Book Review: Kat Richardson’s Greywalker

Posted November 5, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kat Richardson’s Greywalker



Kat Richardson

urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by ROC on October 3, 2006 and has 341 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mean Streets, Poltergeist, Underground, Vanished, Labyrinth, Downpour, Seawitch, Possession, Revenant, Indigo

First in the Greywalker urban fantasy series based in Seattle and revolving around Harper Blaine, a private detective who has just entered a whole new, Grey world.

My Take

Most of Greywalker is an introduction to Harper’s new world. About half of the story deals with Mara and Ben trying to teach Harper how to cope with the Grey, about a quarter is introducing us to the paranormal characters inhabiting Seattle, and the last quarter is setting the major conflict facing Harper, for I think Alice and Wygan are working together to use Harper, whether for good or ill, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I do wish Richardson had either expanded upon Will and Michael’s problems with their boss, Brandon McCain, or left it out. What she did relate was enough to tease, but without more info, it was rather pointless. I would have liked some backstory on Harper as well. Where are her parents? How did she get into detective work? How long has she been doing it? What are her qualifications? She doesn’t—yet—appear to have much of a relationship with the cops.

Okay, in spite of my whining above, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Richardson has taken a slight twist on vampire culture making it fresher as well as creating very interesting—if not palatable—characters all of whom I am most curious about while I am falling in love with a smaller core group. I’m very much looking forward to reading Poltergeist.

The Story

Beaten to death by a client’s stepfather, Harper Blaine stays dead just long enough to become a part of the Grey. Not understanding how to deal with it, she gets to know Ben and Mara who help her cope with her new abilities even as Harper suddenly adds a whole new type of clientele.

A clientele that will require the type of aid Mara (and they) can offer in preventing the destruction of Seattle even as it drives others away.

The Characters

Harper Blaine is the lead female character. A private detective and a bit of a loner, Harper is in the process of learning a whole new skillset. One her pet ferret, Chaos, is not appreciating. She also has an eye for battered antiques. Quinton is another loner with his own particular skill- and knowledge-set, that of a generalist who can get down and dirty in minutes with an unexpected awareness of the world Harper is just entering. I suspect he has his own particular secret to hide. Will Novak is an antiquities expert with great potential in the boyfriend department, there’s just this one thing that could be a problem. Michael is his much-younger brother.

Mara and Ben Danziger are educators with a paranormal slant. An amazingly homey couple, they teach students in a myriad of ways. They have a son named Brian and a resident ghost, Albert. Mara is a witch and teaches geology at the university while Ben has a few more plates to juggle with his current part-time position teaching linguistics at the U (pre-budget cuts, the teaching included philosophy and religion); text translation in Russian, Czech, Polish, German, plus; and, his research into the paranormal including the Grey.

Nanette Grover is a long-time client while Colleen Shadley is the new client who inadvertently shoves Harper off the deep end in her search for Colleen’s missing son Cameron. After Harper’s visit with his sister, Sarah rescues a couple of ferrets for herself. Edward Kammerling is a vampire with a leading role in both worlds; he certainly clears up some questions Harper never knew she had about TPM! Other Seattle-based paranormals include Carlos (vampire?, definitely necromancer), Alice Liddell (hate-filled vampire), Wygan (?), and Gwen, a.k.a., Lady Gwendolyn of Anorexia (an RPG-playing, fading vampire) with some very thought-provoking insights. Grigori Sergeyev is another other client with some very destructive potential.

The Cover and Title

They’re using the same model from Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series with a slightly pink-tinged gray metallic sheen overlaying Harper leaning against a column that is part of a pillared walkway with the suggestion of a nightlit Seattle cityscape behind her all a’tilt.

The title is accurate enough as Harper has just become a Greywalker.