Friday, October 9, 2015

"Urban Shaman (Walker Papers #1)" by C.E. Murphy

This is probably a book I should've cast aside, but chose to muddle through because I was already halfway through when it was clear I wasn't enjoying myself. Not exactly a good reason to keep reading, but I'd also had books that have redeemed themselves with their ending, and I was hoping that would be the case with this one.

The pacing with this book is strange. It might be different if you find dreams/weird spiritual scenes truly interesting (which I thought I did before I read this), but in my case, due to the prevalence of such scenes, the book seemed 800 pages long. I am relatively open to fictional spirituality-wanderings, but honestly, this book didn't make me curious- it made me skim the scenes because it was fairly obvious I would not find what I wanted from them.

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'Seattle cop, Joanne Walker, returns from vacation to have her life turned upside down. She is pursued by a Celtic God, and forced to acknowledge an aspect of the universe she's never seen before. Even if she survives, she will forever be changed by this adventure.'

Joanne Walker is a character I could relate to, but didn't really care about due to the author fiercely defending her 'secrets'. There are things you learn about Joanne/Siobhan (yes, even her name isn't what it seems) very late in the book that explain some of her stupid secrecy, but at that point, it's too little, too late. In a way her characterization was half and half- she was friendly, joking with her cop buddies, but then none of them really knew much about her. I found Kate Daniels much more realistic in that, to keep her 'secrets', she shied away from anyone and kept up a 'hard-ass' facade. Joanne wasn't real to me like that.

I'm not sure why the paranormal/spiritual aspects made me want to grind my teeth, other than they were much more boring than I thought paranormal/spiritual things could be. Also, in a way I found them stereotypical- I don't know very much about Native American culture, but I do know it can be written in a much more enthralling way than it was presented here, while keeping true to it. I was honestly horrified when I found out how little Native mythology the author had thrown in- not only did it feel like an afterthought to me, it didn't feel the least bit authentic (perhaps due to the heroine's incessant disbelief/Spock-mindedness).

Urban Shaman had me excited when I heard about it. I am devoid of enthusiasm now. I can't think of the last book that had me really disappointed, but this one certainly fits the bill. Although there were interesting and amusing turns of phrase sprinkled throughout this book, it wasn't near enough to keep me interested. Because this book has such potential, I give it 2.5 stars, but I really can't recommend it unless it really sounds like your piece of cake.

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars for an okay book that could've been simplified into a better one.

Content: Ages 16+ for gorey bits and violence.

Page Count: 410 pages


  1. How very disappointing! The premise does sound good, but it sounds like the follow-through wasn't so great. I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. My dad was very interested in Native American mythology and, as a result, he shared some of that knowledge with me. I think I would want it to be heavier and more interesting in that area, especially.

    1. Yeah, I was expecting something a bit more interesting than this- the heroine may have undermined all the spirituality bits with her disbelief of them (if the main character doesn't believe this is happening to her, how am I supposed to??). I may continue the series later, as I have the first four books, but first I have to recover from the disappointment of this one.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Literary Feline!
      ~Litha Nelle


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