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on 8 November 2013
Wow, what an amazing start to a new series. I love urban fantasy series but some are stronger than others and this looks to be truly brilliant. The writing is sharp and witty, the characters are warm, funny, frustrating, loveable and very well rounded. I immediately fell for our heroine, Juliana, she is kick ass and snarky, but also smart and endearing. She was very easy to like, unlike in some fantasy books, and very believable, I am thrilled to see that there will be more to this series and will buy them without a doubt.

The world building is intriguing and well filled out, with vampires, mages, demons, fae and pretty much anything you can think of. We see some background into how the magical community got exposed to 'our' world and I would love to know more in future books on how that went down and how the world at large coexists. The story was fast paced with plenty of action. Even though so much happens in a short space of time I never felt like it got carried away and there was room for character development and getting to know all the relevant players. I can't wait to find out more about them, and as with all the best authors Kathleen Collins really makes me want to get to know them better. I don't like to compare directly to other series out there but in my opinion this stands up with some of the best of them. It's a great price too, really well worth every penny.
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on 9 November 2013
I downloaded Realm Walker on Kindle and must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm struggling to find books to read lately so took a punt on this to fill in some time.

This book had me gripped from the start and doesn't let up on the action, Juliana is a good strong female lead. Although there is a relationship between Juliana and Thomas at the center of the story it doesn't dominate it and I'm looking forward to see it develop in the next book. We get to meet other characters briefly who I would like to see more of in the future such as James and Sara. Kathleen Collins has written a great start to a new series and I will defiantly be keep my eye out for book 2

I think readers of Ilona Andrews would like this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 February 2014
Juliana is considered the best Realm Walker around, able to tackle the cases that involve the most unusual and powerful of supernatural beings that now mingle with humanity following The Rending. Juliana herself is clearly more than human; however she was found with no memory of her past or who her parents are. As a Realm Walker she faces danger frequently, and when high ranking demons start to possess both humans and supernaturals, they are making it clear their target is Juliana.

Our talented heroine is also dealing with the return of her mate; ancient vampire Thomas. They became United when she was only 20 and the next day he walked away and has kept out of her life for 7 years. Juliana is honest enough to admit she's never stopped loving Thomas, but she's not sure she can face a broken heart again, especially as any tears could reveal more of her heritage than she wants known.

Thomas is overbearing, arrogant and passionately protective of Juliana; it's a good job she's tough enough to take him on and not allow him to take control of a situation to ensure her safety. Their resulting arguments add to their heated relationship, until an event occurs that could force Juliana to choose between saving Thomas or saving countless lives.

Overall this dark urban fantasy thriller is slick, action packed and stuffed full of interesting characters. Yet the story line is a little chaotic and jumbled at times; perhaps to reflect the chaos surrounding Juliana. The characters are far more detailed than the world building, and I couldn't quite get the history surrounding The Rending and the introduction of the Altered into the human realm. That aside, Juliana is a fantastic heroine and I'll certainly be checking out her further adventures in book 2 "Death's Daughter".
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on 26 October 2014
Juliana Norris is half-fae, half mage, and a Realm Walker, a type of police officer who investigates crimes done to, and by, the fae. Juliana can also see the magical signature and aura of both people and fae. To do this, she works for the International Law Enforcement Agency, or Agency for short, and after a fight with a troll, the troll tells Juliana that her death is coming. So while recovering from her fight up turns Thomas Kendrick, a thousand year-old vampire that Juliana is bound to, and that she is in love with, but who left her, and broke her heart, seven years ago.

Unfortunately, after Thomas had left her, Raoul DeSoto and his minions attacked, raped, and tortured Juliana. Afterwards Juliana and Michael Bishop, Thomas' second, tracked down all of the rogue vampires and dispatched them with extreme prejudice. All except Raoul, who's still on the loose, and now he's back, just as Thomas shows back up. It seems that Thomas had misunderstood Juliana when she had stated that she had need of some "me" time, and he will spend the rest of the novel trying to make up for his misunderstanding.

Unfortunately, that Raoul has turned up as Thomas comes back into Juliana's life is no coincidence. Raoul had been a mage before being turned into a vampire, but being vampirized will kill those powers, and now he's looking for a way to reclaim his old mage powers, and to do this, he has made a deal with the devil, so to say, and in the process he has let loose two demons on the world. One has possessed her werewolf friend and partner Nathanial, while the other, a first-class demon, will possess . . . well, it will come as no surprise, but you'll have to read the novel to find out who. The trouble is that Juliana can see everybody's magical signature, that is, everybody's except for demons.

Now Juliana is in a tight spot, she has to rescue Nathaniel by killing the demon, while not killing the host. That's okay, but when the Agency puts out a kill order on the second possession, and its host, Juliana has to figure out how to save the possessed while not killing them. All while trying to keep her job and not have the Agency kill her friend. Another problem is that the demons can jump hosts, usually when they've used up the host, so just killing the demon's host isn't a good idea.

What follows in "Realm Walker" is a cat-and-mouse game between Juliana and the demon as the demon starts its bloody rampage. And what does Raoul have to do with all of this? True, he's responsible for the demons to have been set loose on the populace, but what was the POINT?

This is a story in which Collins will plunk you down into a fully-formed world with the assumption that her audience will have an IQ above that of room temperature and will catch on, and you will. Sure, Juliana has a past, but much of which you'll be gradually filled in on during the process of Collins tellin' Juliana's story. I mean, I don't have to have everything explained in detail to me, I got what was needed. The rest is background to put the current story into contrast, and besides, we never DID learn what the Giant Rat of Sumatra was in the Sherlock Holmes stories either.

One of the great things about this novel is the characters contained within. The first, of course, is Juliana. Juliana is a character who is haunted by Thomas' abandonment, her mistreatment by Raoul, her mysterious parentage, and that she seemingly can't be killed by ordinary means. Although, as we, and Juliana, finds out, that ain't necessarily true. She's also no shrinking violet, she's fiercely independent, she's competent at her job, if fact, she's the best that the Agency has, and she knows that and she's not gonna give up her job for nothing. Even if she's confused as to where she now stands in her world now that Thomas has come back into it to shake it up. Oh, and like most of us, she's got a boss who's a real dick.

Then there is her new family, Thomas' sister Sara Piper, her husband, top mage James, and Rachel, their young daughter. True, at times their characters are rather sketchy, but it's Juliana's fierce loyalty to them that I liked. These characters will take increasing important roles in Juliana's story over this novel and its sequel.

On the other hand, I didn't quite buy into Thomas. After a thousand years, his only love is Juliana? Yeah? Must have been a long, lonely thousand years. Now he starts off as an arrogant, possessive sphincter, but he gets better as the novel progresses, but as a character he has two real problems, at least for me. The first is that he constantly acts like some glorified cartoonish version of a frustrated twentieth century male instead of a thousand year-old vampire overlord. At times I thought that I was reading the equivalent of a sit-com. Make him a couple of hundred years old and I could have bought it. I did like that all holy hell is gonna rain down on those who messed with Juliana when he finds Raoul, and those who may have helped Raoul, and deceived Thomas. When he finds out who they all are.

The other is the longevity of the vampires and some of the other fae. C'mon, a thousand years, give or take a couple of hundred? Really? For me, it's so hard to identify with immortals, they live forever, stay beautiful forever, and never age, and yet they still retain their humanity? Nah, I don't buy it.

Still, I liked the story, but really, it's the character of Juliana, and Collins' handling of her, that carries the novel. Juliana goes from snark to sarcasm, all delivered with a trademarked bad attitude.
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on 18 September 2014
I wasn't too sure what to expect, it sounded a bit like other things I have read but I was stuck in a bit of a reading rut so thought I would give it a go. I really enjoyed it, the plot was fast paced and the world was well written and thought out. The heroine was complex and has several layers and I loved the fact that while she is strong and capable, she also by and large seems to know her limitations and acknowledge her feelings. The male lead to the story is interesting, I'm looking forward to finding out more about him as there is more to him than meets the eye and more than we were shown in the book. I liked the fact that the author doesn't tell every chapter from the heroines perspective, she sometimes tells it from the male lead. This provides an insight into his mind aswell which I enjoyed. I will definitely get the next book.
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on 11 May 2014
A really well written, well thought out book. Loved the heroine in all her back-talking, bad-assed wit. The plot moves along at a good pace and I didn't feel that any of it was predictable, which is always a necessity in a good read.
This kind of story within the urban fantasy genre is probably my favourite type to indulge in. The main character being a head strong young woman in a tough job in a crazy world full of demons, vampires, witches, werewolves and competing agencies. Having to deal with a hectic life on all fronts-family,job, love life. She's clever, abuses all the rules to suit her, travels her own path, has a dark past, kills bad guys for a living and is constantly in trouble. Love it.
This is smart and cleverly written and I can't wait for the next in the series. I hope there's a lot more to come.
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on 23 February 2014
This was a nice surprise. Kick ass heroine but thought Thomas was a bit of a wimp. Think the ending was a bit abrupt however but it was a nice, easy, quick read. Book 2 here I come
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on 10 January 2016
Juliana Norris is a realm walker, able to see the magical signature of supernatural creatures and track them down. She also dies, a lot, and comes back. What secrets is she hiding?
I enjoyed this book, I though Juliana was a great character. She's been through a lot, but she's tough and knows how to do her job. The range of supernatural creatures was extensive and it was nice to read about more than just vampires, although they are in the mix too. Highly entertaining. I would recommend it.
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on 26 March 2014
Not sure. It read like this was a 2nd story and not a 1st in the series it had a few comments/ loose ends that felt like you should already know what was going on i.e in an earlier story. On the whole the story was not much different to others I've read but I think it will be worth reading the next in the series to see if it starts coming together. Could become interesting.
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on 26 May 2014
Really liked the heroin in this book, she had all the traits that make me want to carry on reading without cringing ( what a relief).It's fast paced with lots of action and characters that are engaging the only criticism would be the ease with which problems are solved, not a deal breaker though.I will keep this author on my radar.
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