Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Thunderbird Falls by C. E. Murphy

Thunderbird Falls (The Walker Papers, Book 2)Book Details:
Thunderbird Falls (The Walker Papers, Book 2)
By C. E. Murphy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published 2006, LUNA Books
Paperback, 409 pages
ISBN: 9780373803033


It's the end of the world…
For all the bodies she's encountering, you'd think beat cop Joanne Walker works in Homicide. But no, Joanne's a reluctant shaman who last saved mankind three months ago—surely she deserves more of a break! Yet, incredibly, "Armageddon, Take Two" is mere days away.
There's not a minute to waste.
Yet when her spirit guide inexplicably disappears, Joanne needs help from other sources. Especially after she accidentally unleashes Lower World demons on Seattle. Damn. With the mother of all showdowns gathering force, it's the worst possible moment for Joanne to realize she should have learned more about controlling her powers. Or to discover she's being lied to…
The second book in the Walker Papers series was more enjoyable than the first one for me, simple because I like Joanne's sense of humor. She pokes fun at herself relentlessly, whether it be in her thoughts or outloud in conversation, which makes her superhuman abilities not so off-putting. At one part she makes the remark that the people who are given the strongest powers usually don't even want them - the universe's way of creating balance. This is a great summary of Joanne's reluctance to be who she is supposed to be. The irony of this book is that reluctance is what she needs most in this book in order to defeat the Big Bad of this book, but she spends most of the book working on acceptance. She has a certain klutz factor in everything she does, and yet she still ends up on top no matter what the situation is.
The lack of romantic interludes I find rather discouraging, since she seems to have a few potential men in her sights but refuses to act on her attractions. With the chemistry building between her and her boss, a lack of activity feels like a loose end left hanging.
Another factor that felt like a loose end was Joanne's search for a spirit animal. While she did the search in the plot, and did come out with one, the ending made it look like she lost her spirit animal, so does she still have one or not? It seems like an awful lot of work to come up empty-handed.
Loose end number three was the outcome of the coven that Joanne joined. Nothing was stated to indicate if she was still a member, or what they intend to do about the events that they played a part in.
I was also rather confused about what the meaning of several of the scenes was, such as her encounter with the big Coyote and her sight-reversal of color. Neither of these, as well as other things, were explained much at all. I feel like I should research what shamanism is before I read anymore of this series, as it does not look like the author is inclined to delve into the details.

The Cover: The vague shamanic references in the picture make an attractive cover, and the drawing must refer to the thunderbird in the plot, which I think is cool.

First Line: "Two words I never thought would go together: Joanne Walker and 6:00 a.m."
The humor of this first line reminds me of the main character's sense of humor and quirkiness and entice me to continue reading.

Favorite Quote: "All kinds of thoughts immediately filled my mind. Whether or not my black shoes, the ones that went best with my dress uniform, were polished, and if I was going to have time to polish them before the funeral. Why exactly it was called a parkway when you drove on it and a driveway when you parked on it. Whether all of this was real or a manifestation of my overactive imagination, in which case, couldn't I at least have Keanu Reeves or Carrie Ann Moss as company?"

Read For: 101 Fantasy Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge


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