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text 2018-03-17 13:26
Fellow Mystery and Thriller Fans ...
Shaman's Blues - Amber Foxx

I review so much in this genre, I think my blog followers may appreciate this sale.

While it's organized on the link above to emphasize Amazon, my book, Shaman's Blues, is available on Apple, Kobo and Barnes and Noble as well, and some of the others may be also. Try a new author for 99 cents. You might make a great discovery!

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review 2018-01-06 18:43
"Urban Shaman - Walker Papers #1" by C E Murphy
Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphy

When I saw the pitch for "Urban Shaman", I was sceptical: an Urban Fantasy book that blends Celtic and Cherokee myth in the form of a modern-day Seatle PD cop. How likely was that to work?

 

But one of my New Year's resolutions was to try and be positive and I still had two days before Epiphany brought the Yule ride to end, so I gave it try.

 

About five chapters in, my response was, "WOW. Why haven't I heard of this series before?" A day later, having finished the book in a self-indulgent binge read, I had a grin on my face because I'd found my new Urban Fantasy series for 2018.

 

What C. E. Murphy has done by merging Celtic and Cherokee myth is bold, original and more than a little risky but she pulls it off. The action is more a "Dr Strange"fight-the-forces-of-evil-while-travelling-outside-your-body-on-another-plane kind of thing than it is an "Avengers" hit-your-enemy-with-your-hammer /shield/large green fist type of thing. That's hard to do and may not appeal to everyone but Murphy does it well and I loved every minute of it.

 

Joanne Walker is a half Irish, half Cherokee woman who, although she works in Seatle PD and went to the Police Academy, spends her time in the motor pool. The book starts with her returning from her mother's funeral in Ireland. On the descent into SEA, drowsy, airsick and with her contacts glued to her retinas, she sees a woman running away from a pack of dogs and towards a man wielding a butterfly knife. That unlikely optical feat and her dire compulsion to rescue the woman should have clued her into the fact that something in her life had shifted but it takes a while for her to catch up with this.

 

What follows is a story in which Joanne is introduced rather traumatically to her own, previously unsuspected, shamanic powers by being pitched into a conflict with the Wild Hunt.

 

Why does this work? Well, Joanne is likeable and has a character that is deeper and more complex than the usual kickass heroine with a sharp line of chat and a flair for martial arts. Most of the time Joanne has no idea what she's doing and words frequently fail her. I found this quite refreshing. The secondary characters, from the voluable cab driver to the perfectionist Police Captain, swiftly move from archetype to someone credible and interesting. The astral conflicts are described in surprisingly down to earth ways and conflict resolution is never about who has the biggest sword.

 

As a standalone book, it's fun, fast and fresh. As the first book in a series, it fills me with anticipation.

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text 2018-01-05 10:10
Reading progress update: I've read 15%. Wow, what a start
Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphy

So I was sceptical. An Urban Fantasy book that blends Celtic and Cherokee myth. How likely was that to work? And the series got mixed reviews.

 

But, it’s 12th night Only one day of wild left. I’m being held hostage by a head cold.  What did I have to lose?

 

”Urban Shaman” has pace, style and a main character who just grabs hold from the first page.

 

So my succinct and incisive summary at 15% is: WOW.

 

Now please excuse me, I have a book waiting.

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text 2017-11-21 21:40
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 8 - Hanukkah - and Square 3 - St. Martin's Day
The Shaman Laughs - James D. Doss
The Devil's Acolyte - Michael Jecks
An Artist of the Floating World - Kazuo Ishiguro
A Darker Shade: 17 Swedish Stories of Murder, Mystery and Suspense Including a Short Story by Stieg Larsson - John-Henri Holmberg

Tasks for Hanukkah: Light nine candles around the room (SAFELY) and post a picture. –OR– Play the Dreidel game to pick the next book you read.

Assign a book from your TBR to each of the four sides of the dreidel:

נ (Nun)
ג (Gimel)
ה (He)
ש (Shin)


Spin a virtual dreidel: http://www.torahtots.com/holidays/chanuka/dreidel.htm
– then tell us which book the dreidel picked.

 

OK, here we go:


נ (Nun)     =  James D. Doss: The Shaman Laughs
ג
(Gimel)  =  Michael Jecks: The Devil's Acolyte
ה (He)
      =  Kazuo Ishiguro: An Artist of the Floating World
ש (Shin)
   =  John-Henri Holmberg (ed.): A Darker Shade

 

 

Alright -- Ishiguro it is.  And this will also give me my book themes for St. Martin’s Day (square 3): Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job. –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).

 

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review 2017-04-05 00:00
Penric and the Shaman
Penric and the Shaman - Grover Gardner,Lois McMaster Bujold Just as enjoyable as the first one. I liked watching Pen having grown into his skills and his role and his more settled relationship with Des. He's filled out a bit, but is still the character we first met. I liked the mystery and the road trip plot, for which the alternating PoV worked really well. It's been long enough since I read Hallowed Hunt that I don't remember how all that went, but the story stood well without too many background details. Looking forward to the next one.
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