Book Review: Thunderbird Falls

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.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Thunderbird Falls

  1. Lyra Rose

    I recall picking up Urban Shaman, reading a little bit of it, putting it down, and never picking it back up again. If I recall correctly it was written in first person, right? And for some reason that through me off–I’m not super fond of first person written novels, though I have gotten a bit more used to them and enjoy them more now than when I tried to read Urban Shaman.

    1. Jolene Post author

      It is written first person, yes. They’re not my favorite either but they do seem to dominate the landscape these days, as far as traditionally published contemporary fantasy goes, alas.

  2. Lyra Rose

    You know what’s weird? My novels are ALWAYS written in third person, but my short stories are usually done in first! I am not really sure why this is.


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