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Thunderbird Falls (The Walker Papers, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – May 19, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Joanne Walker, a likable young Seattle beat cop, continues to learn the ropes of her even more dangerous job as a shaman in Murphy's spirited second urban fantasy (after 2005's Urban Shaman). After a fencing lesson at the university, Joanne stumbles on the body of Cassandra Tucker, a 20-year-old junior, in the showers. The autopsy report states that Cassandra's death was due to a heart condition, but Joanne suspects otherwise. In her role as shaman, Joanne investigates "the Dead Zone," a place between life and death, while her earthside sleuthing leads to a coven that in recognition of her special abilities invites her to take Cassandra's place in opening a passage between worlds for Virissong, an ancient Native American spirit who's expected to end a local heat wave and global warming. Unfortunately, if not surprisingly, Joanne discovers after several nightmarish and somewhat bloated magical misadventures that Virissong is one nasty lying serpent. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A swift pace, a good mystery, a likable protagonist, magic, danger -- Urban Shaman has them in spades." -- Jim Butcher, author of the bestselling The Dresden Files --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In 2nd book I waited for character development but inside she is stupider and if anything, more annoying. And what is this thing with the main person being native American yet in denial ?
Don't think Ill continue because its too formulaic.
The book follows a pattern common pattern to many urban fantasy books. Main character discovers that he/she has some form of magic/supernatural powers and gets dragged into a world where there are things that go bump in the night. After the initial introduction the books in the series pits the character against a series of bad guys one after another while the character develops as we go along.
However Joanne does not really seem to develop. If anything she almost regresses not wanting to use or learn about her shamanic powers. Worse, she walks around like a sleepwalker moaning about how tired she is or how unfair the world is and so on. She is duped more or less from the first page and continues to be played up until the ending where she somehow manages to avoid disaster despite the total mess.
When Joanne actually delves into her powers it is in surrealistic dream sequences which are more confusing than being a good read. I could perhaps have lived with that if Joanne would have developed along the way but she behaves like a less than intelligent wimp most of the time. In the first book she was a bit hot mouthed and showed some spunk but I did not get any feeling of such traits in this book.
Bottom line is that I was rather disappointed and I am in doubt whether I will read the next book in the series.
There's good stuff here, most significantly the growing emotional tension between Joanne and Captain Michael Morrison. I swear, I just love every second they're in each other's company. There's real magic sparking between the two of them and it's very patiently and subtly drawn. I adore Gary - and there's a comforting sense of continuity in the faux-familial bond between them. It's nice to see two characters who genuinely adore one another like they do and not have it be in any way romantic. Billy Holliday is back, too, and while not quite as out there as he was in the first book, he's definitely one of the most joyously unique characters I've read in a book in a long time. And I love Joanne's internal monologue. She's sarcastic and self-deprecating and her observations often make me chuckle.
What I DON'T love, though, is that despite the impressive goings on in Urban Shaman and all the challenges Joanne Walker triumphs over there, she seems to have not only stagnated in her shamanic development, she's actually regressed and is back to that annoying "oh no, I don't WANT to be Shaman" whining. It doesn't stop her from using her abilities, it just makes every time she does turn into a paragraph about why she doesn't want to. That got old in the first book. To have it carry over into this one after everything she accomplished previously is tedious. I think there may have been some progress in that regard by the end of Thunderbird Falls, but I'm not sure how much.
Then there's the central plot. Joanne stumbles across a dead body and ends up mixed up in coven with dubious motives and questionable sanity. She loses Coyote in there somewhere, and I have no idea why or how. She sure doesn't seem at all bothered by it, despite the fact that there are things going on around her that point to the fact that her fight against Cerrunos in Urban Shaman threw things severely out of whack in the astral realm and it's bleeding over into this one (or visa versa...not totally clear on that) and she's not got the first clue how to fix it. Seattle is sweltering and drought stricken, nature is out of balance, and it looks like it might be all Joanne's fault. And nothing in any of that is anywhere near as compelling or dangerous as anything in Urban Shaman. Until the last quarter of the book, in fact, there's nothing even alluding to daunting, then the last quarter was a mishmash of big reveals and final showdowns that weren't very clearly written. Not to mention that by that point I can't say I cared that much about it, however it concluded.
I'm going to give Coyote Dreams a try because the parts I did like in this book I liked very, very much. I still think CE Murphy has a unique gift for writing secondary and ancillary characters, and I truly like Joanne when she's not going the "poor me" route. Plus, I've just GOT to see what develops between her and Morrison. I just hope for a cleaner, less meandering, tauter plot.