Monday, March 22, 2010

Review - Greywalker (Greywalker, Book 1) by Kat Richardson (4/5 stars)

This is the first book in the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson, so far there are 6 books sold in this series.  Book #5, Labyrinth, is due out August of 2010.  I listened to this book on audio book and it was very well done and very easy to listen to.  I originally read a short story by Richardson that Harper Blaine was in; I liked her writing style and the idea behind the Grey so I decided to give this series a try.  I am actually surprised it isn't rated higher on Amazon; I thought it was a very solid entry into the paranormal market.

Harper Blaine, a private investigator, gets whacked around by a pissed off client and ends up dead for a couple minutes.  When she comes back and tries to resume her normal life things have...changed.  She keeps seeing ghosts and getting sucked into a grey world.  Her doctor refers her to an interesting couple of people who make a living studying magic; ends up Harper is a Greywalker and can walk the planes between the natural and supernatural world.  This is all well and good but for some reason Harper's cases start getting more and more bizarre as things from the Grey are drawn to her for help.

There were a lot of things I liked about this story.  The idea of the Grey is very cool and, while Harper's full potential wasn't realized in this book, there are a lot of cool things that Richardson does with the Grey.  I think this whole idea of the Grey has great potential for even more creative use as the series continues.  I also really liked Harper's character.  She is practical and organized; she is not overly tough-girl but is willing to deal with whatever life throws at her.  I also liked that she still has to do normal things like eat and sleep and that isn't ignored in this book.  I also liked the side characters; all the side characters are intriguing and engaging.

I liked the writing style too.  It moved pretty fast, had good action scenes, Richardson makes some very funny analogies and gives her characters some great sarcastic wit that I enjoyed.  Richardson did an excellent job have having multiple plotlines going (with all of Harper's different clients) and the plotlines never got confused and they ended up coming together very neatly in the end.  I liked Harper's relationship with Will; it was just a normal, nice beginning relationship.  It was good to see Harper live her life as normal as she could with all the weird stuff going on around her.  That being said this was not a romance or even a paranormal romance; this was definitely more of an urban fantasy...which of course, is what I prefer.

The treatment of vampires was pretty traditional, nothing too surprising there.  So, I suppose that might disappoint some people.  The conclusion to the book wasn't all that surprising, but it was well done.  There are a number of other supernatural forces dealt with in this book...primarily necromancers, witches, and ghosts.  There was also brief mention of werewolves and the inclusion of the Guardian of the Grey.  I am hoping that in future books we learn more about the Grey and that the world isfurther expanded.

Overall this was a solid paranormal read that tended more towards urban fantasy and mystery.  I loved the creativity of the Grey and thought the characterization was very strong.  I also enjoyed the tight plot.  I am hoping we get to learn more about the Grey in future books and that Richardson expands upon the world she's created in this book.  I really enjoyed Harper's character.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
- 1st in a Series Reading Challenge
- Thiller and Suspense Challenge
Greywalker (Greywalker, Book 1) 

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