12 June, 2010

Book Review: Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy

Book One: The Walker Papers

So we have the Wild Hunt, Coyote, a cabbie who used to be linebacker…40 years ago and a Shaman who’s day job is a cop, because that’s the only way she could find a job as a mechanic. Believe it or not, this actually works.

Joanne Walker was flying home from England after burying her mom when she looked out the window and “saw” a young woman being chased by a pack of dogs and a man with a knife. She meets up with Gary her cab driver. Gary thinks Joanne is crazy, but as the meter is running is happy to drive her around as she tries to “rescue” the woman from the plane. When they finally catch up with Marie who happens to be a banshee, she tells Joanne that she is running away from a God and that Joanne is going to die soon.

Joanne meets up with the Horned God and manages to get his sword stuck in her lungs. It is here where we meet up Coyote. I have to say I like the mixing of the Celtic and North American beliefs. I find I like all the old tales…well with the exception of the Norse Gods, I tried to like them, but there was too much baby killing and incest.

Coyote is Joanne’s spirit guide. He helps her heal herself; it almost doesn’t happen as Joanne doesn’t believe in this crap. Once you start believing in the unbelievable it’s all downhill from there. Marie gets murdered, the fifth similar murder in a matter of weeks. Is it the work of a serial killer or something more? While pondering the police files of the recent murders Joanne falls asleep and has an out of body experience. Joanne says it best. “Yesterday the world made sense and today I’m standing in a star pit talking to ghosts.”

Between trying to juggle her boss, who wants to fire her ass…a God’s crazy son who wants to kill her ass and new shamanic powers she needs to learn to control and do all this within 23 hours or the world as we know it will cease to exist. It’s no wonder she needs a hamburger.

I am interested in seeing where this series goes. I really like Gary, and while it may seem farfetched that a cab driver would stick around after his fare, I don’t know. If my dad were 70, with a wife dead and no kids, I can totally see him sticking around someone that needs help. Everyone needs to feel needed. Even a God.