Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Spirit Dances Review

Spirit Dances (The Walker Papers 6)
-          C.E. Murphy
E-Arc courtesy of netgalley and Luna Books – Out now
For Seattle detective Joanne Walker, spring is about new beginnings. She’s mastered her shamanic abilities (mostly), survived a cannibalistic serial killer (barely) and now she’s facing the biggest challenge of her career—attending a dance concert with her sexy boss, Captain Michael Morrison. But when the performance— billed as transformative—actually changes her into a coyote, she and Morrison have bigger things to deal with. And there’s more. Homeless people are disappearing, a mystical murder puts Joanne way out of her jurisdiction and with the full moon coming on, it’s looking like the killer is a creature that can’t possibly exist. But Jo could probably handle all of that, if one ordinary homicide hadn’t pushed her to the very edge.… Cop or shaman? The choice isn’t easy. But it’s one she just might have to make.…

I read the first three books in the Walker papers series and really enjoyed but I have to confess that I’ve skipped over books four and five (The Walking Dead and Demon Hunts) - mostly because these books are difficult to get hold of in the UK. Slowly the series slipped off my radar until I saw this on netgalley and thought I’d catch up with Joanne Walker and her shaman powers.
This book has a strong heroine who struggles and fights but somehow manages to pull of the balancing act between Warrior and Healer, alternatively making us root for and feel for her. The joy of these books has always been Jo’s character and her struggle to find her own identity – torn as she is between her Irish and native American roots, her shaman powers and job as a police detective, her heart and her head . To help her, she surrounds herself with some great characters – from her ‘ghost whisperer’ partner, her 70+ year old cab driver friend, her mystical mentor Coyote and of course her boss, Morrison.  The antagonistic relationship with him is one that is difficult to define – mostly because they are reluctant to define it. That relationship is central to this particular story and develops is some pleasing ways here while still retaining the snark and respect they have for each other.
This is a fast paced action adventure with plenty of mystic powers as Jo discovers some new abilities and comes across a frightening new threat to Seattle in the form of an energy sucking creature. There is barely room to pause for breath as Jo struggles to balance her responsibilities and explores her powers. While I didn’t feel lost at all having not read the previous two books, past events are referenced and I now want to find out what I missed! A great addition to the Urban Fantasy genre that feels fun, fresh and full of verve.
Recommended for fans for Richelle Mead’s Succubus series and Nicole Peeler. 8 out of 10.

Part of FTC's Speculative Fiction Challange Book 8/12


  1. This sounds brilliant - I want to read the whole series now!

  2. Thanks for the review. I did most of my reading when I went to work in London on the train. There isn't a convenient transport system here in Texas.

  3. Oh this sounds perfect for me. I'll have to locate the first (hee hee..) or just dive in this one. You know you are in danger of reading anything no matter the order like me. Netgalley is training you well, my child... bwa ha ha! ;D

  4. You jumped over two I am better these days with that but when it comes to UF I just can't

  5. You know I don't think I've ever heard of this series before. Strange as it sounds like a good one. Sorry to hear they are hard to get ahold of there in UK though. :) Thank you!

  6. Okay, where have I been because I've never heard of this series before. Must be a really good sign if you're able to get back into the series even after skipping a few of the book.

    Melissa of Books and Things drives me batty with her ability to read books out of order. And now you too! I shall call you two the Melub= Mel Club. LOL