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Audiobook Review: Poltergeist by Kat Richardson

Audiobook Review: Poltergeist by Kat Richardson
Poltergeist by Kat Richardson
Narrator: Mia Barron
Series: Greywalker #2
Published by Recorded Books
Published on: December 19, 2008
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 11 hrs & 15 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne Star
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Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died - for two minutes. Now she's a Greywalker - walking the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she's discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of "strange" cases.

In the days leading up to Halloween, Harper's been hired by a university research group that is attempting to create an artificial poltergeist. The head researcher suspects someone is faking the phenomena, but Harper's investigation reveals something else entirely - they've succeeded. And when one of the group's members is killed in a brutal and inexplicable fashion, Harper must determine whether the killer is the ghost itself, or someone all too human.

I’d like to start this review off by first saying that I’m not 100% sure whether it’s the narration or the story that’s making me consistently rate this series 3 stars, so you might want to take my thoughts with a grain of salt until I figure that one out. Anyway, I think that I enjoyed this installment slightly less than its predecessor on account of all the psycho babble & lengthy experiment explanations. I felt like I was back in college listening to a professor drone on about a subject I couldn’t have cared less about. Kat Richardson’s approach to the paranormal seems to be largely academic in nature, and I’m not convinced that that writing style is well-suited for the Urban Fantasy genre.

One of the aspects that I enjoyed the most about GREYWALKER was Ben and Mara’s supe 101 sessions with Harper, yet they seem to have almost completely vanished in this installment. I’m not sure how much time has elapsed between novels—I may have missed it in the earlier chapters—but it can’t be more than a couple of months, and I found that Blaine’s grasp of her newfound abilities was far too advanced for book 2. She’s also suddenly full-out dating Will, and in a long distance relationship no less, after only a few weeks (?). Again, I’m not clear on the time frame, but it just felt off to me. I had to double-check to make sure that POLTERGEIST was indeed the second installment in this series.

I enjoyed the whodunit murder mystery even though I did find that it was a little too predictable because the suspect pool was restricted to the experiment participants. I also liked learning some of the tricks on the trade when Richardson explores how certain illusions are created; it’s clear that a lot of research went into this novel. Quinton is probably one of my favourite characters to date, and I was satisfied with the role he played in this story as well as Phoebe Mason’s. She’s a new addition, and I look forward to reconnecting with her in future installments. Will on the other hand… I honestly don’t see his appeal, and hope that Harper dumps his ass ASAP.

The narration was somewhat improved when compared to the previous audiobook. I thought that Mia Barron’s Jamaican accent was well-done, and her ‘baby’ voice wasn’t half-bad either, although too much of it would have definitely given me a headache. But to be fair, any 2 year old talking in my ear nonstop would, so that means that her performance was authentic. Barron’s portrayal of the vampire characters was still too over-the-top for my tastes, especially where Carlos was concerned; he came across as more Count Dracula than evil undead master.

In short, my struggles with this series continue, and if something doesn’t start to click soon, I may be calling it quits. POLTERGEIST felt more like a crime novel with paranormal elements mixed in than it did an Urban Fantasy which might be the crux of my problems with Harper Blaine.

Greywalker Series:

My Review

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. I have been kind of stuck in books that are supposed to be paranormal romances or urban fantasy, and they are just not what I expected which makes it hard for me to review. Great review!
    Tanya recently posted…Life Of A Blogger ~ Tattoos

    • These in-between books can be a real pain in the butt. Thanks!

  2. I’m really not one for audiobooks, and I’ve found that I rarely enjoy them… Hopefully the next instalment of the series will improve!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones!!

    • If not, I think I’ll be calling this series quits.

  3. I get what you’re saying. I enjoy this series but don’t love-love it, anxiously counting down the days until the next book comes out. Not sure what it is but there you go.
    Mary recently posted…Speed Date with Falcio: Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

    • I just hope I don’t stay on the fence for the entire length of this series, cuz I don’t think I’ll last until the end if that’s the case.

  4. I really should try this series 😀
    blodeuedd recently posted…Author Interview and giveaway: Elizabeth Michels

  5. Hmmm…This one may not be for me with “POLTERGEIST felt more like a crime novel with paranormal elements mixed in than it did an Urban Fantasy.” I’m not a fan of crime novels. Hopefully the narration and PNR picks up in the next one, Carmel 🙂
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…New Adult Book Review: Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

    • I’m not a big fan of crime novels either, can you tell? 😉

  6. I haven’t heard of this one but I’m not sure if it’s for me either. I like paranormal but this one sounds more like a crime story, and I tend to keep these two apart. Sorry that you didn’t enjoy this one as much as you hoped. Great review, Carmel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Cover Reveal: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant

    • Richardson’s strength lies in the scientific elements, but I’m not convinced that they have a place in this genre…

  7. The 9th book to this series just unexpectedly arrived in the mail – I haven’t read any of them yet but I have the first two so I’ll have to give them a try sooner or later…it’ll probably be later.

    Sometimes the already lengthy # of books in a series turns me away cause I feel like I’ll never be able to catch up with all the other books I’m already reading.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Greg Van Eekhout discusses California Bones and organizing a heist

  8. I hate feeling on the fence about a series! I want to either love it or at least know I don’t like it so I can give up on it. I like a mystery every once in a while, but since I rarely read them, I can rarely guess who did it.
    Megan recently posted…It’s Not Official Until There’s a Blog Post About It: Megan’s Giant TBR Challenge

    • I hate STILL being on the fence after 2 books, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of series.

  9. A good narrator is very important, it can make or break a book…. I have first book of this series, but haven’t read it yet. Someday I will…. I think.
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Review: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

    • The narrator really can make all of the difference however, in this case I don’t think that Mia Barron is the only one to blame.

  10. This is one of the reasons why I find audiobooks so difficult to get into, I more often than not end up spacing out and thinking about other things or leave the room because I forget I am suppose to be listening to something.
    Sorry you like this even less than the others in the series. This still does sound like something I might like so I eventually might end up trying this series out.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Blog Tour Book Review and Giveaway: How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

    • I have no problem devouring an awesome audiobook, but when my attention starts to wander, that’s a different story.

  11. The beginning books tended to be about a 3 average for me but I still found them interesting enough to continue. Now I’m completely behind and would probably have to reread to catch up. Hope these start to pick up for you.
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…The Collection (The Registry #2) by Shannon Stoker

    • I’ve heard such good things about this series, so I’m beginning to wonder, is it just me? LOL

  12. Maybe reading them would be better. That would be interesting to see if it does make a difference.
    Christy recently posted…Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

    • Yes, but I’m not sure I have time to read yet another series. I use audiobooks to play catch-up, but it doesn’t appear to be working in my favour in this instance.

  13. Sorry you aren’t loving and connecting with the story as much as you’d like.

    • It happens. Here’s hoping that my next listen will be better. 😀

  14. WOW that’s a BIG series. Way too many books. I wouldn’t stick with anything for that many books anyway.

    • The further along in this series I get, the more I want to quit, so I hear ya. Hehe

  15. It’s both. KRichardson takes time and her pace is pretty laid back compared to other UFs. I know I “struggled” with the first 3 or 4 but after that, I’ve grown to ‘get” her style of writing, made a whole lot of difference in terms of appreciating this series better. What I love is with every book, there’s always a different myth that she follows, Native American, Chinese, etc.
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…A Shot of YA: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

    • Yeah, but should it really take 4 books for you to start ‘geting’ a series? I’m not so sure…

  16. Ew! Any book that makes it feel like a class lecture is def not my cup of tea haha. But I know what you mean some books take on world building with a too-technical way and it just makes it feel so.. dull and hefty. I do love an addition of a murder mystery in a paranormal – or any book really lol. I,m a sucker for a good dose of mystery. And a Jamaican accent? So cool I’m curious if I’d like it or find it distracting like some accents can be in an audiobook. Great review, Carmel!

    • I found the materials for the Poltergeist for dummies class rather dry. 😉 But, I do love it when narrators use accents!

  17. I was hoping for a better rating for this one so I could make my decision to listen or not, it doesn’t look good so far 🙁
    I had a chance to listen to this narrator in a contemporary title and she actually wasn’t bad at all, I know contemporary titles don’t have a lot foreign accents, so maybe that help 🙂
    Thanks Carmel!!
    lupdilup recently posted…Obsession Untamed Audiobook by Pamela Palmer {review}

    • I’ve listened to this narrator before, and enjoyed her. I’m just not convinced that she’s well-suited for Richardson’s books.

  18. I wasn’t a fan of Greywalker so I didn’t continue with this series and I’m not too sure if I will (the number of books scares me off).

    I think narrators can make or break a book when it comes to audio (The Fever series for example, I love the books to bits but can’t handle the audio at all).

    I’m pleased you enjoyed the murder mystery aspect despite the predictability. I hope the next book in the series is an improvement.

    A great review Carmel!
    Sharon – Obsession with Books recently posted…Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

    • Me too, and hopefully I make it to the next book. LOL

  19. Woah, this series definitely sounds like it’s quite unique, with the academic sounding creepiness and all but then again, that could be quite dry and boring. Although 3 star reads are sometimes still worth reading you know? Thanks for sharing Carmel!
    Jeann recently posted…Indulgence Insider #3 – 500 Likes on Facebook!

  20. It’s never a good sign to be on the fence after a couple of books. I mean, it can get better but for me…if I’m not 100% sold by the first book, I have to break-up with the author, unless a trusted friend tells me to hang in there. Carmel…for your sake…I hope it gets better! *crosses fingers*
    Cristina recently posted…On the Edge (The Edge, 1-4) by Ilona Andrews

  21. It’s a shame you are getting to that point where you are unsure whether to continue or not. Let’s hope the next book picks up for you Carmel!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
    Naomi recently posted…Nomi’s Weekly Wrap Up #97

  22. I called it quits partway through this book. It didn’t feel like this book had much paranormal activity, which was disappointing. Also, I couldn’t get into the narration at all.
    Sarah recently posted…Week in review July 20

  23. I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time getting into what seems to be a series that should be right up your alley. I can see where the narration would cause a problem – one of the reasons I’ve been so leery of audio – but I can also see why you’d struggle with the story. It sounds like things aren’t clearly developed. Hmm, I one-clicked Greywalker a loooonng time ago but still haven’t read it. I don’t know that I’ll be in any hurry… Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Carmel.