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Greywalker [Mass Market Paperback]

Kat Richardson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 2 2009 GREYWALKER (Book 1)
Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until a two-bit perp's savage assault left her dead for two minutes. When she comes to in the hospital, she sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.

But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker- able to move between the human world and the mysterious cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift is about to drag her into that strange new realm-whether she likes it or not.

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From Publishers Weekly

PI Harper Blaine sees a strange shift in clientele in Richardson's dizzy urban fantasy debut. After being dead for two minutes as a result of a clobbering by an angry perp, Harper discovers icky side effects complicate her Seattle life in unexpected ways—she sees ghosts and attracts otherworldly business as she pops in and out of a shadowy overlapping world. Harper seeks the assistance of Ben Danziger, self-proclaimed "ghost guy" and linguistics professor, and his wife, Mara, a witty Irish witch. They educate Harper on the Grey, "a place between our world and the next." Harper tries to maintain a normal life, dating a sexy antiques expert while battling wits with Seattle's vampire king, but being a Greywalker means she can only "pass for human." Fast-paced fun, this first novel will captivate fans of Charmed, Buffy and Charlaine Harris (Definitely Dead). (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The perfect blend of hardboiled p.i. and supernatural thriller."
-Crimespree Magazine

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic urban fantasy Oct. 29 2007
I stumbled on this author by accident and am so glad I did that I'm constantly checking to see if a new book in the series is coming out. This book has all of the intrigue of books by authors like Kim Harrison or Charlaine Harris but I find this heroine much more enjoyable to read about. She's smart, not consumed by her looks and it doesn't seem like she's interested in sleeping with every male she comes into contact with. While there is a smidgen of romance, there is a refreshing lack of sleazy sex scenes and more focus on how the character learns to come to terms with a newfound ability that no one else seems to have.

There are times in the book that you'll want to just shake the heroine Harper Blaine, and even yell at her, and times where you'd feel just as anxious as her. Either way, the reader is left wanting to know what happens, and believe me it's certainly not predictable.

If you are a fan of Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong and the rest of the urban fantasy crew, I think you will like this book and find it different and interesting enough that you'll be waiting for more in the series too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Waking the Grey June 5 2009
The Grey: a sort of limbo between our world and the world after death, where strange creatures lurk, echoes of the past linger, and magic reigns.

It's a pretty intriguing concept for an urban fantasy -- way better than the usual "all the myths are true! I is strong woman who kills!" stuff. And while Kat Richardson's fantasy debut "Greywalker" has a slow first half and a bit too much whining from her heroine, all the subpots and tension whip together nicely in the second half. And with such a unique idea for an urban fantasy, Richardson is obviously just starting to dig into its depths.

Harper Blaine was savagely beaten by a small-time thug, and was technically dead for two minutes before the medics revived her. And though her body recovers, she finds that she's seeing all sorts of weird images -- mist, monsters, ghostly figures, etc. Her doctor sends her to Mara and Ben, a paranormal researcher and his cheerful witchy wife, who tell her that she's now a Greywalker -- a person who can see and affect the Grey.

As she tries to deal with this, Harper takes on some new cases -- a rich woman searching for her son, a man who wants an antique organ returned, and a new boyfriend with a shady partner. Unfortunately, these cases all have ties to the Grey, and they pull Harper into the nighttime politics of the vampire underworld, as well as getting her involved with a guy who may just be a necromancer. And though Harper is trying to distance herself from the world of the Grey, the creatures bound to it may not let her leave...

For the record, the first half of "Greywalker" is really quite slow.
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3.0 out of 5 stars GreyWalker July 29 2009
By Tynga's Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Harper Blaine is working as a PI and gets beat up nastily and dies in the very first pages. Brought back to life by efficient cares she now feels dizzy and sees weird things. Doctor at the emergency suggest she should meet with some friends of his.

After meeting with them, Harper is struggling to make her mind around what she'd learn. There is some kind of alternate world wear ghosts, vampires and such lives. She now as acces to that world!

Some very weird clients now shows up at her office and she is being dragged further down The Grey drain.

Honestly after reading it I'm not quite sure how I feel about the book. The story isn't bad, the action is fine, some interesting character but something doesn't feel right. I can't say I don't like it, nor that I liked it. I can't quite pinpoint what's bothering me.One thing is for sure though, Blaine is suppose to be some kind of strong woman but she just rings weak to me. The girl is smart and gets out of nasty situation but she's kind of whiny.I haven't made up my mind yet if I'm gonna read the following books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  174 reviews
129 of 145 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting. Oct. 5 2006
By 30 Book A Month Reader - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Harper Blaine is a private investigator who survived an assault that was severe enough to actually kill her for two minutes. After she was revived and woke up in the hospital, Harper realizes that her life has forever changed. From the assault, Harper now sees a different world/dimension that is a zone between our world and the next. In this space, everything is gray, misty, full of ghosts and monsters, and Harper has no idea how to cope with it. Confused and sick, Harper eventually meets up with Ben and Mara, a couple with connections to the world of the supernatural. Mara, who is a witch, assists Harper with her transition from human to Greywalker. As a Greywalker, Harper becomes almost a magnet for supernatural creatures. The supernatural is naturally attracted to her because they believe she is "one of them" and can assist them with unfulfilled quests and desires. With her connection to the Grey, Harper becomes involved with several clients, which end up becoming connected and intertwined throughout the book.

Greywalker is detective story that uses paranormal aspects to solve the cases. I adored the book as it started out and was fascinated by Harper's transition into a Greywalker. What turned me off about the book was the number of things happening all at the same time - too many villians, too many agendas, too many different species, too many unexplained events. The second half of the book became more and more complicated, with Harper constantly being sucked dry. In fact, the second half of the book I actually got tired of Harper constantly, constantly stating how tired she was, how wrung out, how nauseated, how sick, how weak, how cold - you get the picture. At one point, I wished she would just kill herself. I probably will buy a second book to see if Harper gains some equilibrium with the Grey and actually becomes useful, because the series does show some real promise.
55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ouch? Oct. 13 2006
By lwd - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The grey between life and death does feel like an overdone premise lately, but I was hopeful for this new book. I'm still hopeful, and might read the next installment from this author, but I need to get over this one, first.

There is plenty of action, but little in-depth characterization, which seems odd. As is the current trend, this book is written in the first person, so we should know every emotional feeling our heroine has, but we don't. She seems extremely disconnected with the other players. Even the one sexual relationship was a literal "wham-bam" that lacked substance, and came from out of nowhere. She comes home after being nearly killed (again), the next chapter immediately starts with her getting out of bed with a virtual stranger we had met a chapter or two before. Whoa! Hello? It was so completely out of the blue, I actually flipped back a few pages to see where I missed the setup.

Back to the action, which seems to be the only area that has substance. Too much substance. The author definitely doesn't disconnect from the ugly side of things. From the beginning we are thrown into the brutal beating that causes her to (apparently) die for a couple of minutes. You felt every bruise. From this point she gets pummeled and slashed on a pretty regular basis, meets a couple who supposedly understands "The Grey", takes on vampires, evil entities that will destroy the world, gets nauseous (a lot, and describes it constantly), barters her soul, puts her friends in danger... you can't stop reading, it's like watching a train wreck. You know it's bad form to keep ogling and watching the pain of the scene, but you can't seem to walk away.

Three stars because I couldn't put this book down, but to be honest, I'm a little ashamed that I didn't.
49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilled Potential April 12 2007
By Anna Hope - Published on
The concept of this book was great! Unfortunately the delivery left a lot to be desired. I actually had to force myself to finish the last third of it. All of the magical elements were left exceptionally vague, just a lot of mist and nausea. Now "the Grey" ,a spririt world between worlds, may be a confusing place but it is the authors duty to explain and visually describe in order to pull the reader in, make us understand. The Grey just sounded like a foggy night with a bad burrito in your belly.

The lack of description just continued over into the characters, none of which you'll be pining for at the end. The main character never gave a reason why you should really be rooting for her and care what happens to her personnally.Plus I was just past the middle of the book and thinking, when is the actual plot going to start.

Sorry this wasn't a book for me and I'll pretty much read anything in the fantasy/romance genre.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed with this first novel Aug. 1 2010
By crankedmunkie - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Private Investigator Harper Blaine is murdered and subsequently dead for two minutes. Revived by doctors, she awakens with the ability to walk within the "grey" - or the plane between this world and the next. This makes her more aware and susceptible to ghosts, vampires... otherworldly beings. Regardless of her new ability, Harper remains bland and uninteresting. As far as I can tell, she's still dead! Emotionally, anyway. Someone murders her and she doesn't even seek justice or revenge. The only tidbit into Harper's personal life the author offers is a pet ferret that has more personality than its owner.

Richardson's pacing and sense of story structure is baffling as well. Nearly an entire chapter is devoted to Harper having an alarm system installed. The love interest, however, gets sparse few paragraphs in separate chapters. In one chapter, whatshisname (gah, I can't even remember) wouldn't even acknowledge Harper because she blew him off, then several chapters later the nooky is implied. Don't bother to backtrack thinking you zoned out on any juicy details. They don't exist. While I appreciate the lack of gratuitous sex, there's nothing wrong with a little sexual tension. I mean, isn't that the point of introducing a romantic interest?

Worst of all, there is no mystery. I was not compelled to turn the pages because I wanted to know what was going on. I forced myself to read the book because I paid for it and hoped the story would improve. It didn't. When the climax surfaced, I didn't experience a series revelations because the author comes to conclusions that don't make any sense. Why does Harper side with one character over another? No explanation, but the author asserts it was part of Blaine's clever scheme to solve the case. Huh.

If you want satisfying urban fantasy with some mystery: Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, Jeaniene Frost's Nighthuntress series and spin-offs, Tanya Huff's Blood Books, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels, Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series. Anything but Greywalker. Eeesh. I can't comprehend the above average rating. I don't like to write negative reviews but this has proved to be cathartic.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GreyWalker Nov. 1 2006
By Avery Louis - Published on
Kat Richardson, GreyWalker, New York, NY. Roc Books, 2006

ISBN 0-451-46107-X) 339 pages

In GreyWalker, Kat Richardson's wonderfully eccentric and fun debut, we are lead down a dark and sometimes comical trail into the world of ghosts, witches and vampires. Kat's tough talking and gun totting heroine Harper Blaine, a female detective with a gift at seeing all things grey has a deadpan sarcastic streak in the spooky.

Grey, the word according to the parameters of this book is best summed up not by Harper but by the very unorthodox linguistics professor/paranormal philosopher Ben Danziger, "Now, if what we perceive is just a state of energy, then it follows that there may be other states we can not perceive because we exist within a different state. Beside our `normal world-our normal energy-there is a parallel or `parallel or `paranormal' world where other energy states dominate and a transition zone where the world states overlap. Like matryoshka dolls, nesting one inside the next. The transition zone is the Grey, and it has its special denizens." Richardson, Kat. GreyWalker. New York, NY: ROC, 2006.

Being that Harper suffered a near fatal assault at the beginning of the book, having said died for 2 minutes. She awoke with a queer ability to see into the supernatural world, hence forth becoming a GreyWalker, one who can walk thru both planes.

Unlike the cliché, where a reader would expect the individual to leap at the chance of having this "gift" and quite open to the idea, Harper is not. Harper Blain's whole perception in life is watching it thru a very basic colour pallet of black and white, excluding grey. The world is a very easily solved problem to the skeptic and Harper is a skeptic, down to the situation where she is pushed face first with a vampire, she still doesn't believe it. Until a confirmation from her pseudo spiritual tutor, Mara the witch then does the truth begin to sink in.

However, the fact the title character Harper is so strictly drawn out, it creates its own cliché a Bogie film noir character without the restrained sex appeal. The character at most was a cartoon of what every 1940's private detective was; the only separation was the gender-Harper was a female. With the concept of a Greywalker, I was surprised how rudimentary and unoriginal she was. Harper could have been exciting and daring, but instead the secondary characters stole the entirely. The vampires here fall into the Anne Rice School of intellectualized immortals except containing none of the yearning or passion. They were in essence similar to Blain's character base caricatures minus one vampire. The vampire in question was an upper-class, college student was refreshing, as was the home making witch, and the tech geek, sadly by the first few chapters I found myself asking, why I could not hear more of their voices rather than Harpers.

Frankly I was bored with her. The book illustrated Kat's ease with simply wording that allowed the reader to push on and with uncomplicated conflicts that made everything very approachable-too approachable. The struggles in this book were mundane, I wanted something that challenged the characters and allowed one to be shocked. There was no shock just a very obvious skeleton; a very a very straight foward introduction,a routine climax and languid conclusion.

However with this subject I could assume a second installment could play down some of Harper's non-developed persona. Or better yet let the witch and the vampire become larger characters in this tome.

Taking this book as what it is, a very light, fluffy read, I recommend it to all who may need something frivolous to pass the time with at air port terminals or long lunches alone.
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