Realm Walker (Realm Walker #1)
Published: Oct. 28, 2013 (Carina Press)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Juliana Norris is a Realm Walker. She works for the Agency and tracks down any Altered (supernaturals) that pose a threat to humanity. She’s one of the best walkers they have. Juliana is used to working herself to the max, as noted by the fact that she’s died three times already, but with the emergence of two demons into this realm, she’s really got her work cut out for her. Add to that the return of her mate, Thomas, after a seven-year absence and she may have more on her plate than even she can handle.
However, thoughts of her romantic past have to be put aside when one of the demons targets a dear friend of hers. She is determined to get her friend back alive, but doing so means pursuing both demons, one of which knows her by name. With the demon targeting her specifically, will she be able to keep those she cares about out of harm’s way?
I appreciate when Kathleen Collins tells us that Juliana is one of the best walkers, she means it. Juliana is really good at her job. One thing I dislike immensely when reading is when a character is supposed to be the best at something but then, for the sake of the story, everything with their skills and/or powers seem to go wrong making them look like novices. Well, Juliana has the talent to back up any talk, but her friends worry it just may be the thing to get her killed for real one day. She doesn’t back down from assignments, no matter what she’s sent to hunt. She strives as much as possible to protect any innocent caught in the crossfire. She takes every loss personally, but in the end will do what has to be done.
Juliana has been a survivor her entire life. She doesn’t remember what happened in her life before the age of twelve. She was taken in by a vampire coven and when she grew up she eventually became the mate to Thomas Kendrick, a master vampire. She told him she needed space and time to fully understand what it means to be mated to a master. His solution to this problem was to abandon her without word for seven years, leaving her absolutely heartbroken. It also left her open to the whims and tortures of other vampires who didn’t necessarily like Juliana’s status within the group.
The romance, while definitely a central plot point, felt guarded to me. But when I look back and think about the characters, it seems justified. Neither Thomas nor Juliana had it easy the past seven years. Regardless, her experiences were a lot worse and she feels he should work for it if he wants her back. She definitely guards herself, not wanting to be broken again. I liked that Thomas, even not fully understanding what his actions caused, is not deterred by her icy reception upon his return.
Realm Walker is a promising start to a new series. I’m definitely invested in the relationship between Thomas and Juliana. While the main storyline is solved, not everything is figured out by the end of the book, leaving a few things to follow up on in the sequel.
Sexual content: Kissing