To begin, I loved THE PURIFICATION CEREMONY. The taut suspense, muscular, adrenalized prose and delicious blend of action/mysticism were a wonderful surprise, and on finishing it I immediately hunted down a used copy of GHOST DANCE. Yikes. To paraphrase the previous reviewer, I can't believe this is the work of the same author. Sullivan once again walks into action/mysticism territory, only to immediately fall flat on his face, break his nose and then proceed to stumble blindly for several hundred pages.
I can't recall the last book I read where the writing was this awkward and forced. Everything from the name of the heroine (full name: Andromeda Nightengale... yeah, that just flows off the tongue) on forward seems the product of a writer trying desperately to replicate a successful formula without the benefit of real inspiration or, for that matter, an interesting story to tell. "Hmmm... what should I do next. I know: CIA assassins! No, no, wait -- I'll have my protagonists stumble into a cave and find some valuable piece of evidence... again. Or I could just give them another feverish, mystical vision. Nobody's tried that before!"
Why did I actually finish this book? I had 4 hours to kill on a plane, and it was either this or try to lipread "Gosford Park." I'm not sure I made the right decision. THE PURIFICATION CEREMONY was good enough to make me curious about Mr. Sullivan's future efforts, but GHOST DANCE is about as painful a mis-step as you'll ever encounter in print.