Urban Shaman, by C.E. Murphy

Joanne Walker — or Siobhan Walkingstick, to use a name she hasn’t used herself in many years — is flying in to her hometown of Seattle when she glimpses something from a plane that she shouldn’t be able to see — a woman on the ground, fleeing from danger towards an even greater danger.  Joanne, who up till now has been leading a fairly ordinary, if not terribly fulfilled, life, feels driven to do something, to save this woman. Upon landing she rushes off to finding a cab driver and tries to locate the woman based on landmarks seen from the air. 

Following an irrantional impulse to get involved, Joanne finds herself drawn into a series of bizarre events featuring a Celtic god, his rebellious demigod son, the Native American trickster Coyote, and her own unsuspected shamanic powers.

It’s a nice, original, fastpaced urban fantasy about a woman coming into her own powers.  There are some fresh, original characters, a hint of possible romance, and a plot that keeps the pages turning. The writing is a little formulaic at times, but Joanne’s narrative voice is strong and makes the book enjoyable to read.  Urban Shaman is the first in a series and the next time I’m looking for some good escapist fantasy I might check out the next in the series, since I wouldn’t mind spending some more time with this well-drawn and interesting characdter.

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