"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Greywalker

TITLE: Greywalker
AUTHOR: Kat Richardson

I try, when their books appeal to me, to read books by people I encounter online. Kat Richardson posts occasionally at rec.arts.science fiction.composition, so I was curious about her writing style. Greywalker, which features the usual denizens of dark, urban fantasy -- vampires, ghosts, witches, demon-like critters -- isn't my usual type of book, but it is well written.

Harper Blaine, an independent private investigator, is on a typical case when she's attacked by the guy she's been investigating. The beating leaves her gravely injured, even dead for a few moments, which was, it seems, enough for her to be able to access and be noticed by the Grey and the creatures that live in that place been living reality and the final resting place. She is befriended by a friendly witch who tries to help her understand and control her new life as a Greywalker while continuing to pursue her trade. Two cases have her attention: looking for a missing college student and trying to trace a missing piece of furniture.

Read enough, especially in genre, and you can get a sense of where things are going. The two seemingly unconnected cases will somehow become connected, although Richardson gets props for not having them end up being one case, after all. But there was a level of predictability to the story's development, as one thing conveniently helps with another. And Harper's encounters with powerful vampires leads to some of the overwrought prose that usually keeps me from reading many vampire tales.

Overall, Richardson's prose is solid and the characters interesting enough to keep me reading and I'll be game for a sequel. After all, she dropped enough hints that there's more to Quinton, the local computer geek, for me to want to know more about him.