Review – Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy

urban shamanUrban Shaman is the first book in the Walker Papers urban fantasy series by C.E. Murphy.  This was a used bookstore find and I would place it in the win column (with a few caveats.)

Joanne Walker is a mechanic for the police department.  Flying home after her mother’s death she sees a crime being committed from the airplane.  Her search for the victim leads her to a whole lot of trouble.

Where do I start?  The good – you can’t help but like Joanne.  She’s sarcastic, smart, tough and six-feet tall.  I’m six-feet myself so it was nice to see a female lead who wasn’t a petite flower.  “I liked being tall. Next to this woman I felt as ungainly as a giraffe.”  Been there!  The overall story is a good one.  Joanne learns, the hard way, that she is a shaman.  Her adventures are fun to read.

But…The bad – When I finished reading, my first comment was that the book was kind of a hot mess.  I think it would have benefited greatly from a strong edit.  Too many adverbs clogged the writing.  There were a lot of great ideas but way too much going on.  Shamans, the Wild Hunt, clairvoyants, ghosts, gods, demigods, fae.  Dreamwalking, alternate worlds, etc.  It was also a reach to believe that the cab driver Joanne meets at the airport becomes her sidekick throughout the rest of the story.  And, what the heck is the deal with the coyote?

This was not a bad book (3/5 stars) and I’ll definitely read the next one.  Recommended for those who enjoy urban fantasy and are able to turn off some of the mind’s questions when reading.

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