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Urban Shaman (2005)

by C. E. Murphy

Series: The Walker Papers (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,546628,085 (3.76)74
Joanne Walker has three days to learn to use her shamanic powers and save the world from the unleashed Wild Hunt. No worries. No pressure. Never mind the lack of sleep, the perplexing new talent for healing from fatal wounds, or the cryptic, talking coyote who appears in her dreams. And if all that's not bad enough, in the three years Joanne's been a cop, she's never seen a dead body -- but she's just come across her second in three days.… (more)
  1. 30
    Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy (DistortedSmile)
  2. 20
    Hounded by Kevin Hearne (clif_hiker)
    clif_hiker: Celtic mythology
  3. 00
    Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (majkia)
    majkia: very different ideas of female protags in urban fantasy
  4. 11
    The Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan (DistortedSmile)

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» See also 74 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Urban Shaman is an example of why I have a love-hate relationship with series books that have been out for some time before I read them: I love the fact that I can go get the next book now instead of having to wait for it to be released, but I hate that it’s been out all this time (sitting on my shelf, even) and I haven’t read it before this.

The book (and presumably the series) focuses on Jo Walker, who hasn’t opened up to her shaman powers until she, herself, is in dire need of healing. She comes to the mystic stuff naturally, being of Irish and Cherokee blood. She’s essentially turned it off, however, until forced to acknowledge it.

As with any book, there are things that will annoy some readers and slip completely past others. Some descriptions get more focus than others, and there will be times when you have to stretch your disbelief a touch more than is, perhaps, comfortable.

But you know what? This is fantasy. We should expect that of a fantasy novel.

All told, I really enjoyed this book. It’s always hard to place a book in a numerical ranking of all the books I’ve read, so I’m not even going to try. But it was well written, well paced, and just plain fun. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
When I saw the pitch for "Urban Shaman", I was sceptical: an Urban Fantasy book that blends Celtic and Cherokee myth in the form of a modern-day Seatle PD cop. How likely was that to work?

But one of my New Year's resolutions was to try and be positive and I still had two days before Epiphany brought the Yule ride to end, so I gave it try.

About five chapters in, my response was, "WOW. Why haven't I heard of this series before?" A day later, having finished the book in a self-indulgent binge read, I had a grin on my face because I'd found my new Urban Fantasy series for 2018.

What C. E. Murphy has done by merging Celtic and Cherokee myth is bold, original and more than a little risky but she pulls it off. The action is more a "Dr Strange"fight-the-forces-of-evil-while-travelling-outside-your-body-on-another-plane kind of thing than it is an "Avengers" hit-your-enemy-with-your-hammer /shield/large green fist type of thing. That's hard to do and may not appeal to everyone but Murphy does it well and I loved every minute of it.

Joanne Walker is a half Irish, half Cherokee woman who, although she works in Seatle PD and went to the Police Academy, spends her time in the motor pool. The book starts with her returning from her mother's funeral in Ireland. On the descent into SEA, drowsy, airsick and with her contacts glued to her retinas, she sees a woman running away from a pack of dogs and towards a man wielding a butterfly knife. That unlikely optical feat and her dire compulsion to rescue the woman should have clued her into the fact that something in her life had shifted but it takes a while for her to catch up with this.

What follows is a story in which Joanne is introduced rather traumatically to her own, previously unsuspected, shamanic powers by being pitched into a conflict with the Wild Hunt.

Why does this work? Well, Joanne is likeable and has a character that is deeper and more complex than the usual kickass heroine with a sharp line of chat and a flair for martial arts. Most of the time Joanne has no idea what she's doing and words frequently fail her. I found this quite refreshing. The secondary characters, from the voluable cab driver to the perfectionist Police Captain, swiftly move from archetype to someone credible and interesting. The astral conflicts are described in surprisingly down to earth ways and conflict resolution is never about who has the biggest sword.

As a standalone book, it's fun, fast and fresh. As the first book in a series, it fills me with anticipation. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Woman discovers she is a shaman as she tries to help a woman in distress that she sees from the plane. Eventually discovers that Cernnunos, Lord of the Wild Hunt, is loose in Seattle. Worse yet, his son is responsible for serial murders of shamans and is trying to take over the Wild Hunt and free it from its ties to the underworld.
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
I wanted to like this book but half succeeded. There should be some structure, explanation, dunno what to call it of the magic. An explanation is attempted but it's clumsy and patchy.

The characters are not bad but I was groaning by just how our heroine was practically indestructible.

But still, good characters, humor, interesting storyline... I am not too keen on the next books, but maybe I will get them later. Maybe. ( )
  chx | Mar 21, 2020 |
I really enjoyed the narrator on this, I'm not sure I would have liked it as much reading it. I liked a lot of the dialogue and the interactions between Joanne and Gary, but some of the story line didn't work that well for me. All in all though, a good story. ( )
  Colette_Miranda | Jul 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Voici donc un livre intéressant, avec des personnages attachants, mais qui souffre de sa précipitation, surtout vers la fin. L'héroïne maîtrise trop facilement ses pouvoirs, et son affrontement avec le Dieu est finalement peu crédible. C'est cependant un livre agréable à lire, qui a un petit parfum des séries du samedi soir sur M6, et qui cible clairement le même public.
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This book is for my grandfather,
Francis John Joseph McNally Malone,
who would have been proud of me.
First words
There's nothing worse than a red-eye flight.
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Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Joanne Walker has three days to learn to use her shamanic powers and save the world from the unleashed Wild Hunt.

No worries. No pressure. Never mind the lack of sleep, the perplexing new talent for healing herself from fatal wounds, or the cryptic, talking coyote who appears in her dreams.
And if all that's not bad enough, in the three years Joanne's been a cop, she's never seen a dead body, but she's just come across her second in three days.

It's been a bitch of a week. And it isn't over yet.

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C. E. Murphy is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (3.76)
1 9
1.5 3
2 28
2.5 9
3 111
3.5 28
4 160
4.5 10
5 112


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