Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ghost Hunter

Ghost Hunter by Jayne Castle

Ghost Hunter is the last of the archives-related romance novels that I was able to get through BookMooch after the archives fiction presentation at SAA (see this post).*

Ghost Hunter is a paranormal romantic suspense novel and the 4th in the Harmony World series by Jayne Castle (aka Amanda Quick, aka Jayne Ann Krentz). I'm not sure why Ghost Hunter was mentioned in the series rather than one of the earlier novels since the archivist character is the series' male lead. Maybe because of the cover art?

The premise is a bit complicated, so I'm going to leave it to the author to summarize. From the Harmony history page of Castle's website:
Late in the 21st century an energy Curtain opened in the vicinity of Earth, making interstellar travel practical for the first time. In typical human fashion, thousands of eager colonists packed up their stuff and lost no time heading out to create new homes and new societies on the unexplored worlds. [...]

The colonists brought with them all the comforts of home – sophisticated technology, centuries of art and literature and the latest fashions. Trade through the Curtain flourished and made it possible to stay in touch with families back on Earth. It also allowed the colonists to keep their computers and high-tech gadgets working.

And then one day, without warning, the Curtain closed, disappearing as mysteriously as it had opened. Cut off from Earth, no longer able to obtain the equipment and supplies needed to keep their high-tech lifestyle going, the colonists were abruptly thrown back to a far more primitive existence. [...] Two hundred years after the closing of the Curtain, the descendants of the First Generation Colonists have managed to claw their way back from the brink to a level of civilization roughly equivalent to our own modern day Earth.

Here on Harmony, however, things are a little different, especially after dark. There are the creepy ruins of a long-vanished alien civilization, a mysterious underground rainforest, and a most unusual kind of animal companion.^ In addition, a wide variety of psychic powers are showing up in the population. Seems that something in the environment on Harmony is bringing out the latent psychic talents in people.
This same text also serves as the introduction to Ghost Hunter.

The archivist in Ghost Hunter who worked as an archivist/librarian (he's referred to as both) as a cover for his real job (I don't want to spoil anything, learning what his real job is part of the plot of Ghost Hunter).

Overall I enjoyed Ghost Hunter very much and want to try to find copies of the other books in the series. The world Castle has created in this novel is fully conceived. Elly, the series' protagonist, is spunky and interesting. Cooper, the male lead, comes out of his shell in Ghost Hunter (leading to the couple's first sexual encounter). And I just love the fact that dust bunnies are actually live creatures what some people have as pets.

* Other books I got were Overnight Male by Elizabeth Bevarly (see post) and How to be a "Wicked" Woman (anthology, see post).
^ dust bunnies!

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