Friday, 25 June 2010

Thunderbird Falls (Walker Papers #2) by C.E. Murphy

Title: Thunderbird Falls
Author: C.E. Murphy
Series: Walker Papers #2
Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Description: (From Goodreads) It's the end of the world . . . Again.

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.

This is the second in the Walker Papers series, and picks up a few months after the events of Urban Shaman. Joanne is still struggling to reconcile her beliefs with her new shamanic powers, although she's begun to use them frequently to help with minor things - like fixing her co-worker's papercuts with a handshake etc.

Like Urban Shaman, Thunderbird Falls kicks of with the action. After her fencing lesson, Joanne finds a dead body in the showers. Using her shamanic powers to try to contact the dead girl's soul in the Dead Zone, Joanne loses control when a snake demon enters and takes her spirit guide Coyote away. When Joanne wakes up in the real world, she's horrified to find she actually brought a snake back with her into the physical world.

Pursuing the case against her boss Morrison's wishes, Joanne stumbles onto a coven who claim to be working to reset the balance and begins working with them once she realises the balance was thrown out by her actions in fighting the Wild Hunt in the last book. This means that we not only see Joanne learning more about her shamanic powers, but she also begins to use witchcraft as well.

The supporting characters I came to love in Urban Shaman are still in Joanne's life. Cabby Gary Muldoon has a heart attack, which leaves Joanne shocked and struggling to cope without his down-to-earth advice and making some stupid choices. Billy Holliday is still around, and his wife Mel and their herd of kids are introduced.

All in all this was a brilliant follow-up to Urban Shaman. Joanne's storyline advanced, continuing on from Urban Shaman smoothly and once again I was left wanting more.

Content description
Sex and nudity - A sexual ritual is suggested but rejected, although some pressure is applied.
Violence and gore - Infrequent but graphic.
Alcohol and drugs - A character is seen in the middle of cancer treatments.
Profanity - Infrequent mild, once strong.
Frightening/intense scenes - A corpse is described in detail. The battle with a snake demon at the end of the book is quite intense, as are the memories described by a character of their initial contact with the demon. A character suffering from cancer is described in detail.

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