Book Review, Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Review: Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy

Hey all, Dani here.

I honestly debated about writing a review for this book, but I first read it back in like 2006, and I don’t think I actually had a blog or anything at that point. I believe I actually read this book a couple times between 2006 and 2010, but that was before my time on Goodreads, so it’s not like I have all my reads counted. Anyway, the point is that I haven’t read this book in quite a few years, and it’s almost like reading it again for the first time, so I might as well share my thoughts and feelings with all of you.

Before I dive into the review, I should say that I read this book as part of #AGameofBooksathon, as well as Jazzy June, so I’m glad those two reading challenges are pushing me to read more books, as well as to re-read some old favorites.

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Summary

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.

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

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars (okay, so the first two times I read this I gave it 5 stars, but I’m going with an honest rating for this read-through)

I love this book. I love this series. I love this author. She is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve backed a couple different Kickstarter campaigns for her books.

Oh, and seeing as how it is GLBT Book Month/Pride Month, I should mention that this book features a character named Billy Holliday, who is a copy who enjoys dressing in drag.

Anyway, this story follows Jo, who is a shaman, with an Irish mother and a Cherokee father. But Jo sees herself as a mechanic and she works at the police department. When she takes an extended personal leave to go to Ireland to tend to her dying mother, Jo returns to discover a lot of strange things about herself, especially after a death or near-death experience.

I loved how fast paced this was; the whole story takes place over the course of a few days, and I enjoyed that Jo ends up teaming up with the cab driver who picked her up at the airport. Gary is seriously one of my favorite characters, and I love how he so easily accepts all of this and really does become sort of a father figure over the course of this series.

This book sets up the mythology and the world rather well, and we learn small bits and pieces about our characters while hinting to more revelations to come. And can I just say that I really like that Jo is stumbling through the whole story, just trying to come to grasp with what is going on, and not exactly knowing much about the gods and magic and all of that. I love that she has to ask questions and do research and just figure things out as she goes. Having a story where the main character doesn’t know everything about their skills, and also where they don’t go from neophyte to expert in a two page training montage is really great.

Oh, and it’s really cool that shamans are healers, but Jo is a mechanic, so whenever she needs to heal someone–primarily herself–she imagines the person as a car and works through how to repair them mechanically. It is just a fun detail that I really enjoy from the story.

So yeah, I enjoyed this read through, and I will definitely be continuing through the rest of the series again sometime soon.

Where to Buy

You can pick up your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

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