Thunderbird Falls is the second of C.E. Murphy’s The Walker Papers and is a pretty great sequel. (Minor spoilers for Urban Shaman to follow, be advised) In fact, this is the book the solidified my love of her storytelling. I was hesitant going in. What if she kept bringing different gods from different places into it and began to compare and contrast? What if this was when I started to lose my patience with that sort of attention given to them? What if Joanne kept dragging her feet and bugged me to no end? How do you follow up a story that starts with the main character ultimately having to battle an ancient god in order to survive? What can possibly come next?
Whereas Urban Shaman was largely about Joanne’s initiation into the world of shamanism, Thunderbird Falls delved further into the experience, including letting us experience with Joanne a sort of shaman-sickness that ends up threatening her very world. I rather see this book as part two of the initiation.
When Joanne finds a woman dead and reaches out to her spirit to get some answers, she finds herself suddenly embraced by the deceased woman’s coven of witches. At an exceptionally vulnerable time in her life (being killed and coming back from it all shiny and sparkly takes it out of you), Joanne turns to them for answers and guidance, and nearly blindly swallows what they’re selling.
She makes some pretty horrible choices. We can see her making them. We know she’s not thinking straight, is being duped, will utterly regret what she’s doing, but it all makes sense to her, and let’s not forget, she doesn’t actually want to be a shaman, folks.
Poor, poor Joanne.
When her back is against a wall, though, Joanne can hold her own with the best of them, and she discovers that her ego is a small price to pay to put right what she helped put wrong.
I’m thinking my reviews of this series is going to continue to be: Yes, awesome, go buy, go read, do it now! I’m trying to slow down my consumption of these books, or I’m going to run out too soon.