Walking Dead (The Walker Papers, Book 4)
By C. E. Murphy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published 2009, LUNA Books
Paperback, 376 pages
For once, Joanne Walker's not out to save the world. She's come to terms with the host of shamanic powers she's been given, her job as a police detective has been relatively calm, and she's got a love life for the first time in memory. Not bad for a woman who started out the year mostly dead.Normally I don't care for zombies in my fantasy literature - the ick factor is just too high for me. (I don't do horror movies, either.) This book is probably the first exception as Joanne disliked them as much as I do. I love that she now as a better sense of what she is doing with her shamanic abilities, and she has even studied a few things related to this so that she is better prepared for future needs. It seems to me that as Joanne better understands the mechanics of what she is doing, the better I, as the reader, can understand them, too.
But it's Halloween, and the undead have just crashed Joanne's party.
Now, with her mentor Coyote still missing, she has to figure out how to break the spell that has let the ghosts, zombies and even the Wild Hunt come back. Unfortunately, there's no shamanic handbook explaining how to deal with the walking dead. And if they have anything to say about it which they do no one's getting out of there alive.
At the beginning of the book Joanne is dating the mechanic she has nicknamed Thor. I really like the guy and how genuine and honest he is with her, but I feel sorry for him because I know that it is not him that Joanne really wants. She takes him for granted and does not give the relationship any real chance at surviving.
The mess with the cauldron is an interesting bit of folklore that ironically ties back to Ireland, where Joanne's mother comes from. I like also that it introduces some new characters, such as the medium Sonata, and brings back Suzanne Quinley from the first book. Suzanne has got some serious magic of her own, and the courage to use it wisely. This makes me wonder if the author couldn't give her a series of her own in the YA genre. My favorite part of the book is when Suzanne uses her future-seeing abilities and Joanne tunes in. Joanne gets to see all of her possible past, present, and future selves based on alternate choices she could have made throughout her life. This was absolutely fascinating for me because I am always wondering about the "what ifs" with the main characters of the books I read. How I wish more of the books I read would find a way to employ this tactic, heck I would not mind it in real life!
As for loose ends, there are two that really bug me. The first is the outcome of the annoying insurance adjuster, since he just seemed to fall of the radar at the end. The second is Captain Morrison and his ever-evolving relationship with Joanne. He plays a major part at the climax, but the reader does not get to see any sort of personal reaction on Morrison's behalf or his reaction to Joanne's new relationship status. I will just have to wait to see what happens in the next book, Demon Hunts (Walker Papers, Book 5).
The Cover: The cover features a familiar body-shot of the main character Joanne, sporting native jewelry to signify her Cherokee heritage. The horse I did not get at first, but it eventually becomes obvious that it refers to the involvement of the Hunt from the first book, Urban Shaman (The Walker Papers, Book 1).
First Line: "My wig itched like a son of a bitch."
There's that typical Joanne attitude that I've come to know so well - bluntly honest to the point of hilarity - not to mention, what would cause no-frills Joanne to wear a wig?
Favorite Quote: "Happy was easy. Whatever I got out of life, I was going to have to work for, and that made it all the more worth having."
Read For: Strong Heroine Challenge, What's In A Name Challenge, 101 Fantasy Challenge