***Dave Hill's Reviews > Downpour

Downpour by Kat Richardson
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's review
Nov 19, 2012

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Read in November, 2012

The latest Greywalker tale takes place far from Harper Blaine's urban stomping ground, off on the Olympic Peninsula on an enchanted lake being battled over by various sorcerers. But more important for Harper is a ghost whose murder needs avenging, a young delinquent who may be a murderer, and something odd happening with her love relationship with Quentin ...

This installment didn't do it for me, for a variety of reasons -- it was enjoyable, but not so much as previous volumes. It's not that the stakes have been lowered -- that's rather refreshing in an urban fantasy setting -- but that there's just not much going on here. It's a lovely set piece, a pair of forest lakes that are a source of power, power that's been usurped and argued over. But it sort of dissolves into a Twin Peaks style "country strangeness" tale, interspersed by a remarkably undistinguished Quentin and a sense that this just doesn't really matter to Harper all that much (rather, it matters, but not for any significant reason).

Even Harper's perception and use of the Grey falls flat, both due to previous-story changes and because things at the lakes don't work as usual, so the whole visual and audible metaphor that Richardson uses for her magic world fabric seems poorly formed and uninvolving.

There are some dabblings in Chinese magic (though not much), and lots of local color (some of it, according to the Afterword, authentic), but the final result just doesn't really satisfy. Even the relationship change for Harper and Quentin comes across a little flat, more "Oh, so this is where the author's going with this" than anything moving or new.

So, a bit of a disappointment, but not so much so that won't be looking for the next installment, in hope that it will be up to the usual better standard.

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