Realm Walker Series
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
Word Count: 76,000
Goodreads Rating: 3.75
My Rating: 4/4.5
An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…
As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That’s only the first of her secrets.
Most people don’t know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don’t know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don’t know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…
Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can’t reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.
My Take On The Book:
What can I say… I’m a sucker for these types of books and this one didn’t disappoint. Realm Walker and author Kathleen Collins take you on a great adventure with a lovable albeit frustrating cast. I initially found myself pulled in by the synopsis which I had to read on my very unreliable phone and email app, so I stared the email and made sure to check it out on my computer when I got home. I did, and boy am I happy I did. Not only does the cover art have the same feel as some of my favorite authors, so does the writing and the setting. I was a tad hesitant, but only slightly cause as of late I’ve read too many vampire stories and truthfully I felt they might be a tad played out… but I’m happy to have been proved wrong. It had a strong plotline, easy to follow and interesting but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Great (Pros):
- Juliana. She’s just so badass, excuse my language. Granted she had her whiny moments, a couple of which just want to make you shake her silly, she pretty much always delivers on the awesomeness.
- Realm Walkers. I gotta say I love the concept of Realm Walkers and they reminded me ‘Shadowblades’ from the Horngate Witches Series. Sure they had some differences but they were equally kick butt.
- Nathaniel. I have a soft spot for the furry werebeast. I’m not sure if it’s just my love for werewolves in general or it was Nathaniel’s smart ass comments and swagger but I absolutely loved his character. The relationship between Juliana and him was just so cozy and cute, you kinda want your own Nathanial, pain in the ass or not.
- Thomas. Ok, so I’ve said it before but I was totally over the vampire fad, but Thomas may have just pulled me outta that mindset. He too had some annoying quirks, mainly from his age which he definitely shows proudly through his vocabulary. ‘His Bride’ was thrown out so much, I kinda wanted to cuff him upside the head and hope I got away with my life. Understandably, regardless of his issues with Juliana he sticks to his guns making him a totally lovable vamp.
- The Demons. Ok, so this is the second book I’ve review with Demons as a foe. And just as much as I loved them in Dark Souls, I love them as much in this one too. Not the Demons themselves, because I really really hated them but more the role they play in the grander scheme of things. I really liked the integration of the demons into the story line and the scariness of not knowing what the hell to do to stop them. My absolute favorite scene in this book stares one pissed of Demon and a swimming pool.
- Jeremiah and family. The fire elemental and his family are way too cute. I love how they dote on Juliana in that very familial way. Jeremiah is a father of sorts to our heroine and he shows how much he cares for her almost immediately. The twins are sexy little turds… the way they mess with Juliana and Thomas is priceless!
The Not So Great (Cons):
- Inconsistency. Unfortunately, for every good there is usually some bad and this story is no exception. There were a couple of moments in this story that kinda contradicted themselves. I wish I could delve into this topic a little more but to do that would ruin the experience for you guys as readers.
- Love Triangle. I am not a huge fan of love triangles; they are played out and washed out. I know they tend to creep into stories you write and once the idea has revealed itself it’s hard to ignore. As authors we tend to feel we are exempt and I know I myself have said “Mine will be different” unfortunately often at times they aren’t and tend to just cause an unnecessary drag in the story. Granted this one is done in a completely different way that will kind of leave you reeling and scratching your head, but a triangle is a triangle and a square is a square. Regardless of the ending, there is always that awkwardness that accompanies the characters when they are all on the same page. Plus as a reader you can’t help but root for one character over the other.
- Catalina. I really really REALLY did not like her, but I kinda feel like that was the point lol. She was a vial witch with a b to Juliana, and well that my friends, is completely unacceptable. So for the sake of pros and cons she’s being filed into this character even if the character itself isn’t a fault in the book.
- Michael. Ok I was really conflicted with putting him here cause I genuinely liked his character through most of the book, but there is this one scene in the book towards the end of the middle… a scene with Juliana, that constantly replays in my mind when I think of his character and it irks me, especially since it falls into the inconsistency I spoke about earlier. It was outta character for the person/vamp the author was making him out to be. It just doesn’t work and once you read it you guys will understand completely.
- Ben. Grr. Nuff said. No I’m kidding, he much like Catalina bugged the ever loving daylight outta me. He started off as a completely likeable character and then at the end he makes a 180 that makes you want to drop kick him in the face with a steal toed boot cover in silver. Seriously what a douche bag.
This book is one I’d definitely recommend to people, especially people with a love for urban fantasy. It was similar to ‘The Anita Blake Series’ by Laurel K. Hamilton, the earlier ‘Southern Vampire Series’ by Charlaine Harris, ‘The Hollows’ by Kim Harrison with writing comparable to Chole Neill author of ‘Chicago Land Vampires’ and Diana Pharaoh Francis author of ‘Horngate Witches’. A definite must have for your virtual or literal bookshelves. I definitely can’t wait for the next installment as I’m sure I will gobble that one up!,
About The Author
Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.
The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.
She is currently hard at work on her next book.
Connect With Kathleen Collins
Enter The Giveaway for your chance to win Goodies from the Author
1 Halloween Theme Prize Pack open to US Shipping
The goodies include:
A felt owl bag
A cool Skull sign
A skull glow in the dark ring
Charms – including the vampire themed “Blood Donor Wanted”
A cool woven bracelet with silver skulls
A skeleton voodoo doll key ring
Vampire themed cookie cutters
Vampire shot glasses
8 ebook copies of Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins
“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.”
Dark Souls Series
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: July 19, 2013
Goodreads Rating: 4.43
My Rating: 4.5
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 103,000
19-year-old Emily desperately wants a name for what she is. For what is consuming and torturing her. For what is changing her.
But she’s not crazy like her mother. She’s not.
Emily may not be as crazy as she thinks, because her body is no longer her own. Something is stirring inside her. It is soft, seductive, and tells her what to do to survive. As Emily learns that her world has been infected by demons that consume human souls and fit seamlessly into the bodies they empty, she must also accept that she is one of them. Yet, she is different from the rest, because her darkness didn’t inhabit her, it was awakened. And it doesn’t just want the humans.
My take on the book:
Dear lord, this book just killed me… in a good way of course. I don’t believe I’ve cried this much since Bambi’s momma died. I should probably admit that I also haven’t done the kinda happy dance done for those extremely sweet moments in a book/movie for a while and there were maybe 3 portions of this book where I did just that so kudos to you Ms. Ketley Allison for accomplishing that.
Ketley Allison is a whiz when it comes creating a great Demon world, the types of demons in particular where very interesting. Look out Jana Oliver, author of The Demon Trappers Series because it looks like you might just have yourself some competition in the literary world of Demons because Ms. Allison sure did give you a run for your money. I absolutely loved this book, no doubt about it and genuinely look forward to reading the next installment.
The Great (Pros):
- Demonology. I loved that Ketley Allison took the time to do some basic research on demonology. Her demons where very well placed and the imagery executed to near perfection.
- The Characters, more specifically Macey. Macey was the bomb, an awesome best friend. The characters were all very likable even those that shouldn’t or normally wouldn’t be, but as you might notice this will also fall into the not so great column.
- The Epilogue. Holy Hell I loved the epilogue, it might just be the best part of the whole book to me. It not only grants you closure but it definitely has the chills hitting you hard.
- The Ending before the Epilogue. I can’t say I was expecting that ending but I will admit that it was a treat. I love when writers have the ability to shake us up as readers and step away for the norm.
- The Cover. Simplistic and yet very to the point. I like that, a lot. Once you’ve read the book it all makes sense.
- The Hunter. I loved everything about the Hunter, the mythology, the creation, the character. This was one of the most thought out portions of the book. While the name itself is a tad anticlimactic it is definitely something you can overlook, all because of how the author goes about creating and writing it.
- The Romance. I’m a sucker for the romantic bits in books and I really liked the chemistry between Emily and her beau. But sadly this to will fall into the not so great as well.
The not so great (Cons):
- The Characters. As you saw above I liked the characters, their back stories and how they interacted. Emily was a strong young woman who is like-able, but to me that also seemed like a problem, every character was like-able. Archer had his moments but his sister was definitely a character I wanted to dislike but I couldn’t. They all seemed a tad too constructed in that sense. Also, I found it hard to picture some of the characters which is why I felt the need to place this in my cons list.
- The Romance. While I liked the chemistry, there weren’t enough scenes or interactions in my opinion for the intensity of their romance. It seemed a bit rushed.
- The Pace. I have to admit that as much as I loved this book, there were a couple of instances where I found myself wanting to skim through a couple of sentences, this was due in part to the way those passages where written and partly because I’m easily distracted. I felt like they seemed a tad on the blah side, which is the complete opposite of the paragraphs before it or following it. It felt as if Ms. Allison, herself was winded and these were her breather passages, causing an awkward pace for me as a reader. Also while some of the writing lacked the imagery I needed, other portions of the book where too descriptive. It’s a fine line to toe but I think all in all Ketley Allison did alright for herself.
*Note: it is used simply as a substitute for the actual passages. The sentence seemed weird to me while re-reading it but I could find any other words to describe what I was trying to portray.
All in all the negatives didn’t seem to affect the story enough for me to drop the rating too much. Ketley Allison is an extremely talented individual with a knack for writing, well at least writing demon stories. This book is a definite must have, comparable to the writing of Jana Oliver ‘Demon Trapper Series’, Kim Harrison ‘The Hollows’ and Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie ‘Wicked Series’. And luckily for you readers, this book is a steal on Amazon for $0.99. Enjoy the Excerpt Below for your first look into “Dark Souls”