Review: Spirit Dances by C.E. Murphy

Posted 21 May, 2011 by Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side in Reviews / 0 Comments

Spirit Dances by C.E. Murphy
Series: Walker Papers #6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: LUNA on April 1, 2011
Format: eARC
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley
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or Seattle detective Joanne Walker, spring is about new beginnings. She's mastered her shamanic abilities (mostly), survived a cannibalistic serial killer (barely) and now she's facing the biggest challenge of her career--attending a dance concert with her sexy boss, Captain Michael Morrison. But when the performance--billed as transformative--actually changes her into a coyote, she and Morrison have bigger things to deal with.
And there's more. Homeless people are disappearing, a mystical murder puts Joanne way out of her jurisdiction and with the full moon coming on, it's looking like the killer is a creature that can't possibly exist.

But Jo could probably handle all of that, if one ordinary homicide hadn't pushed her to the very edge....

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

An original and addictive urban fantasy!

Joanne Walker is a police detective that also has abilities as a shaman healer. Her roles as warrior and healer are constantly tested in her profession, sometimes putting her at war with herself. When she’s given a pair of tickets to a Native American dance performance as a thank you, Joanne reluctantly invites her boss Morrison who she has some kind of feelings for, to join her. Joanne finally has a grasp on her abilities but things take a turn for the worse when she unexpectedly shifts from her human form during the dancers’ performance. If that isn’t strange enough, one of the performers ends up dead when the curtain falls, turning Joanne’s night out the start of a new case for her and Morrison.

I fell in love with Joanne’s character from the first page. She’s complex but very ballsy and definitely isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s a very likeable heroine who isn’t perfect and doesn’t pretend to be. I especially enjoyed her interactions with her spirit guides and how in tune she is with her shamanic self. There are some great secondary characters as well that add humor and depth to the story. The tension between Joanne and Morrison is outstanding, I was glued to the pages whenever they had a moment together. Joanne has the makings of a great heroine in urban fantasy without a doubt!

Although I have not read the other books in the series, SPIRIT DANCES is written with such substance and fluidity it easily works as a stand alone book. I love the author’s concept of weaving Native American elements into the story, some scenes are so descriptive you feel as if you’re watching a film and not reading a book. There’s a little danger, mystery, humor and romance to entertain readers of various genres. The rest of the series is going on my “to be read” list ASAP!


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