Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Street Game by Christine Feehan

I’m going to apologize right up front for this review because even though it’s taken me weeks to write, I’m still making a mess of it. There are so many things about this book that seemed different to me – unique from the others – and yet, I can’t put my finger on it. It is more a feeling than anything I can point to and say, “This is what makes this one different…”

In Street Game, book 8 of the GhostWalker series, we’re being introduced to a new GhostWalker team, this one headed by Mack McKinley whose specialty is urban warfare and his talents too numerous to name. It seemed that every time I thought I understood what his ability was, he was doing something new.

Jaimie was a member of the team for years, but hers and Mack’s volatile past and a close call during a mission, prompted Jaimie to disappear one night, leaving behind the only family she really ever had, and the only man she’s ever loved.

Mack and Jaimie find themselves reunited, but not under the best of circumstances, and seemingly not by mere coincidence which makes them both jumpy and untrusting of each other. Never a good combination when you’re life depends on those you’re working with.

This latest installment of the GhostWalker series flowed so smoothly from the last team to this one that I didn’t even notice the shift, which was something I was worried about because sometimes when you have so many characters in a series, it’s hard for me to keep track. I don’t feel like I needed a refresher or should have done a re-read of Murder Game (book 7) or anything like that before reading Street Game.

There’s just something special about all the GhostWalkers and I can’t put my finger on it. In each team member, I get the feeling that there’s an underlying sense of… emptiness, which is what binds them together. They are all different. Like, they know they’re men, but not free men. They are human, but not exactly. I often wonder how many of them would take a “do-over” if they could, and choose not to be guinea pigged. But in Street Game as in many of the other books, the heroes of the story say that they enjoy their abilities. But again, I have to wonder… do they really, or are they just making the best of it? I guess that might be a question that never gets answered to my satisfaction.

While the surface storyline of this book is different, we’re still dealing with Dr. Peter Whitney, nut-job extraordinaire. But that’s where the comparison ends because there was something different about this book – something special. I felt a stronger connection to all the team members than I have in the previous books, but I also felt a deeper sense of sadness, not only in them, but for them. Maybe it’s because we – and they – are finding out really how low Peter Whitney sank in his justification of his experiments and how far they really went.

The emotional intensity of Street Game was high. There was Mack, always holding back, never sharing his feelings… holding, holding… then WOW! It was like a dam bursting open when he finally opened up, telling Jaimie exactly what she needed to hear: how much he loves her. That was a truly great moment and frankly, for a while there, I didn’t think he had it in him. And with the rest of the teammates, in addition to their "family" ties, there was a sense of sadness... or a resolve... that I think in many ways connects and keeps this team together. They know what it's like to be who...or what… they are. They relate to each other on a level no one else can. And those commonalities make for some fierce and loyal ties that bind.

This really was a great, 5 star read, but again, I apologize that I just can’t really express why…

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