Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy

Urban Shaman - C. E. Murphy

 

Urban Shaman

by C.E. Murphy

Pages: 416

Date: June 1 2005

Publisher: Luna

Series: Walker Papers (1st in Series)

 

Review

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Read: February 10 2016

 

This is the first book that I’ve read by this author. It’s a book that (1) hadn’t been on my radar; (2) even so, it was one of the books picked to be read by me in Feb/March (it was the part of the picking wherein the picker picked something not on my pick’em shelf).

 

Being, as it was, a book that hadn’t been on my radar, I did something I do not always do when picking books. I examined reviews. Some of those reviews kind of put me off, they did. And some of that description on GoodReads both intrigued me and vaguely put me off.

 

Two last thoughts; one directly related to the above – this is my second attempt to read this book. When I found out that this book had been ‘added to my list’ I examined it. Beat at it. Sampled it. Didn’t particularly wish to continue with it. And put it to the side. Then I came back to it and gobbled it down. Second thought – I had something of a reoccurring thought bouncing in my brain as I read this book – what the bloody hell is the sexual orientation of this character? I didn’t particularly care if she was straight, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, or what, but if I knew she was . . . something, then I’d look at other characters differently. Like, the first woman who means anything to this book that Joanne Walker (the main character) meets, Joanne kind of drools over how beautiful Marie actually turned out to be. Mouth parted, frozen in appreciation beautiful. Ah, I thought, did I stumble into a Lesbian Romance? Wait, now Joanne is dropping hints that if not for the fact that her first encounter with Morrison, she might have been all over him. Now she’s checking out every guy she meets and dropping a comment (mentally was it?) about how she doesn’t really like girls or women. Oookay.

 

Leap, as we will, to the Romance section of this review to find . . . . as far as I can tell, Joanne is asexual.

 

Characters

This book is one in which only one character is followed. Somewhat refreshing, in its way. Been a while since I only really had to care about one specific character.

 

Joanne Walker - is a youngish woman of Cherokee and Irish ancestors (father is Cherokee; mother is Irish). For whatever reason she spent most of her childhood bouncing around basically every three months while living with her father. Until she got to high school years. Because of this, and other reasons, Joanne Walker knows almost nothing about being a descendent of the Cherokee people.

 

Joanne is a college graduate, with an English degree, but knew, even before going to college, that she would work as a mechanic. Somehow or another falls into having a job with a police department as their mechanic. Joanne’s first boss (or at least the one before Morrison) had Joanne go to the Police Academy, so Joanne is technically a police officer.

 

Joanne is super rational and logical. Right up to the point she spots a woman being chased by dog like creatures, while Joanne herself is up in the sky in a plane.

 

One last thing of note – Joanne Walker name, officially, is not actually Joanne Walker. But Joanne Walkingstick. It would have been Siobhan (she-vaun) Walkingstick, but her father didn’t accept the name Siobhan. So, Joanne is both Joanne Walker and Siobhan Walkingstick (I’m not actually sure why her ‘other name’ is Siobhan Walkingstick if Siobhan, as a name, got rejected; I might have gotten confused there).

 

Mystery

Two, in a way, to follow. (1) Someone is killing people. Joanne investigates. (2) Joanne is a really rational logical person. She learns that there is this fantastical world out there and now must attempt to unravel the mystery of this fantastical world.

 

Both mysteries are interrelated, fun to follow, and well constructed. Mostly. There was a point wherein I got kind of overwhelmed with ‘otherness’. Briefly.

 

Romance

Joanne drools, as noted, when she spots Marie – the woman she had spotted from a plane and chased down to save. There’s some kind of sexual tension going on between Morrison (Joanne’s boss) and Joanne. On several occasions Joanne almost kisses certain people. While dead tired and in something of a dream land, Joanne kisses or is kissed by a Celtic god.

 

Her ‘soul mate’, ‘lover’, ‘best fuck buddy’, and/or the like is not found and drooled over in this book. This is by no means a romance novel that happens to have fantasy; nor is it a fantasy that has much in the way of romance.

 

Maybe needless to say, there is no sex – graphic or otherwise, in this book.

 

Mercedes ‘Mercy’ Thompson vs. Joanne ‘Siobhan Walkingstick’ Walker

Just something of a quick note here – two women who are main characters in Urban Fantasy series.

 

Auto Mechanic – Mercy & Joanne

Half-native American – Mercy & Joanne

Raised by someone other than mother – Mercy & Joanne

Shifter – Mercy (werecoyote). Joanne does, in fact, shift in the book – from human to coyote to raven – but only when entering and exiting her ‘dream guardian’

Coyote – Mercy’s father. Joanne’s spirit guide.

Celtic Folklore – Joanne. I don’t specifically recall anything involving Celtic folklore with Mercy.

Werewolves – Mercy. I do not specifically recall anyone being a werewolf in Joanne’s first book.

Vampires – Mercy. No one appears to be a vampire in Joanne’s first book (though mention of Vampires occurred).

Etc. etc.

 

The point of this section is relatively simple. While reading I noticed certain tidbits about Joanne. These tidbits reminded me of Mercy Thompson. Therefore I felt the need to examine some of the similarities and differences, though more as a list than as a detailed analysis.

 

One last point – despite the covers on the books (at least the cover of the first Joanne Walker book), the two women do not actually have a vaguely similar appearance. Mercy looks Hispanic or of native American origin. Joanne, for the most part, looks black Irish (pale with black hair) – the ‘for the most part’ involves how she does in fact look like she’s of native American origin in black & white pictures (this isn’t some magical thing – it’s just that her facial bone structure is similar to that of native American facial features, which is somewhat hidden when people look and see a pale white woman, and somewhat revealed when people see B&W photos).

 

Overall

Unexpectedly, I found this book to be rather humorous. I don’t specifically recall, now, what or why I found myself laughing, but do recall that I did keep finding myself laughing at the antics going on.

 

Humor - my status updates reminded me of one - during the book certain events occur that involve Native American folklore. At one point Joanne noted, in reaction to what she saw around her:

“This isn’t even the kind of Indian I am,” I protested. (19% mark?) - I found that vaguely humorous at the time I read it.

 

Right, so, loved the book. Refreshing to read a book wherein people aren’t pairing off to hump each other; and or find lifelong meaningful fuck buddies. And there’s a bunch of humorous stuff that occurs.

 

February 11 2016