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Monday, December 7, 2015

Double Book Review: Realm Walker (Realm Walker Series Book One) by Kathleen Collins

Realm Walker (Realm Walker Series Book One)
by Kathleen Collins
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Carina Press
Date of Publication: October 28, 2013
ISBN: 9781426896545
Word Count: 76,000
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.

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Review by Jeanie G
Juliana Norris, a "wonder woman" realm walker with special powers, works to keep the altered and humans from dangerous situations. Of course she is an independent, no thought for her own safety, kick-butt type of character. She also is 7 years estranged from her mate who just happens back in town when there seems to be demons "hunting" for Juliana.

As I began reading this story I had a nagging in the back of my brain that perhaps this was not the first in the series. The intro was fine but about 2-3 chapters in I had questions that were not being answered. Little tidbits of a past for the main character Juliana that I needed (or wanted if I am being truthful) a little more information about. "Secrets" don't set well with me but as I kept reading, I realized secrets were one of the main themes to this book. Perhaps I should say "well played" to the author for giving us the same emotion as Thomas (the vampire mate to Juliana) had when trying to rekindle his relationship with Juliana.

Some of the secrets made sense but some of didn't. Such as, how did Juliana call on her father to help in a crisis situation when she said she didn't recall anything from the first 12 years of her life? She doesn't even know who her mother is. And why keep the secret of your father when you know he can help you out of a really bad situation if only you would have been smart enough to call him earlier!? There was a lot of rage, violence, death and gore before Juliana finally got a great idea and called her father to help control the demon she was hunting. Then pretty much zip/zap and the demon is under control. A father who is the dark fae god of Death might be pretty useful.

In truth the author did a pretty good job of filling in most information and it really didn't detract a lot from the story but was frustrating in the beginning. I enjoyed the cat and mouse play between Juliana and Thomas but would like to have seen a little more resolution to their situation. I mean, it WAS one of the reasons I choose this book for review, who doesn't want to know what happens to a returning mate after 7 years absent trying to reclaim what he considers his! That storyline was used as "fodder" on the book description for a reason. I am hopeful it will play out in future Realm Walker installments. All in all the story was a quick and fun read (fun? with secrets and gore?) OK, my idea of fun is a book that I don't want to give up on in the first few chapters and kept my attention throughout.

Will I pick up the next installment of the Realm Walker? Yep, just to see what happens with the relationship between Juliana and Thomas. That, in my opinion, is the real story. You can get "bad ass" characters, violence and gore in almost any urban fantasy but a good love story is always a hook for most readers.

Giving this 3 1/2 "sshhheep"

Review by Pamela Kinney
After seven years, Master vampire Thomas Kendrick united and then abandoned Julianna Norris, his mate, he returns. He does not know that the vampire, Raoul, left to watch out for her, has done terrible things to her, including rape. She joined the Agency, becoming a Realm Walker, and is able to use her gift of seeing magical signatures to do her job. She also died and come back to life, too. After a job of hunting trolls, she went to a bar to relax and she finds Thomas has returned. Before they can fight or love it out, two demons are in their world. One is low level and ends up possessing her Agency friend, werewolf Nathaniel, the other takes over her mate and is a first level demon. She finds out it was conjured to destroy her.

Realm Walker is what Anita Blake was in the beginning. With a strong and kick-assed heroine, a sexy vamp lover, and a dark world could easily fit in the TV show Grim. No wishy washy beings need apply.
I give Realm Walker 5 sheep.

About the Author:
Kathleen Collins lives and works in Missouri. By day, she labors in the local prosecutor's office. At night she writes while surrounded by her husband, two boys and two loveable mutts. She is constantly thinking of her next project and loves to connect with her readers. You can find her most often on Facebook or on her website.

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