Urban Shaman (The Walker Papers, Book 1)

Urban Shaman (The Walker Papers, Book 1) - C.E. Murphy Joanne Walker - or Siobhan Walkingstick - is a rational woman. A sensible woman, a practical mechanic, she has very little to do with woo-woo of any kind and seems to have developed and aversion to it. Along with shunning anything paranormal, Joanne spends much of her life running from her past, and this includes her heritage as an Indigenous woman.And then, after feeling a desperate urge to save a woman she saw fleeing for her life from a plane, (can we just pause for a moment and say how ridiculous this is, there’s suspending belief, and then there’s stupidity) she has a near death experience at the hands of an ancient Celtic god, before putting herself together at the instructions of Coyote.At this point, it became much much harder to ignore magic and the fantastic. Not least of which because ancient Celtic gods and demi-gods are now killing people and Joanne maybe the only person who can stop them.There are some huge positive elements to this book. The story is nicely paced and fun with plenty of interesting twists and turns as Joanna tracks down her adversaries - after figuring out exactly what they are and what they’re doing. And, for that matter, who is doing what and who they actual enemy is. It’s knotty, it twists and there are many points in the book where I didn’t know where we were going or why - it’s nice to have some unpredictability, especially in a mystery. All in all, I managed to read the book cover to cover only stopping when forced to - I didn’t want to put it down, I didn’t want to stop reading. It made me smile and it made me curious - a very nice combination if you can pull it off - and it didn’t make me bored at all.The way the magic is handled is interesting and nicely described. It makes me want to learn a lot more and to figure out where the parameters are. I do wish we’d actually had some cultural references for the magic, rather than just the descriptions, but still it’s a nice, rather unique system that I very much want to see more of. I love her emphasis on healing - even when it comes to hunting down a killer, it’s all about healing and a magical drive to heal and help people. I also like the blending of both Celtic and Native American traditions, it has a great deal of potential but it could certainly do to be developed more.I’m curious about the world and how accepting everyone is of the fantastic. How so many of the police around Joanne see her magic and kind of accept it. But then, I can see the dynamic - after all, if you live in a world were magic is real, you’re going to have more people with experiences who are willing to believe it. And police are a group who are highly likely to be exposed to the shadowy corners of the world.I’m also quite impressed that there didn’t appear to be any kind of romance (albeit a couple of budding ones). not that I’m against their being a romance, but by the signs of it we’re not going to be fast-tracked into a hurried, rather convoluted romance that consumes the story as is so often the caseThe characters also interact extremely well. Joanne’s banter with Gary is hilarious and they have a real, powerful friendship even if it did come about quickly. Joanne bounces off her colleagues in the police station extremely well. I do love that in a story - powerful personal relationships and great, natural interactionRead More