Carol. 's Reviews > Vanished

Vanished by Kat Richardson
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Apr 07, 14

bookshelves: urban-fantasy, female-lead
Read from November 29 to December 01, 2010

I felt like Vanished was weaker than the previous novel. It almost could have made two books in one, as the first 100 pages or so is very much concerned with her past and her relationships to each of her parents. It also delves into the mystery of why she is a Greywalker, but comes up with more questions than answers. Just when I thought I was understanding the world of the grey, Richardson confused me again. She has a ghost riding an airplane, which feels wrong to me. On the land, ghosts are tied to locations irrespective of buildings being torn down, so being connected to an airplane route just didn't fit as well to me.

The second part of the book moves to London, and this is where it starts to pick up on Richardson's familiar fondness for history, and then departs on a bloodier and more action-oriented route. Before long, Harper makes a stop at a vampire's abode, and gets into a fight with a creature living there. Now our former Harper limped through the last book due to trauma inflicted on her knee during a fight. This time, she is suddenly able to move through the Grey at fast pace, as compared with her inching and slogging through in previous books, and uses it in a fight to backflip over her enemy. It felt like too much "cheating" to me, after following her through three books, describing how hard it was to move through planes of the grey. And a flip is still a flip. Yes, Richardson has been describing her as athletic, but points out how much of it came through dance. A flip doesn't seem a natural maneuver for any training background we've had to date.

I admit I was also turned off by the degree to which the story became more and more bloody. Torture and blood rites became involved, along with bloodthirsty ghosts who, again, suddenly became able to inflict damage. The end ties up the case that sent her to London, but opens more questions as to what is happening at home, and launches a new (sort of) conflict for the next book. I found it only moderately satisfying.
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