The Realm Walker series is reminiscent of one of the greatest paranormal police procedural series ever written… that is for the first 10 books before it descended into some really depraved stuff but I digress and will discuss the topic no more except to acknowledge that it is intended as the highest of praise. Nowadays with Charlaine Harris’ Vampire Bill and L.J. Smith’s Stephan and Damon Salvatore having become household names one could sigh and think “they just don’t write them like they used to” and for the most part they would be right. Even established Urban Fantasy novels can seem trite and unoriginal however this is where Kathleen Collins’ Realm Walker series distinguishes itself from the masses. Truly it is difficult to isolate just how Ms Collins has achieved this feat, her world building is flawless, the stories intriguing with interesting, if obstreperous characters. Even the brief visit to the past in The Making of Michael Bishop was atmospheric and nuanced.
Months ago when I first discovered Realm Walker I was struck immediately by the gorgeous cover, I mean was there anyone who didn’t love Trinity’s skin-tight leather catsuit in The Matrix? From its kick-ass heroine of mysterious origins to her delicious vampire lover Realm Walker is no holds barred supernatural adventure from beginning to end, while seamlessly incorporating a teeth gritting-ly frustrating romance. Realm Walker is a chimera of all the best aspects of the paranormal genre. Kathleen Collins’ has skilfully reinvented the classic paranormal paradigm with the mysterious hard boiled investigator type with just enough femininity as to be a convincing romantic heroine and the autocratic yet emotionally vulnerable vampire who loves her in a dark world full of monsters and the result is a fresh and entertaining read.
Death’s Daughter commences two short weeks following the events of Realm Walker. Despite the readers’ conviction, after reading Realm Walker, of the love between Julianna and Thomas they have yet to communicate. Though we hoped, of course it would be too easy for their reconciliation to be smooth. However she has more pressing things to attend to with the unexplained disappearance of “altered” children. Despite the compelling romance between Julianna and her husband I believe the strength of the Realm Walker series lies in the meticulous crafting of the story itself rather than the events coinciding or more commonly crafted seemingly as a foil for interaction between them.
Even The Making of Michael Bishop was perfectly orchestrated, tantalizing the reader with just enough detail to whet the appetite for more stories featuring Thomas’ second in command yet still managing to satisfy the mystery of his origins. In short, for those who have given up on the “Executioner” and possibly the “Red Reaper” as well, and those who long for Dublin before it fell I could not recommend a better option than the Kathleen Collins’ Realm Walker series.
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.
DESCRIPTION – Juliana Norris, Realm Walker with the Agency, is an Altered. A fact that she runs up against every time she’s forced to work with human police officers, and their species-ist commissioner, on cases they can’t solve themselves. Which happens more than they would like to admit.
Her gift—the quality that makes her the best Realm Walker in the business, without boast—is the ability to read magical signatures. Whether the gift came from her father, the dark fae god of death, or the mage mother she can’t remember, is anyone’s guess. And when Altered children start going missing with only wild magical signatures as clues, her heritage is the last thing on her mind.
She can’t afford such distractions, and she definitely can’t afford to worry about the fact that her mate, master vampire Thomas Kendrick, hasn’t spoken to her since she saved him from a demon—maybe it’s because she had to stab him to do so. Because whoever is kidnapping these children must be very powerful to wield wild magic. Very powerful, and very dangerous indeed.
Michael D’Augustino is a priest in the time of the Inquisition. Marked as weak for his refusal to torture those charged with sorcery, heresy, devil worship or worse, he’s given another task. Feed the prisoner in the cell in the darkest corner of the dungeon. With the edict comes a set of instructions.
Ever obedient, Michael does exactly as he is told. Until the night his charge doesn’t eat and Michael has to enter the cell to find out why. Instead of the beast he believes to be imprisoned there, he finds a man. A broken, tormented man who asks for help.
But all is not as it seems and, before the night is through, Michael will be changed forever.
REALM WALKER – She closed her eyes and took a deep breath then looked at him again. “You left me. You took everything from me.”
“I left everything for you. My money, my home, my coven. It’s all yours. It always has been.” He pushed both hands through his hair. “I gave you what you wanted. As much as it killed me to do it, I gave it to you. I only wanted you to be happy.”
“Yeah, my life’s been a regular carnival.” She sighed. “You just left me, Thomas. You left all of us. They assumed I was no longer under your protection. I assumed that. You left me alone under the authority of a vampire who resented my connection to you from the moment you brought me into the coven. There was no protection there for me. No home.”
“Always with the damn secrets,” he snapped. He took a moment to tamp down his temper before continuing. “What happened, Joya? What aren’t you telling me?”
She shook her head. “It doesn’t matter, Thomas. Not anymore. It’s done. And you weren’t there to stop it.”
Her words stabbed through his heart like a stake. He had failed her. He knew this now, but he didn’t know how to fix it. If he could fix it.
She stepped past him to the door and ran her fingers over the lock. “You abandoned me over some throwaway words. I can’t take the chance you’ll do it again.”
That wasn’t going to happen as he wasn’t ever leaving her again. “If I swore I wouldn’t?” When she didn’t respond, he placed his hand over hers on the knob. “Don’t answer me now. When you’re ready, we’ll talk. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’ve got to get back to my friends,” she said. He hesitated then dropped his hand. She opened the door and walked out.
When the door shut behind her, he slumped against the box behind him and ran a hand over his face. His mind tried to make sense of just how everything in his life had gone to absolute crap. A few days ago he thought he had it all under control, that his actions had all been for the best. That his mate would see that and understand.
If he could just get her to listen. Since they didn’t seem to be able to stay in the same room together for more than five minutes without fighting he didn’t see that happening any time soon. Fighting or shoving their tongues down each other’s throats, he amended. He much preferred the latter. He ran a fingertip over his lips, the feel of hers still lingering. She was his. Her heart knew it. Her body knew it. Now he just had to convince her mind. He smiled. This was going to be fun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.