08-24-2009 11:56 AM
Year of the Kat: Why Kat Richardson is Paranormal Fantasy’s Next Superstar
Greywalker, Poltergeist, Underground, and Vanished, which was just released a few weeks ago) and has done something very few paranormal fantasy authors have accomplished – she has made the jump to hardcover.
The magnitude of her last two novels being released in hardcover shouldn’t be downplayed: paranormal fantasy is arguably one of the fastest growing and dynamic categories in genre fiction but of the hundreds upon hundreds of releases each year, only an elite few are being published in hardcover. In three short years, Richardson has joined a select group of authors that includes the likes of Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, and Patricia Briggs.
Why is Kat Richardson – and her Greywalker saga featuring Seattle based private investigator Blaine Harper – so good? It’s because she excels in fusing all of the appealing elements of contemporary paranormal fantasy (butt-kicking female heroine, heaping helpings of vampires and ghosts, romantic undertones, etc.) with a wide variety of “old school” genre fiction sensibilities. Paranormal fantasy at its very best is an addictively readable amalgam of genre elements and that’s exactly what Richardson’s Greywalker novels are – serpentine, noir-nuanced plotlines à la Raymond Chandler’s stories featuring private investigator Philip Marlowe; creepy supernatural atmospherics reminiscent of Algernon Blackwood’s John Silence sequence; and (yes, I’ll say it) even a little bit of Ludlumesque suspense.
But here’s why I love Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series: every new novel is better than the last. Her latest, Vanished, is simply a genre-transcendent masterpiece. In it, protagonist Blaine Harper – who was assaulted years earlier and after being clinically dead for a few minutes can now see otherworldly entities not visible to normal humans – finds out some absolute bombshells about her past, namely the mystery surrounding her father’s death and his power to see into the Grey of the otherworld. In the process of tracking down her father’s wayward ghost, Blaine accepts a job in London and stumbles headlong into a conspiratorial plot involving a cabal of vampires led by a monstrosity that her father described as the “white worm man” in his diary. After realizing that the confluence of bizarre events – revelations about her father’s death, the disappearance of an ex-boyfriend, strange vampire attacks in Seattle, etc. – is all connected, Blaine must finally come to grips with her unfathomable power as a Greywalker: or become a pawn in an ancient soul-sucker’s apocalyptic endgame…
So, with the recent release of Vanished – unarguably Richardson’s most accomplished work to date – 2009 is the year of the Kat. Paranormal fantasy fans who have yet to discover this unputdownable series should seek out all four Greywalker novels before they all have, well, vanished from the book shelves…
08-24-2009 03:24 PM
I'm glad that you were finally able to read Vanished. And I agree it was a great book. I just wish that she could put one out every six months instead having to wait a year.
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
08-27-2009 12:07 PM - last edited on 08-28-2009 05:48 PM by paulgoatallen
I agree. Had her first book when came out--loved it.