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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mine is the power to cross the gap, 1 May 2011
This review is from: Labyrinth: Number 5 in series (Greywalker) (Paperback)
The previous books of the Greywalker series were pretty much standalones -- with a little backstory, you could pop in and read anywhere. Not so with "Labyrinth." Kat Richardson gathers together all the hanging plot threads from previous novels and knots them tightly together, in a prose that glitters with dark frost. The only downside: it moves rather slowly.

Upon her return from London, Harper discovers that some nasty stuff has been happening while she was gone -- Edward has mysteriously vanished (courtesy of Wygan), Grey creatures are trying to get into her apartment, and the man who temporarily killed her has been murdered. And Harper soon finds that her sensitivity to the Grey is becoming more acute, meaning she's closer to whatever Wygan wants her to be.

The key to defeating Wygan may lie with Harper's dead father, but he's trapped in a magical prison. To reach him, Harper has to unlock a magical riddle and find a pair of antique puzzle balls -- and when she discovers what Wygan's plan is, she must discover a way to stop the ancient vampire-god before he unleashes the ultimate nightmare on the world.

"Labyrinth" is all about the subplots -- Richardson snatches up dozens of plot threats and knits them together, mostly about trapped ghosts, the asetem-ankh-astet, vampire politics, and Wygan's evil plan. And Harper spends the book drifting through a grey, bleak world filled with dangerous stuff, struggling not to lose herself to the Grey.

The downside of all those subplots: the writing is kind of patchy here, with long stretches where nothing really happens, and the characters do a LOT of talking. But on the other hand, her prose ("frost flowers" and "silver mist") and her dialogue ("Once he was worshipped as a god... but as the world changed and he was forgotten as a god, he chose to take the form of a man") are soaked with poetry. And she conjures up some truly chilling scenes both inside and outside the Grey.

I don't know if this book is intended to be the ending of the series, since many major plot threads are wrapped up. But there are some truly shocking twists, and it should be interesting to see what is next.

Harper has changed a lot through the Greywalker series, but she goes through some nasty growing pangs in this book. In particular, she has to face up to the harm that her powers have done to others, especially when she sees the mad broken creature that Will has become. But at the same time, her determination makes her grow stronger even as her life spirals out of control.

"Labyrinth" suffers from some boring stretches, but the poetic descriptions of the Grey and the the strong central story almost make up for them. It takes a little patience, but it's worth the ride.
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