Review: Walking Shadows by Narelle M Harris

Lissa Wilson has had one hell of a year. When people she cared about kept turning up dead, she discovered that The Opposite of Life is not always death – at least, not final death anyway. When they tried killing her too, life went from bad to worse.

On the plus side, she made a friend.

Gary Hooper may be the most inept vampire in the world, but he’s taught Lissa the real value of life and so has become possibly the best friend she’s ever had. But, like everyone, Gary has secrets. Secrets that could end their friendship, if Lissa ever discovered the services he provides the undead community.

So what is an ordinary geek-girl librarian to do when hardcore vampire killers begin knocking off the vampire population of Melbourne? She may have no battle skills, let alone supernatural strength, but is that enough to stop Lissa from throwing herself into mortal danger (again) and risking everything to save her bestie?

Lissa discovers that everyone has secrets, everyone gets trapped by their own history. How many can learn to change? How many will live long enough to try?

Friendship. Love. Awkwardness. Lust. Drama. Adventure. Action. Tribulations. Family. Vampires. Melbourne.

I was introduced to this series by a friend in 2011. It appealed to me for a number of reasons beyond the fact it was written by a local Melbourne author. Beyond the fact that the Vampires in these books are different to most others the main human is a socially awkward Librarian. For those who don’t know me, well I’m socially awkward and a trained librarian! The fact that it’s also based in Melbourne is great too. There’s something I like a lot about being able to read a book and go oh I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE and actually be able to picture the area instead of imagining it/basing it on the descriptions within the books.

Plus Gary is so adorkable that it is brilliant.

Narelle (a lovely lady if you ever get the chance to meet her) writes in a way that is highly immersive. Perhaps it’s the points above combined, perhaps also her writing style but I find it quite hard to actually put down her books. The world building and how she has differentiated her Vampires to the other Vampires in literature (also a Vampire that researches ‘fictional’ Vampires for a living is a BRILLIANT idea just saying).

Narelle’s books explore not only what it is like to be a Vampire in a modern time but also the morality of Vampires and how different Vamps accept vs don’t accept being Vampires. Not only that but it’s funny. Helped along by two socially awkward main characters (Lissa & Gary) they’re supported by their friends and family who don’t know about Vamps or some do. A drunken father, a mother who… Well is dead and a sister who isn’t sure what to make of Lissa being best friends with a Vampire. Oh and a possible romance thrown in and add a heap of action you have one rollicking read.

While the characters might have a rough ride during the book it is worth it in the end.



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