by C.E. Murphy

June 2005
ISBN: 0-373-80223-4
Reviewer Graphic Button LUNA Books
Trade Paperback

C.E. Murphy brings us the first in a new series for LUNA. Urban Shaman is about a woman finding her true calling in the world and starting to heal the pain she buried deep inside herself.

Joanne Walker has been having a rough several months. Sheís returning from her motherís funeral in anticipation of being fired from her police job. Letís forget for a moment that she never really wanted to be a police officer, sheís a little upset at the prospect of not having a job. With blood shot eyes and grimy clothing from flying all night, sheís in for a strange ride for taxicab driver, Gray. Joanne knows she sounds crazy when she insists that Gray drive her to a spot in town where a church stood beside an amber streetlight. How could she explain that she saw a woman running from a pack of dogs while her airplane was landing? So she does the best she can and finds more than she bargains for.

The Wild Hunt is loose in Seattle and Cernunnos is searching for souls. When sheís told this by the woman she rescues, Joanne canít help but think everyoneís lost their sanity. Why would a Celtic god of death be running around Seattle and what does any of it have to do with her? Unfortunately, she realizes that she had a big part to play in this whole adventure. Her shamanic powers awaken after years of her denying them and she has to learn how to harness their power. In three days time, if the Hunt isnít stopped, it will continue to ride throughout the world.

If that isnít bad enough, thereís a serial killer running around the streets of Seattle and she knows heís connected somehow to the Wild Hunt. All Joanne wants to do is go home and get some sleep, but the spirits arenít allowing her to rest. Itís going to be a long three days and she can only hope they all survive the steep learning curve she has to travel.

C.E. Murphy does a good job combining action, adventure and fantasy into a vivid urban setting. The Seattle of Joanne Walker is just like the city we know, but itís steeped in magic, power and ancient legends. Joanne is a complex character that grows throughout the story. She begins as closed down as any person can get, but by the end, she is open to all the possibilities that the world has to offer. The secondary characters are a great supporting cast, especially Gray the cab driver who becomes her unofficial sidekick. There is no time to breath as Joanne races from one side of the city to the other just a step behind the killer and a step ahead of the Hunt. Fast paced action will leave you on the edge of your seat.

If you want to see how a modern woman would take care of an ancient god, pick up Urban Shaman. You wonít be disappointed. Iíll be waiting impatiently for Joanneís next adventure.

Reviewed in June 2005 by Jenni.

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