Friday, 25 June 2010

Coyote Dreams (Walker Papers #3) by C.E. Murphy

Title: Coyote Dreams
Author: C.E. Murphy
Series: Walker Papers #3
Rating: ★★★★
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Description: (From Goodreads) Much of the city can't wake up. And more are dozing off each day.

Instead of powerful forces storming Seattle, a more insidious invasion is happening. Most of Joanne Walker's fellow cops are down with the blue flu—or rather the blue sleep. Yet there's no physical cause anyone can point to—and it keeps spreading.

It has to be magical, Joanne figures. But what's up with the crazy dreams that hit her every time she closes her eyes? Are they being sent by Coyote, her still-missing spirit guide? The messages just aren't clear.

Somehow Joanne has to wake up her sleeping friends while protecting those still awake, figure out her inner-spirit
dream life and, yeah, come to terms with these other dreams she's having about her boss...

Coyote Dreams kicks of a couple of weeks after Thunderbird Falls finishes, and it starts with a manic first chapter. Joanne wakes up in bed with a guy she doesn’t recognise, only to have her friend Gary turn up at her apartment door followed by the mother and daughter she helped out in Thunderbird Falls, and then her boss Morrison. By the end of the chapter, Joanne is more than a little freaked out and that is when the author introduces the premise – Joanne’s friend Billy is in the hospital because no-one can wake him up.

In terms of a big bad, sending people to sleep doesn’t seem that big of a deal and the book is lower on action than the previous two installments in this series. There isn't something Joanne can physically fight until the last quarter of the book, and even then it spends most of its time running away.

The supporting cast I've grown to love are still here, although Billy spends most of the book asleep. Gary is still a big part of Joanne's life, and her feelings towards Morrison come to a head leaving Joanne to deal with that shift in her world. The book has a little comic relief when Billy Holliday's brother Brad shows up - he's a doctor, and as Joanne herself points out Billy got stuck with his name, but Doc Holliday he did to himself.

Joanne is a lot more focused when it comes to her shamanic powers, although her spirit guide Coyote is still missing. Joanne has been using her powers to help Gary recover from his heart attack, and she's becoming more at ease with her gifts.

A huge part of this book comes down to the consequences of Joanne's earlier actions in the previous books Urban Shaman and Thunderbird Falls, and the book lost a star because I figured out who the bad guy was quite a bit before Joanne does, and this bugged me a little. However, I'm still looking forward to the next installment in Joanne's adventures.

Content description

Sex and nudity - A character wakes up naked and in bed with a guy she doesn't recognise, although she figures out that nothing happened between them.
Violence and gore - Occasional until last quarter or so of book where it becomes more frequent and descriptive.
Alcohol and drugs - A character wakes up after drinking a large quantity of alcohol and can't remember most of the previous night.
Profanity - Occasional mild-to-moderate.
Frightening/intense scenes - Characters fall asleep and are stuck there.

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