Greywalker by Kat Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this one. I've heard a lot of good talk about it, and I'm pleasantly surprised that I liked it too. So many times I've been disappointed with books that the “masses” suggest. This is a new and unique concept for urban fantasy. I can honestly say I haven't read another one at all similar to this. The protagonist, Harper Blaine, dies in the first few pages but is recessitated. This brush with death allows her to see the place between life and death: the Grey.
Unique main character and ability. This isn't the first UF to deal with ghosts (the Downside Ghosts series comes to mind), but it makes its own niche in the genre. Harper is truly an everyday person thrust into a role she does not want, nor does she enjoy it. Her new world is a scary place, and she reacts realistically. I'm tired of hero(ine)s, that are martial arts experts or gunslingers. Harper does use a gun but only in self-defense. She was amazingly realistic and believable. I loved reading about her.
The little things. Richardson does a surpurb job bringing her characters and her world to life. Harper is a private investigator, but Richardson gives us an authentic view of that job: the paperwork, endless calling around, the little things a real P.I. has to deal with. So many authors choose a PI character, then write constant action scenes and shootouts. While paperwork sounds boring to read about, somehow it wasn't. It gave greater depth to this already well-done book.
Confusing descriptions. A lot of the Grey, by necessity of its nature, is written abstractly. But it was hard to keep track of what was happening. I had to re-read several paragraphs to follow the story. And occasionaly the metaphors were … odd. On the first page, Richardson mentions a sledgehammer fist. For several paragraphs later, I thought that Harper had been struck by a sledgehammer, not a fist like a sledgehammer. It distracted me, having to re-read passages because of metaphors or the abstract nature of the Grey.
Lots and lots of side characters. I like a supporting cast, but I lost track of who was who a few times. At one point, Harper refers to “Steve.” I had completely forgotten these character and had no idea who he was.
In the climatic end, I wish Harper had done more. She plans it, but didn't participate much. Eventually, she causes the turn in the battle, but not by design. In the rest of the book, she is the center of everything, just not that last scene. I hope in later ones, she does more.
Despite my occasionaly confusion, I truly enjoyed Greywalker. I recommend it to all Urban Fantasy readers. Enjoy!
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