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Poltergeist: A Greywalker Novel (Book 2) by Kat Richardson
Review by Gayle Surrette
Roc Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451461506
Date: 07 August 2007 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Author's Blog / Show Official Info /

It's been several months since the events in Greywalker, and Harper Blaine is learning to live with her ability to move into and out of the grey. She's got more control but she hasn't really learned any more about her ability. Now that she doesn't slip as much she's just trying to earn a living, and her newest client may be more trouble than the job's worth. Professor Gartner Tuckman, full name and bigger ego, wants Harper to find out who is cheating because he's getting better results than he should from his poltergeist experiment. Harper wonders how he'll take it if it turns out his results are due to the real thing. But then that was before one of the test subjects was killed and several others injured. Now she's got to learn as much as she can about the grey before anyone else is killed.

Also by Kat Richardson

As the second book in the series, it brings the characters from the first book and adds some new ones, adding to depth to Harper's environment. I really like when author's give their main characters real lives. Harper Blaine has friends, enemies, clients (more than one at a time), problems with her house, her ferret, and her lover. In other words, she's believable so it's easier to accept the grey as well.

However, while this book could be read as a stand alone, I think you'll want to have the background and learn about the grey. One of the amazing things about this series is how much Seattle is a character. The stories don't just take place in Seattle. Seattle, its history and geography, is an integral part of the grey and Harper's interactions with it. Richardson drops in short, concise references to historical events and people as needed to advance the plot and Harper's skills. This adds an interesting bit of texture to the story.

Harper Blaine is a greywalker; she can move in and out of that between area of now/past, dead/alive, magic/non-magic. She gained these powers in the last book but she's only been learning to protect herself from slipping unexpectedly and to ignore it when she doesn't need it. However, with this new case, someone has learned to use the grey without being a greywalker, they have more skill than she does, and if she can't figure out what that person is doing, more test subjects could be killed. It seems this is going to be the pivotal event that forces Harper to claim her new powers.

Richardson is really striking out in new territory with this series. It's not the same old same old. Are there vampires -- yeah and they're the usual power-hungry control freaks but they're just another group to Harper and she prefers to ignore them unless one is a client. This is urban fantasy at its best with new ideas, crisp dialogue, great characters, and exciting stories.

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