PRE-RELEASE SPOILERS: The Ghost hijacks Nalini Singh’s Twitter account for an hour

PRE-RELEASE SPOILERS: The Ghost hijacks Nalini Singh’s Twitter account for an hour

Hey, Psy-Changeling fans! So you think you know who The Ghost is? This post might have you thinking again… (Updated 25/5/2013 to add link to Storify.)

Heart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Book 12, Psy-Changeling) - Australian editionHeart Of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Book 12, Psy-Changeling) - US editionThis morning Twitter users got to ask the Ghost some questions directly. He gave us some hints as to his identity, but some of his answers just raised more questions. Berkley will post a Storify link tomorrow (click here), but in the meantime, here is a summary of what we learned:

The Ghost was damaged before the PsyNet began to degrade, but he still does not want to leave. He is a male (not multiple people) who was ‘broken’ as a child, and who got rid of his conscience to survive. It hasn’t and (he believes) will never return. But he bonded with a woman (who is not his lover and is still alive today) during that time, and she is the only one to whom he is loyal and the only one who will keep him from carrying out his plans. He refuses to say what those plans are, only that they will become clear in time and he has been putting them into effect for over 20 years. He doesn’t discuss his plans with anyone except sometimes Judd and Xavier. He suspects Judd may have an idea of his ultimate goal. Sienna is no longer a part of his plan, but he would not answer why (is it because she is no longer a surprise?).

Only Judd and Hawke know who he is. He is related to a male we have already met and it’s important who he is related to. We can rule out the Laurens, Duncans, Dev, Hawke, Lucas and Zaid Adelaja (original Arrow) as relatives. When someone asked outright if the Ghost is Zaid, he said, ‘Zaid is dead.’ Does that actually rule him out? It wasn’t a no.

He had his own reasons for leading Judd to Alice. Judd has been loyal to him and he considers loyalty to be everything. He will never betray Xavier or Judd.

Ming will die when the time is right. The Council is all but gone, it just needs the final strike to completely put it out of its misery.

The Ghost does not have outlets or things he does in his spare time because he does what needs to be done and does not waste time. He also considers friends, lovers, etc. as weaknesses that can be used against him. While he has a relative, he has no family. This woman is the only one who has his loyalty and something happened to her that set him on his path.

He was romanticised a lot and received several marriage proposals, so he responded with this message: ‘you do not want to marry me. I would snap your neck if you touched me wrong.’ He is a virgin, but willing to use sex if necessary—he has no boundaries to achieving his goals.

The Ghost has no tattoos.

Heart of Obsidian will be available from June 4. You can pre-order a copy at BooktopiaGalaxyFishpondAmazon and Book Depository. The author has also posted the first two chapters of the book on her blog.

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Decadence's fascination with vampires can be blamed on Anne Rice and although she reads urban fantasy, historical romance, romantica and crime, her first and undying love is paranormal romance. She works in a bookstore and gets no sympathy for the sheer volume of work she brings home, not to mention the TBR mountain that will never be surmounted. Her guilty pleasures include (in no particular order) chocolate, pizza, sleeping in and Alexander Skarsgard and she is a final assessment away from holding a full pistol licence.


  1. Kat says:

    A few people on Twitter pointed out that Kaleb has a tattoo. I haven’t read the books as closely. so I couldn’t say for sure if they were right.

  2. Decadence says:

    I’ve always thought that Kaleb would be the obvious suspect as the Ghost, so I’ve been trying to come up with anyone and everyone else it could be. I tried to create a cheat sheet last year but the scope just grew too big because it’s hard to say which aspects of Psy physiology, culture, etc. are useful. And there’s a lot of info. And if I overlooked someone later in the series, would I need to go back to the beginning to look for any possible info that could support them or rule them out? It’s a massive undertaking.
    Anthony Kyriakus was an early contender for me as a rebel Psy, but he received an email from the Ghost in his supersecret private email address and doesn’t agree with the Ghost’s methods.
    Someone suggested it could be Nikita Duncan, but the Ghost is male and unless Nikita is hiding a bigger secret than we know, it’s probably not her.
    I used to think it could be one or more members of the Arrow squad, particularly Aden and/or Vasic. But the Ghost is only one male and I’ve felt these two act too much in tandem for only one of them to be the Ghost. But I’d have no doubt the other would have kept the secret if they were.
    Then it struck me it could be Zaid Adelaja, especially after the Ghost said that he was not related to Zaid and Zaid was dead. Zaid could ‘die’ and the Ghost could be born. In a changeling scene in one of the books, it was said that people or folks or some less-than-specific collective term lived to around 130, which could include Zaid if Silence is only 100 years old. But did that lifespan only relate to changelings? Does anyone know how long the Psy live?
    Someone yesterday suggested Walker and it had never occurred to me. But I don’t think it could be him either because while the Ghost has a male relative, he is not related to Sienna and claims he has no family. He considers family, lovers, friends, etc. as liabilities and Walker is just too warm.
    If, at the end of the day, the Ghost turns out to be Kaleb, I wouldn’t be disappointed because he’s always been an interesting, compelling and enigmatic character with massive rebel potential, but I don’t want to overlook the other possibilities.
    Does anyone else have some less obvious theories or do we all think it’s Kaleb?

  3. Cassandra says:

    As to the tattoo, the books talk about a mark on Kaleb’s arm. It is never called a tattoo and the text doesn’t seem to imply it is a tattoo, it comes across a brand. So, I don’t think the lack of tattoo eliminates Kaleb.

  4. Cassandra says:

    Decadence — I had almost the same thoughts about the Ghost. I too think it is Kaleb, but have tried to consider others. Nikitia and Anthony have definitely been eliminated IMHO.
    I have never been on team Vasic (I love him in generally, but never considered him as the Ghost), so perhaps I am a bit biased. I read Vasic’s struggle as a personal one, not Net wide. Unless, the Ghost and his real-life identity are written with different motivations (at least as I read it), I don’t see Vasic as the Ghost. While there are certainly things that could point to Vasic, I have to overcome or explain away too many things for me to easily accept Vasic.
    I too had the exact same thought that Zaid “died” and was reborn as the Ghost. I guess it is possible, but even though I had the thought I don’t believe it. I think others have asked prior and got an answer that he is definitely dead. Zaid would simply be too old, so unless there is some plot twist (possible), I think he is unlikely. I think generally the life span in this world is 130, but Silence is over 100 years old and he was an adult when Silence started.
    So, it always comes back to Kaleb for me. Another thing from the chat is that two people know the Ghost’s identity (which I agree with others in the chat that it has to be Judd and Hawke). On another forum, there was speculation that if Kaleb was not the Ghost, he would have to know who it is. Kaleb’s scenes suggest heavily to me that it would be impossible to hide from him and he would want to know who the Ghost is and could find out. This is just more evidence to me that Kaleb is the Ghost.
    For the most part, when people are speculating I find other candidates besides Kaleb could fit, but I have yet to come across anything that seems to eliminate or even make me strongly doubt Kaleb. Has anyone else?

  5. TJ Wells says:

    I think the Ghost is Kaleb’s older brother or something like that, maybe even a cousin? In the books Kaleb says the house he lives in is borrowed. Could it be the Ghost’s house before he became the Ghost?

  6. Decadence says:

    Cassandra, one of the reasons why I thought the Ghost might be Zaid is precisely because of that time frame. If a Psy was older and approaching the end of his life, maybe that might explain why he needed Judd and Xavier.
    TJ, do you think Kaleb’s brother (if there is one) could be someone we’ve already met?

  7. Wendy says:

    I ‘ve always kind of thought that Kaleb was a twin. But Kaleb does fit, too. Doesn’t the Ghost say at some point that he’s surprised that Xavier hasn’t recognized him? That suggests a counsilor, because most humans would recognize a counsilor, but maybe he means that Xavier in particular should recognize him?
    The whole something that happened to a woman thing makes me think of the Psy who rescued Annie, but how would he be loyal to her? I remember Nalini saying once that Annie would meet him again. Also remember her saying that we would see Sahara again, though.
    Utterly confused and waiting for June…..

  8. TJ Wells says:

    No, the Ghost will be unknown but Nalini DID say that the relative is already known to us as well as being male :)

  9. angela says:

    Read all these interesting comments. What if it is the twins? what if they never really died? they were teenagers right when they “died”? Also I thought for sure Sienna’s mom would be “found”.  

  10. azteclady says:

    I’ve been rereading since the beginning and, as Decadence said above, it’s almost impossible to write a definitive cheat sheet. Not just as it pertains the identity of the Ghost (count me in for Kaled) but for the next three books.
    One of the things I most love about the Psy/Changeling world is that, as the series advances, you can go back and find sly hints to later developments–in some cases, we are talking things that don’t happen until 4 books later, were hinted at in Slave to Sensation.
    Knowing that there was no guarantee, at the time of that release, that the rest of the series would be contracted–let alone take off the way it did–it’s pretty awesome to see the seeds of so many later developments.

  11. Decadence says:

    Angela, do you think it was the Adelaja twins, who were the first raised in Silence? Because the Ghost said he was not related to Zaid Adelaja, who was the first Arrow and the older brother of those twins.
    TJ, yes, we know the relative, but no one knows that he is related to the Ghost.

  12. Maryann says:

    I’ve always wanted it to be Kaleb but we all know how clever and devious Nalini is in her plotting. Has anyone ever considered Zie Zen plays some part in this mystery. He is a man of power. He helped Ashaya escape is supposedly was Keenan’s dad which Dorian did not believe. What about those 10 Chinese tokens that belong to those who are loyal?  It has to be important or Nalini would never have written it but it has not been mentioned again……. Just love this series and can’t wait to get the book next week. All activity will stop until I get it read!

  13. Cassandra says:

    I too am curious about the gold coins and this element of the Psy rebellion. The way I read the books is that there is a quiet rebellion which appears to be lead by Zie Zen (it is said in HtP that Zie Zen is not actually Keenan’s father, his father is a collection of different DNA suppliers, but is listed as the father as protection) and Anthony. Aden and Vasic’s involvement in this element of the rebellion, ie they are the ones that helped Ashaya and Dorian after Dorian was shot, is another part of why I favor Kaleb as the Ghost. I get the distinct impression that the Ghost and this rebellion are separate and do not work together. This belief is bolstered by Anthony’s surprise at being contracted by the Ghost. Of course, the Ghost could be secretly working both sides, but again that is not the feeling I get reading the books. I wonder of this is one the threads (the quiet rebellion) that will be taken up in this book. As I think it is quite clear that this book is focused mostly on the Psy, it is very likely. Not only am I looking forward to reading this book, but also to rereading earlier books and having the clues click!

  14. Decadence says:

    I’d forgotten all about Zie Zen. I agree that their quiet rebellion seems separate to the Ghost’s activities. But having said that, Zie Zen and the Ghost both prize loyalty. Do we know how far Zen Zie is willing to go or if he has lines he won’t cross?

What do you think?

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