Review: Urban Shaman (Walker Papers #1) by C.E. Murphy

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Luna Books (June 1st 2005)
How I got this book: Bought
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Blurb from Goodreads:

Seattle cop, Joanne Walker, returns from vacation to have her life turned upside down. She is pursued by a Celtic God, and forced to acknowledge an aspect of the universe she’s never seen before. Even if she survives, she will forever be changed by this adventure.

My rating: 3/5 Stars – A decent read, but I had some significant problems with it.

Review:

This novel has a few things going for it, but ultimately, I was somewhat disappointed with Urban Shaman.  The plot is action packed and the supporting characters – especially Gary, Morrison, Billy, and Jen – are intriguing and well fleshed-out.  I was also drawn in by the combination of Celtic and Native American mythology and the idea that shamanism is all about healing.

However, I had difficulty connecting with the protagonist, Joanne.  To me, her character just doesn’t stand out amongst the slew of urban fantasy heroines with badass attitudes, supernatural abilities, and traumatic pasts.  And without that element of uniqueness, I couldn’t fully get into her story.

Although I might have continued reading this series simply to watch the relationship between Joanne and Morrison deepen (I’m a sucker for slowly developing romantic subplots), the descriptions of magic are what killed it for me.  The supernatural is described in such vague, confusing, and sometimes contradictory terms that I often had no idea what was going on.  During action sequences involving magic, I often found myself saying, “That doesn’t even make sense!” and “How the heck did that happen?”  By the end of the book, I was so frustrated that I had no desire to continue reading The Walker Papers series, even though I did become attached to the supporting cast.

Overall, Urban Shaman is an entertaining book with an interesting mythos and lovable, well-developed secondary characters.  But if you’re looking for top-notch urban fantasy, then this isn’t the book for you.  For a much better series with a similar premise, I recommend Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books.

Reading Order:

  • Urban Shaman
  • Thunderbird Falls
  • Coyote Dreams
  • Walking Dead
  • Demon Hunts
  • Spirit Dances
  • Raven Calls

Also reviewed at:

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About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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