Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - THUNDERBIRD FALLS by C.E. MURPHY - WALKER PAPERS # 2 - HARLEQUIN - LUNA BOOKS - ADULT URBAN FANTASY

By: C.E. Murphy
Published By : Harlequin, Luna Books
Released : Available Now
Details: Paperback from library, 408 Pages

RATING: 3.75 THOR STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

The sequel to 2005's Urban Shaman pits beat cop and reluctant shaman Joanne Walker (real name Siobhan Walkingstick) against her deadliest foe yet: an ancient serpentine spirit bent on crossing over into modern-day Seattle -- not to order an iced mocha latte from Starbucks but to take over the world!

Just a few months after meeting the Native American trickster god Coyote and grudgingly agreeing to become a shaman -- it was either that or death! -- Walker is still coming to grips with her paranormal abilities. But when she discovers the body of a dead woman in a University of Washington shower room, she's thrust into a potentially apocalyptic adventure that revolves around a good-hearted coven trying to raise a seemingly benevolent spirit from the netherworld. But as the rituals intensify, Walker realizes that the 3,000-year-old entity isn't exactly on a mission of peace.


BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

Where do I start with Thunderbird Falls?

I did enjoy it.

I really liked Urban Shaman # 1 in this series. Sure, I got a bit lost in the mythology, but I waded through it. I loved the sub characters and I loved Joanne’s witty ways.

I think Joanne got a little dumbed down in this installment if I was to be perfectly honest. I still enjoyed the read, but I could see where everything was going and I kept raising my voice at my book, in hand.

When you are telling your female main lead to wake up and smell the roses, which are evidently not smelling well, then the story plot has a problem, for me personally.

Coyote just up and disappears from the story line. 

Red flag , much.

Joanne completely puts her faith in a few people.

WT!?

Why?

I had trouble understanding why she did that.

I did get a Gary twist, which I liked. I was a bit thick not to put two and two together with that. I think it may have been because I spent the rest of the book trying to reach in and slap Joanne upside the head.

The mythology/astral plane stuff, got a bit much for me, but that could just be me. I heard elevator music again when that was all going on, but at the same time it does suit Joanne’s Native American character. It is part of her character.  I think some authors can just do it a bit better, for my brain. I think Patricia Briggs can use her coyote character and I don’t get lost.

Morrison had a moment where I was waving the pom poms at his vaulting to Joanne. He did indeedy, vault. I don’t just jest. It was quite exciting. the emotion he showed. He was all caveman  Alpha. 

For a little bit , anyway.

What I found instead was Morrison vaulting the parking lot gates and coming at a run toward me and my car.


Then it got back to normal. My excitement at his enthusiasm for finding Joanne, went as quickly as his enthusiasm.

Morrison had me by the shoulders before I had time to think through the idea of hiding.

...Then he shook me, let go of my shoulders, and started yelling.


He's baaaccckk.

They do have a really odd, standoffish friendship considering he is thirty eight and she is twenty seven. They don't know how to find their mojo with each other.

I hear there is more going on in Coyote Dreams, although it’s not with each other.

Damn!

I think this one for me, personally, had me working too much out, when Joanne should have been on the ball a bit more. I think a lot of the humor and wit from Urban Shaman, left the building and we got too much mythology and astral plane thingying and it babbled a bit for my brain to stay interested in those parts.

I get real interested when Thor aka beefcake, aka I think his real name is Nick, comes on the scene, too. He is this standoffish kind of fun character in his own standoffish way.

I stood there by his feet until he slid out to get a wrench from the toolbox by the car. His eyebrows, grease-smeared, rose a little as he saw me. I looked around, unable to meet his eyes as I mumbled, “Wondered if there was anything I could help out with for a while.”

He frowned at me. I looked somewhere else again. “Please.”

“Yeah.” His answer was so gruff and so long in coming that I flinched, startled out of trying to think of where I was going to go when he said no. “Rodriguez got his wheels out of whack again. Get some coveralls and take a look.” He gave me the faintest smile possible and slid under his work-in-progress again. I was left staring at his legs, stunned. I’d warned him about Rodriguez’s axle alignment problems six months earlier. Maybe good ol’ Thor wasn’t so bad after all.


I get a visual of Chris Hemsworth. Kind of puts a smile on my face all grease monkeyed up.

Eye candy.

Thor, still on his back, rolled out from under the car he was working on and pushed up on an elbow, watching me. I wiped my hands down on the cleanest towel I could find and stripped the coveralls off. I’d done it a thousand times-- just about literally-- with the guys in the shop there. I’d never felt self-conscious before, too aware of Thor watching me. Big and thick and clumsy: that was the Joanne from high school, too tall and too poorly socialized. I fumbled the coveralls as I tried to put them back on their hook and caught a new handful of grease. I closed my eyes, sighed, and shoved my hand back through my hair before my brain caught up with my actions.

Thor’s laughter, deep and out loud, made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I looked over my shoulder, mouth twisted. Propped up on an elbow, still on the creeper, he looked like a beefcake calendar picture, except in a pinup he’d be in jeans, stripped to the waist, and glistening with baby oil instead of wearing tar-smeared coveralls. “You know where the shampoo is.”


I can't help wanting to ditch the Morrison tension and throw Joanne at Thor.

Gary is up for some words of wisdom.


Gary put an arm around my hips and gave them a hard hug. “Someday all them walls you got built up are gonna have to come tumblin’ down, Jo, and when they’re ready there’s gonna be nothing you can do about it. Might be easier on you if you start pryin’ some of the bricks out now.”

I want to keep reading the series, but I think my library gave up after two books. When the prices drop on Amazon, I shall purchase # 3, Coyote Dreams and Walking Dead # 4.

I am determined to read more.

I can see from Goodreads that this series gets better with the reviews and ratings. 

I am intrigued to know more. I have not given up. I have gotten off
to a bumpy ride with a couple other urban fantasy reads which I am so glad I kept on reading. 

If the mythology and astral planing can calm down a bit, and the humor brought back in, I think this will be a great series.

It's hard to explain how I am currently feeling about this series, 2 books in. I can see the potential of greatness in urban fantasy, but it gets over shadowed in things I get lost in. I need the characters to breath more life into it. They are great sub characters, but they can tend to be hidden under a pile of babbly stuff that sends my brain elsewhere, then we get back on track for a bit and then my brain can go elsewhere, again. But, at the same time I know why C.E. does what she does with Joanne because it is part of her Shaman character.

The series is still cracking on with # 9, Shaman Rises releasing 24th June, so that tells me something.

Michelle

2 comments:

  1. This is a series I've wanted to check out, Michelle. But I can see why you had some confusion and didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first. I admit that makes me a little leery but I'll still give it a go someday. Especially because I can put in the Chris Hemsworth visual. Yum!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Brandee, the thing is I think I am a little addicted to wanting to know more. I can see from reviews it gets better. The first book I really liked, I did enjoy this one, but it was a little laid out and I could see the ending coming, but that is ok. I do like the characters. I got off to a rocky start with a few other urban fantasy series that I am glad I stuck with because the reviews showed me it would be ok to stick with it :D Oh yes! Iknow Chris Hemsworth was too young at the time this book was written, but he is such a dead ringer for Nick aka Thor. I actually want him to be Joanne's love interest, but I think it is Morrison. I do wish my library hadn't given up on this series. I shall just have to wait until there is a price drop on the digitals on Amazon. It may take a while but I will see this series through to the end :D

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