Foreign types with their hookah pipes say Wayohwayoh Oohwayohwayoooh: Walk like an Egyptian. Erm, look… I promise this will make more sense as an opening bit once you’ve gotten about halfway through the review. For now, let’s just disappear into Vanished, by Kat Richardson.
Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until she died-for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker-walking the line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she’s discovering that her new abilities are landing her in all sorts of “strange cases.”
But for Harper, her own case may prove the most difficult to solve. Why did she-as opposed to others with near-death experiences-become a Greywalker? When Harper digs into her own past, she unearths some unpleasant truths about her father’s early death as well as a mysterious puzzle. Forced by some very demanding vampires to take on an investigation in London, she soon discovers her present troubles in England are entangled with her dark past back in Seattle-and her ultimate destiny as a Greywalker.
If you read the previous book in the Greywalker series, you may remember that it ended with an epilogue featuring an apparent cliffhanger: Harper opened the wooden puzzle box given to her by Will, releasing a bundle of Grey energy, and she wondered what new fresh hell it will bring. Well, you can stop wondering, because the answer is: nothing whatsoever! That plotline is completely dropped, totally forgotten, in no way followed up upon or even mentioned whatsoever. Oh, a puzzle box does play a major role in the story – but it’s a metal puzzle box left to Harper by her father, not a wooden one given to her by Will. I’d call it a continuity error, except that at one point Harper specifically mentions the other puzzle box she got from Will, so it’s not so much a matter of the author forgetting as the author not caring.
In any event, the first part of this book was really quite good. We finally meet Harper’s mother and get to learn about her childhood and her relationship with her family. Her past was previously something of a blank slate, so getting this information really increases her depth as a character. Not to mention, Harper’s investigation into her father’s involvement with the Grey leads to us getting more information on the nature of Greywalkers. Honestly, I could’ve read a whole book based on Harper dealing with local hauntings in her childhood hometown while uncovering family secrets relating to her father’s life and unnatural death.
Instead, it’s only the first part of the book and is quickly abandoned in favor of Harper going on a trip to London, where a bunch of stuff happens with golems and wraiths and super special awesome Egyptian vampires which are way better than your ordinary everyday vampire.
No, not him. …And, come to think of it, not actually all that awesome when compared to him. You know what, never mind what I said before: this series’s Egyptian vampires are actually kind of lame.
Look, all the stuff that goes down in London is basically fine on its own merits, but lacks the major sense of personal connection to Harper’s past which the story had going for it earlier. Even though the stakes are supposed to be higher, I care less because I’m not as interested in the nuances of vampire politics in London as I was in the actual main character’s backstory.
Well, I will give the second part of the book at least some credit: Marsden, the eyeless Greywalker, is a kind of cool new character. I wasn’t expecting him to make it to the end of the book, after he hinted that he had exhausted his Greywalker reserve of extra lives, but was pleasantly surprised when the story ended with him still alive. I actually grew to like him a bit, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him turn up again in another story down the line.
…He’s never going to appear again, is he? Sigh. Figures.
Final Rating: 3/5