Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Truthseeker by C.E. Murphy — a review

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One of the very first books I bought for my Kindle was C.E. Murphy’s Urban Shaman book. It looked interesting enough, and a coworker was reading another of Murphy’s series at the time, and I love first contact stories. I finished the last book in the Walker Papers a few months ago (waaaaaaah!) and I put off reading more of her books because I like knowing there is still a nice stack waiting for me.

Waited as long as I could. Finally took this one out from the library.

Gifted with an uncanny intuition, Lara Jansen nonetheless thinks there is nothing particularly special about her. All that changes when a handsome but mysterious man enters her quiet Boston tailor shop and reveals himself to be a prince of Faerie. What’s more, Dafydd ap Caerwyn claims that Lara is a truthseeker, a person with the rare talent of being able to tell truth from falsehood. Dafydd begs Lara to help solve his brother’s murder, of which Dafydd himself is the only suspect.

Acting against her practical nature, Lara agrees to step through a window into another world. Caught between bitterly opposed Seelie forces and Dafydd’s secrets, which are as perilous as he is irresistible, Lara finds that her abilities are increasing in unexpected and uncontrollable ways. With the fate of two worlds at stake and a malevolent entity wielding the darkest of magic, Lara and Dafydd will risk everything on a love that may be their salvation—or the most treacherous illusion of all.

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This book, and it’s follow-up, reminded me that for all that I talk about how I don’t like books that feature elves and/or fairies, I actually do. The sudden intrusion of the supernatural into a seemingly mundane world will always be my favorite set-up — and I’m enjoying that it’s such a popular set up right now.

Lara is used to her annoying little quirk, and so is her best friend Kelly — but whereas Lara has allowed her truth-detected curse to guide her to the background of life and nurtured a desire to be unnoticed, Kelly wants great things for her best friend. Or, a least, good things.

Or, at least, a good date. Which is how Lara comes to Daffyd — pardon me, David’s — attention, in the first place.

Even knowing that Lara is not quite ‘normal’, Lara and her world are normal enough, until Daffyd reveals his true nature and changes everything.

This series is the second series I’ve read in which the author sets things both earthside and in some otherworld, yet this otherworld of Daffyd’s is fresh and new and different. The characters are engaging, and we quickly come to care about the fate of both worlds. I had high expectations going into this book, and Murphy did not disappoint!

Fans of Mark Chadborne, Partricia Briggs, Seanan McGuire, and Richelle Mead might enjoy C.E Murphy’s work.

The Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales is on sale!

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For one week only, you can purchase my book The Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales for 99 cents! Tired of the cold and the snow? Come to the Pacific Northwest for a while — the land is green, the temperatures mild, and the inhabitants colorful . . . and not entirely human . . .

If you’ve been curious about this book, now’s the time to take advantage of the price reduction!

Passion’s Sacred Dance!

So, I’ve been sitting on this for about as long as I can. I am as excited about this as if it were my own book — how long have we been corresponding? How many hours spent bouncing away story ideas, plotting out courses of series, helping each other tear away the chafe from the wheat? Grueling hours, bruised egos, so very very many stories.

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Yes, I know, I know. Passion’s Sacred Dance is not actually my book. I’m just a lowly beta reader. I have seen incarnations of this book, and I’ve heard about many more. Small things, little changes — fellow authors will know of what I speak. The magic of writing is not glamourous; it’s tediousness and the willingness to strip down and build back up, again and again and again.

Juli D. Revezzo landed a publisher with this series, even. Not that I see anything at all wrong with indie publishing (obviously, I should hope!) I will say this for more traditional publishing: it’s less work for the author, and it allows one to go from the final final edits to the next project that much faster.

As a beta reader, I’m already familiar with Passion’s Sacred Dance, but I’m rereading it in order to give a review that reflects the final content of the book, and not any shades of its former incarnations. And let me tell you, I love this book. Removed from the story building parts of the past, things that previously annoyed me make sense in the story as it’s written as a whole — you know, having characters that annoy you, that you enjoy being annoyed at? Think first season Cordelia Chase on Buffy, or Rand Al’thor in the first few books of WoT — hell, the first three read-throughs of the series — annoyed the heck out of me, but in an enjoyable way.

So, a proper review will be coming. But I wanted to share with you the cover, my excitement, and the book trailer. And now I have.

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.