Dreaming and Demons – exploring the city

June 14, 2011

One of the absolute best things about reading is where the stories take you. Sometimes they satisfy the unmet need to travel overseas to do some exploring of your own, other times they inspire the trip and you find yourself armed with information no travel guide has.

 Manhattan Dreaming by Anita Heiss takes country girl Lauren from the National Aboriginal Gallery in Canberra and drops her into the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, New York and a lush position at the Smithsonian. Lauren navigates her way around this amazing city with helpful hints from doormen and colleagues and the working Aussie contigent already in the city. Through her eyes we get to explore the wow and excitement of New York – the cultural, social, and environmental idiosyncrasies that entice travellers from all over the world.

Okay, so Manhattan Dreaming is also a fun piece of Aussie chick lit tracking the pitfalls and highlights of a modern girl struggling with love and romance. But the delight of reading this book is in feeling the wonder and excitement which Lauren feels when she wanders aroudn a museum or gallery, or meets new people for the first time, and slowly adjusts to living in such a city so far from her home and family in Australia.

On the other hand, the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson explores the history and ‘underground’ of Seattle, USA – but with the added twist of demons, vampires and ghosts just to spice things up a bit. Harper Blaine is a Private Investigator. After a too-close-for-comfort brush with death she discovers that as a result her best clients are often not quite as ordinary as she’d like. Harper can walk the Grey – that insubstantial land between the living and the dead where ghosts, vampires, demons, and witches have power, and they need her help.

Just as Harper Blaine learns to walk the Grey and discover a whole new level to Seattle, so too are we dragged along as she explores Seattle’s history – the walkways and buildings over which the current city has been built, the events and people who guided Seattle’s past and future. Each street corner has significant interest from a historical perspective and thus she finds ghosts and remnants of that past in the most unlikely of places. The Greywalker series is an exploration of a city’s darker past where the history and the lndscape of the city enhances the story and the journey – a perfect backdrop for this enticing paranormal urban fantasy series. (Just wait til she heads off to London!)

So there you have it, two completely different girls, two completely different cities, two wonderful opportunities to explore two fabulous and enticing cities in ways you may not have considered before!



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