February 9th, 2007

20111112, Marilee

Greywalker by Kat Richardson

I admit, I wouldn't have bought a book with vampires and ghosts if I hadn't known and liked Kat from RASFC. This one turned out to not only be a good story, but somewhat enlightening.

Harper Blaine, a private investigator in Seattle, takes on a lot of clients and as the book opens, she's trying to get paid by one. He beats her up and she wakes in the hospital, finding out that she'd beeen dead for two minutes. She has some odd visions, thinking of them as cold steam fog, and after rational medical treatments don't work, she's referred to a witch. It turns out that by inhabiting the Grey, the place between life and death where vampires, ghosts, and other supernatural beings exist, for those two minutes, she can now move through and see the Grey.

Two of her clients turn out to be related to the Grey and she feels she must finish those jobs but is pulled more and more into the Grey, becoming more and more exhausted. In more pain as she comes closer to understanding, she eventually involves vampires, ghosts, a necromancer, the witch, and a really nice geek in solving the overweening problem. During that, she accepts the Grey and feels better.

Seattle is portrayed truly in this book, you feel like you're there. The cover, by Chris McGrath, is fabulous not only in execution but insinuation. Harper spends most of the book being a "stubborn, hardheaded, scientific practicalist," not believing what's happening even as she experiences it, and this comes across as very real. There is a short skim of romance -- I would have picked the geek.

As to the enlightenment, when Harper first sees the cold steam fog, I thought that's what I call "wrapped in cotton wool" and I was ready to tell Kat that. But when I was most of the way through the book, I realized that I had also been reading it as an allegory to my being sick. The Grey, the space between life and death, is my diseases and conditions. I didn't believe early on that I would be disabled. I was sure I was going back to work, no matter what happened to me. I eventually "accepted my disease" and have been able to work from that standpoint. I still don't like the Grey, but I'm inextricably stuck in it and, like Harper, will have to deal with it.

I'm looking forward to more stories about Harper.
20111112, Marilee

Stupid Shrub

Bush came to the Micron factory in Manassas Tuesday (Luke and I were outside and heard the helicopters as they arrived) and said to our city manager "Just fill the potholes. That is all I can say.". The thing is, we don't have potholes for more than about 20 hours. The city's website has a place right on the front page where you can report problems, including potholes, and potholes are filled within 24 hours of being reported. I don't know if he assumed there were potholes everywhere or just couldn't think of anything else to say to the manager, but it sure makes him look stupid.