Yes, it’s already 2023 but I’m determined to finish this 2022 blog series before moving into 2023. We are ending it on a high note though!
Greywalker by Kat Richardson
Book 1 of 9 in the Greywalker series
Published: March 30, 2009
Amazon ratings: 360 ratings; 4.4 avg
Goodreads ratings: 13,629 ratings; avg 3.5
First person POV/ magical world reveal
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.
As usual, despite high rating averages, there are always readers who didn’t enjoy the book. Who knows, maybe you are one of them?! I still feel repeated criticisms are a great place to start so here we go.
- Repetitive/ overwrought descriptions
- FMC in denial/ boring/ unlikeable
- No plot/ incoherent
“I won’t make a leap of faith when I don’t have any.”
FMC – Harper Blaine
It’s the characters who can keep me reading through plot holes, slow writing, and more so that criticism always makes me pause. It did take me some time to connect to Harper. However, after 2 years of Book Chats analyzing my reading, I know that’s a me thing. I did connect to her though and actually enjoyed her. I also related to her.
When thrust into the paranormal, she compartmentalizes a lot. She also focuses on things she knows and can control – the grunt work of her existing PI cases. Harper doesn’t rush to learn or understand the new Grey world. She’s also not overly emotional so reactions can be rather small (even to a car attempting to run her over). It won’t work for everyone, but it does work for me!
As this is first person, I think it’s always more important to click with the MC. There are a lot of phone calls, recapped conversations, and notes. It works for Harper’s style but you might not enjoy it.
No plot/ incoherent
Again, I can understand this complaint. Whereas, I wanted to jump right into the paranormal with a big problem, Harper avoided it. We bounce around a lot as Harper tries to stick to her previous normal. I think it mostly comes together in the end though. It’s definitely set up for more discovery and action which I hope carries through to the next books.
This is something that’s often subjective. As an impatient reader, I don’t like overly descriptive passages. I’ll share a two more below to give you a better feel.
…watching his knife diligently as he cut through a chicken breast which would have surrendered whorishly to a spoon.
The light—hazy grey and impossible to look at as sun-glare in the desert—wiped out detail in a fuzz of visual noise.
The first made me chuckle; the second was something I skimmed as it was part of a much longer and very descriptive scene. You’ll have to make that call yourself!
Overall, I’m giving this one 3.5/ 4 stars!
I was fascinated by the world which snagged my attention immediately and kept me invested until I had sufficient time to connect to Harper. Once I liked Harper, the book sped along easily for me and was a fun read. I will continue this series and would be open to trying more from this author as well.
It’s your turn, fellow readers! Comment to share your thoughts or ask questions if you’re still not sure this is the right read for you. After that, you can skip down to the end for a new cat picture. I haven’t uploaded the 2023 Book Chat post yet, but I’ll add a link at the bottom of this one once I do.
Now it’s time for the writer portion of our chat! You can jump down to the cute cat picture if you prefer!
It’s always fun for me to both enjoy a book and learn from it!
Go back and read that blurb again. It won’t take long – it’s less than 100 words. We’ve spoken about this in previous Book Chats but it came up in Facebook groups again so it’s on my mind. I assume we’ve all heard the advice to leave some things up to the readers’ imagination. I first applied it to writing – it is a challenge not to share every little thing we put so much effort into creating. Once I started working on marketing, I started to realize it’s even more important for the blurb.
A reader may continue reading our books even if the pacing isn’t their preference or they are impatient like me.
However, they are unlikely to even pick up a book if a blurb bores them.
Take a look at your blurbs and some of your favorite books and consider giving some slower-selling books a blurb redo!
You see a lot of reader complaints when characters are too similar to their favorites. More writing advice encourages us to give them real flaws to make them relatable. In this instance, I related to Harper’s flaws…others were entirely put off by them.
Obviously, a writer’s work is their own which means you can do whatever you want. I wanted to mention this here because, as a reader, it’s easy to look at a book with over 13,000 GR ratings and ignore a few naysayers about a quirky character. It’s harder when you are the writer and those naysayers are your Alpha/ Beta readers, your editors, or even ARC readers. If you’re new and looking for those essential readers in your life, do remember that not every reader is for every writer. Listen to criticisms but still keep your book yours!
Gray v Grey
As an FYI, Grammarly always flags my preference for grey (British) instead of gray (American). It also hates that I like to use leapt! I am consistent with my preference though and I think that’s the important party. I will also die on the Oxford Comma hill (no, no one asked, but I’m sharing anyway)!
That’s another Book Chat and another year of Book Chats…well, in the books! 😉
I will continue this blog series with a new 2023 Books & Cats Chat. I hope you’ll give the blog a follow so you can join future chats. I do sometimes ramble about other things on my blog – travel and martial arts do seem to come up often as my favorite things. However, most of my posts are bookish in nature.
I wish all a brilliant new year and hope 2023 brings health and happiness to you and yours!