One and adopted daughter of Dr. Peter Whitney, at the end of that book. Lily gives birth to a baby by as of this plot - Daniel Ryland Miller.
ii. Nicolas "Nico" Trevane - His story is told in Mind Game, and he marries Dahlia Le Blanc, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book.
iii. Raoul "Gator" Fontenot - His story is told in Night Game, and he marries Iris "Flame" Johnson, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book.
iv. The other team members consists of Kadan Montague, his second-in-command; Sam Johnson; Jeff Hollister; Ian McGillicuddy; Tucker Addison; Jonas Harper; Kyle Forbes

c. GhostWalker Team Two, Paramilitary Ghostwalkers Team (Navy SEALs) working with NCIS; first introduced in the second book, Mind Game; under direct command of Rear Admiral Frank Henderson. They plan to build a base in the mountains of Montana where Jack and Ken already reside as of this plot.
i. Headed by Logan "Max" Maxwell.
ii. Jack Norton, oldest of the Norton Twins. His story is told in Conspiracy Game, and marries Briony "Bri" Jenkins, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book. Bri is pregnant with twins as of that plot.
iii. Ken Norton, the second Norton Twin. His story is told in Deadly Game, and married Marigold "Mari" Smith at the end of that book.
iv. The rest of the team consists of Martin Howard, Neil Campbell; Trace Aikens.
v. When the GhostWalker Team Two was introduced in Mind Game, Christine had mentioned one of the members as Todd Aikens. But in Deadly Game, she names him Trace Aikens. Is he Todd or Trace? Had she named him first as Todd and then later changed it to Trace? Or are there both Todd and Trace?

d. GhostWalker Team Three: First introduced in this plot - Brian Hutton;
i. Brian Hutton is interested romantically in Patsy Calhoun as of this plot. Is he paired with Patsy? But Patsy isnt a GhostWalker? Or is she?

e. Group One of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphans: Twelve orphan girls on whom he had conducted his experiments to make them psychically enhanced - Lily Whitney-Miller, the only girl he had adopted for himself; Dahlia Le Blanc; Iris "Flame" Johnson; Briony "Bri" Jenkins; Marigold "Mari" Smith; Tansy; Jonquille; Laurel; Rose; Camellia "Cami".
i. More about them is shown in Deadly Game
1) Ivy, supposedly killed by Dr. Whitney to teach the orphans girls a lesson;
2) Rose, Cami and Mari and two others live in a secret compound that Dr. Whitney has for his own army of super soldiers. Unclear if they were part of the first group of orphans or were they a second group of orphans.
3) Rose is pregnant with another GhostWalker at the compound, Kane, with whom she is paired with. In their effort to escape from the compound, Rose gets separated from Kane and her sister. A clear segue that a story would soon come up for Rose and Kane. But who is Kane? Which group does he belong to?
4) In that escape effort, all the remaining four sisters also spread away. Curious to see how Christine will bring them back in.

f. Group Two of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphans: Not clear if they were part of the 12 original orphans he had or were added on later - Saber Wynter, Thorn. Unlike his first group, they are not named after flowers.

g. The Fontenot family is introduced in Night Game - Raoul's three brothers (Wyatt, ) and his grandmother, Nonny. Wyatt is shown to have romantic feelings towards the lost and found girl, Joy Chiasson.

h. Dr. Peter Whitney who thought be dead in the first book Shadow Game, is shown to be alive as of this plot with more devious plots in his mind. As the books progress, we see the various kinds of horrific experiments he had done on the GhostWalkers - tracking them with a computer chip in their body; pairing the Orphan girls not only with one of the two Ghostwalker teams, but his personal enhanced team that no one is aware of and those who had never passed the psych evaluation and are cruel as they could come; didn’t matter if the girls liked the men or not but he wanted the men to mate with them to produce super soldier babies. Injecting them with Zenith, a fast-healing medicine but with serious repercussions. He is revealed to be psychic in Deadly Game.

i. Dr. Peter Whitney's allies in his devious plots are:
i. Senator Ed Freeman, the one the Norton twins tried to rescue and were in turned kidnapped in Congo, is married to Violet Smythe - one of the Orphan Girls from Dr. Whitney's Group in the secret compound. She is also a GhostWalker paired to the Senator. The Senator gets shot in the ensuing battle between his super soldiers and Whitney's during the escape attempt of the orphan girls in the compound, in Deadly Game.
ii. Jacob Abrams, a loaded banker, and Senator Freeman's father, Andrew Freeman.

3) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
a. On Pg. 8, Christine mentions that it had been 10 months since Jesse and Saber have met. But on Pg. 11, she eludes to their time as 6 months.
b. On Pg. 178, Line 22, it should be "…to have to admit to…"
Me

Book Critique 2016 – 02/25/2016: Murder Game (Ghostwalker Series #7)

Mar 20 2019: Updated the review and added spoiler alerts.

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all books under Ghostwalker series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: A definite pick if you are into paranormal romance with a touch of eroticism and the unbelievable.

Murder Game is the seventh installment in the Ghostwalker Series by Christine Feehan and published in December 2008. The plot brings together two Ghostwalkers - Kadan "Bishop" Montague - second-in command to Captain Ryland "King" Miller, heading the GhstWalkers Team One - and - Tansy Meadows - one of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphan Girls from Group One - and it begins in the Sierras.



GhostWalkers are a group of women and men who are sent on special missions. They have enhances psychic and physical abilities along with genetic modifications, using in some cases not just human genes but all kinds of animal and plant genes. However every GhostWalker would need an "anchor" to draw back the psychic backlash, especially that would instigate violence. They are complex characters trying to live with their enhanced abilities and at the same time fight against the corrupt people around them, executing their missions successfully. So far we are introduced to two teams of GhostWalkers Men serving in various areas of law enforcement and armed forces and one group of Orphan Girls on whom Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented. He has paired each of his GhostWalker men with the women in the hopes to breed the next generation of GhostWalkers.

In Shadow Game we had seen that Dr. Lily Whitney-Miller, married to Captain Ryland "King" Miller - head of Team One - find the details of the Orphan Girls that Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented on along with Lily. Now adopted or held in a different lab or on their own or more girls added as years progressed, Lily and Ryland are determined to find those girls now women, rescue them and provide a safe haven. So far they have rescued Dahlia Le Blanc, Iris "Flame" Johnson, Briony "Bri" Jenkins, Marigld "Mari" Smith and Saber Wynter.

After spending past three books with the Team Two GhostWalkers, Christine returns to Team One with this plot. Of course, the relationship between the two GhosWalker teams strengthen more and more as each plot proceeds.

A serial killer is on the loose and the GhostWalkers are being blamed for the murders. Kadan "Bishop" Montague is assigned to find the serial killer and prove that it isn't one of their own doing the killings. But he needs Tansy Meadows to track the serial killer using her special abilities. However, when he finds Tansy, neither expect the strong sexual pull towards each other, thanks to Dr. Whitney's breeding program experiments, nor they expect someone hunting them. Now they become part of this murder game being orchestrated by someone who wants to eliminate all of them as part of this game, a game that turns more sinister and sinister as each page turns.

This plot reminded me a lot of Carpathians, the characters from Christine's Dark Series mostly because of the ability to read and live in each other's minds. Pretty close to a cross-over between the two series, but I feel that she basically repeated the ability in the GhostWalkers but slightly differently.

Murder and Mayhem is usually one of the genre that I like to read. However, in this plot, the way the murders are committed, the cruelty the killers show, gave me shivers and shudders, all through the plot; made me worried so much for our heroine Tansy more than other girls I read so far. Reminded me of an episode from Criminal Minds, TV Show that is based on a game but involving humans who are hunters and the hunted. **Shudders**

I always thought what would happen to those super soldiers that failed the psychic test and yet were enhanced. Some definitely worked with Dr. Whitney in his various programs, going to the dark side. But I had a notion about those who don’t want to turn to the dark side, who want to fight and live honorably but still stuck with Dr. Whitney and his allies. Christine finally picks up those soldiers in this plot. Glad she thought of them and gave them a good closure.

Here in this plot, we see the beginnings of her usage of words such as "rewarded", "obeyed", etc., which always grated me, although in this book I got the context in whuch she was using those words. And also there is repeat paraphrasing in very chapter, which was unusual in her previous books. Surprisingly there are quite a bit of grammatical and character errors in this book, which normally is not seen so much in Christine's books.


A fantastic web again spun by Chrsitine Feehan between Tansy and Kadan delving into the minds of serial killers and fanatics at the same time. It could not have been easier for the author to write about a mind as such and yet she pulled it off. Very gripping tale with elements of mystery, romance, action and thrill all along increasing the reader's interest to look forward to see what else the ghostwalkers could do.

Another good pick in the series that will definitely put you on the edge.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Plot Reveals:
a. The GhostWalkers tease Kadan with Neil Young's 1970 song Cinnamon Girl when he comes out of his room smelling of Cinnamon. Having never heard that song, I peeked into google and impressively enough it had reached #55 on Billboard's top 100 in 1970 when released as a single. More about that song here. And here is the video of the same



b. Tom Delaney, Sr., a decorated military man, enhanced by Dr. Whitney and used by the antagonist in the plot, despite his failing the psych evaluation, finally takes Kadan and his team's help in trying to reverse his enhancements and give him some measure of ease to live a normal life for a discarded GhostWalker. He will join Kadan's team once the treatments are complete and he is deemed safe.

2) Sub-Plots:
a. In the first book, Shadow Game, we were introduced to Dr. Brandon Adams - GhostWalkers own doctor who takes care of them as well as keeps them safe from Dr. Peter Whitney and his rogue super humans. In Deadly Game, another doctor, Dr. Eric Lambert, is introduced who takes care of these GhostWalker teams.

b. GhostWalker Team One, Army Rangers and Army Green Berets; first introduced in the first book, Shadow Game - under direct command of General Theodore Ranier. They plan to build a base in the mountains of Montana along-side Team Two as of Predatory Game.
i. Headed by Captain Ryland "King" Miller - His story was told in Shadow Game, and he marries Lily Whitney, one of the orphans from Group One and adopted daughter of Dr. Peter Whitney, at the end of that book. Lily gives birth to a baby boy - Daniel Ryland Miller - in Predatory Plot.
ii. Nicolas "Nico" Trevane - His story is told in Mind Game, and he marries Dahlia Le Blanc, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book.
iii. Raoul "Gator" Fontenot - His story is told in Night Game, and he marries Iris "Flame" Johnson, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book.
iv. The other team members consists of Sam Johnson; Jeff Hollister; Ian McGillicuddy; Tucker Addison; Jonas Harper; Kyle Forbes
v. Jeff Hollister goes through a very tough recovery when he was brutally experimented by Dr. Whitney in the first book, Shadow Game. We see more about him in this plot, recovering and getting better at his abilities, although he might have a permanent limp. I would like to see Christine pen a story for him soon more so because he is creeping into the reader's mind slowly.

c. GhostWalker Team Two, Paramilitary Ghostwalkers Team (Navy SEALs) working with NCIS; first introduced in the second book, Mind Game; under direct command of Rear Admiral Frank Henderson. They plan to build a base in the mountains of Montana where Jack and Ken already reside as of Predatory Game.
i. Headed by Logan "Max" Maxwell.
ii. Jack Norton, oldest of the Norton Twins. His story is told in Conspiracy Game, and marries Briony "Bri" Jenkins, one of the orphans from Group One, at the end of that book. Bri is pregnant with twins as of that plot.
iii. Ken Norton, the second Norton Twin. His story is told in Deadly Game, and married Marigold "Mari" Smith at the end of that book.
iv. Jesse "Jess" Calhoun - His story is told in Predatory Game, and married to Saber Wynter at the end of that book.
v. The rest of the team consists of Martin Howard, Neil Campbell; Trace Aikens.
vi. When the GhostWalker Team Two was introduced in Mind Game, Christine had mentioned one of the members as Todd Aikens. But in Deadly Game, she names him Trace Aikens. Is he Todd or Trace? Had she named him first as Todd and then later changed it to Trace? Or are there both Todd and Trace?

d. GhostWalker Team Three: First introduced in Predatory Game - Brian Hutton;
i. Brian Hutton is interested romantically in Patsy Calhoun in that plot. Is he paired with Patsy? But Patsy isnt a GhostWalker? Or is she?

e. Group One of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphans: Twelve orphan girls on whom he had conducted his experiments to make them psychically enhanced - Lily Whitney-Miller, the only girl he had adopted for himself; Dahlia Le Blanc; Iris "Flame" Johnson; Briony "Bri" Jenkins; Marigold "Mari" Smith; Tansy; Jonquille; Laurel; Rose; Camellia "Cami".
i. More about them is shown in Deadly Game
1) Ivy, supposedly killed by Dr. Whitney to teach the orphans girls a lesson;
2) Rose, Cami and Mari and two others live in a secret compound that Dr. Whitney has for his own army of super soldiers. Unclear if they were part of the first group of orphans or were they a second group of orphans.
3) Rose is pregnant with another GhostWalker at the compound, Kane, with whom she is paired with. In their effort to escape from the compound, Rose gets separated from Kane and her sister. A clear segue that a story would soon come up for Rose and Kane. But who is Kane? Which group does he belong to?
4) In that escape effort, all the remaining four sisters also spread away. Curious to see how Christine will bring them back in.

f. Group Two of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphans: Fist introduced in Predatory Game. Not clear if they were part of the 12 original orphans he had or were added on later - Saber Wynter, Thorn. Unlike his first group, they are not named after flowers.

g. The Fontenot family is introduced in Night Game - Raoul's three brothers (Wyatt, ) and his grandmother, Nonny. Wyatt is shown to have romantic feelings towards the lost and found girl, Joy Chiasson.

h. Dr. Peter Whitney who thought be dead in the first book Shadow Game, is shown to be alive as of this plot with more devious plots in his mind. As the books progress, we see the various kinds of horrific experiments he had done on the GhostWalkers - tracking them with a computer chip in their body; pairing the Orphan girls not only with one of the three Ghostwalker teams, but his personal enhanced team that he created using the rejected psychic candidates; didn’t matter if the girls liked the men or not but he wanted the men to have sex with them to produce super soldier babies; injecting them with Zenith, a fast-healing medicine but with serious repercussions. He is revealed to be psychic in Deadly Game.

i. Dr. Peter Whitney's allies in his devious plots are:
i. Senator Ed Freeman, the one the Norton twins tried to rescue and were in turned kidnapped in Congo, is married to Violet Smythe - one of the Orphan Girls from Dr. Whitney's Group in the secret compound. She is also a GhostWalker paired to the Senator. The Senator gets shot in the ensuing battle between his super soldiers and Whitney's during the escape attempt of the orphan girls in the compound, in Deadly Game.
ii. Jacob Abrams, a loaded banker, and Senator Freeman's father, Andrew Freeman.

3) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
a. On Pg. 27, Line 10 from bottom, it should be "…could tell that she found…"
b. On Pg. 107, Line 8 from bottom, it should be "…what their relationship with…"
c. On Pg. 166, Christine first shows Kadan undressing Tansy completely, but then later in the page, she shows Kadan pushing his hand inside her shirt. Then on Pg. 167, she shows Tansy as naked in the beginning of their lovemaking scene. Where did the shirt come from in the first place, then where did it go off without Kadan or Tansy wearing it or removing it?
d. On Pg. 201, Line 5, it should be "…hell have you done to…"
e. On Pg. 394, Line 12, it should be :…skills given to them and…"
Me

Book Critique 2016 – 02/26/2016: The Land of Stories - A Grimm Warning

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all the books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 4.5 / 5
My Recommendation: Absolutely for kids ages 10+ and above and adults who want to visit the fairy-tale land again. ;)

The third book in The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer was A Grimm Warning published in July 2014. This review is dedicated to my nephew, Sohan, who had turned 5 this year. This is for his interest in reading the fantasy and loving it as much as I do.



Alex Bailey and Conner Bailey are twins (thirteen year old in this book) who were born of a mortal human and a fairy-tale land man. Their birth had caused to cement the bridge between the two worlds and turned both the worlds to move at the same time. However, it did not come with consequences as seen in the previous two tales. At the end of The Enchantress Returns (Book II), Alex remains in the fairy-tale world with her grand mother - Fairy Godmother - and Conner returns back to our world along with his mother. Fairy Godmother closes the portals between both worlds permanently. However Alex and Conner each get a piece of magic mirror through which they could see each other and talk - like our world Skype. The third book picks off at this juncture.

Alex is settled in the fairy-world as apprentice to her grandmother learning to grant wishes  which more than often seem to go wrong much to her frustration. She reaches out to her grandmother for help and learning. And she is also preparing for the Inaugural Fairy Ball being given in her honor of joining the Fairy Council.  Meanwhile Conner is excited to go on a school trip to Germany with Mrs. Peters and other students to attend the first reading of three stories from Grimm Brothers that were found in a time capsule. He was doubly pleased when Bree Campbell is part of the trip - he has a huge crush on her.

All seems well until the three stories are read. Conner finds that two of the stories are same as what his father had told them time and again and those he had written up with a few changes - The Curvy Tree and The Walking Fish. However, the last story comes with a really grim warning - as in Grimm brothers warning the Fairy-tale world that a huge army was reaching them to attack and take-over. Per the story a magical bird helped provide an enchanted map that would take the army 200 years to travel. Since the tale was written in 1811, Conner realized that it was about time for army to reach the fairy-land and wreak havoc.

He tries to reach out to Alex but fails and reaches out to Mother Goose and tells the tale. Mother Goose confirms that the tale is true and that the army is The French Grand Armee headed by General Marquis. But the portals were all closed so she never had revealed this to anyone. Apparently somewhere the portals had been open. She directs Conner to find that portal at his end so he can get to fairy-tale land and help face the army. Bree overhears the conversation and joins in the search. Together they take hints and clues from Mother Goose and finally reach Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. There with the help of a local boy Emmerich Himmelsbach leads them to the portal to fairy-tale land. Unawares of all of this, Alex is having her Inaugural Ball, attending wedding, helping out a friend and experiencing her first date. It falls on to the shoulders of Conner - and inadvertently on Bree and Emmerich as well since they get sucked into the portal - to explain the fairy-tale kingdoms the situation and help them prepare for war and save both worlds. Thus begins another adventure.

Chris Colfer again at his best with this third installment has put all in words so vividly that more than often I saw pictures instead. The plot however gets a bit more complicated than the previous two books and it is a good thing as the kids are transitioning to teenage years too. It put me on edge in some of the chapters when I wanted to know what is the weapon that General Marquis would use against all the powers of fairies and their kings and queens. When I wanted to know who the masked man was that was in the top-most cell of Pinnochio Prison. Got me intrigued when Little Bo Peep challenges Red Riding Hood's claim to the throne and wondered what would be the result. Got me routing the fairy-tale land characters when the war prevails. Broke my heart at some of the consequences of the war and what befalls on Alex and Conner - for they are far too young to face that much sadness.

So many emotions swirled through while reading this book, yet none over took the other. The balance was perfect with the plot. Definitely a good pick for ay 11+ year old as well as any adult who would want to go back to the forgotten fairy-lands.