Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Stars: 4 / 5
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.
1) Plot Reveals:
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
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
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"
3) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors: