Extract: “It’d been nearly a year since I’d been laid out in a parking lot with a sword in my lung and a smirking coyote offering me the choice between death or life as a shaman. In all my waking hours I’d never thought of wanting any kind of mystical gifts or healing powers, but I’d wanted to die even less."
To bring you up to speed with the series so far:
Joannie is a reluctant, press-ganged Shaman. Inclined to dismiss all the Shamanic power she holds as useless, woo-woo stuff, it takes her a couple of books and about 6 months of story time to begin to accept and explore her strong abilities. Saving the world helps, and she has begun exploring her abilities with the help of her spiritual teacher.
Joannie's day job is being a mechanic for the police force, and she has recently been promoted to detective. Her boss, the Captain is the strong, silent type with major appeal. Since her recent promotion (Book 3) to detective, any possibility of a relationship between them has been nixed.
Summary: When Joannie is pressed into a 'Xena, warrior princess' costume for Halloween, she anticipates a night of fun. However, the party is interrupted by a miasmic force, and she and her partner on the force Billy have to save their friends. This is linked to a murder and robbery that happens at a Museum later, as the stolen Cauldron has the power to bring back the dead. Joannie has to find the cauldron, the culprit, and restore peace to these souls. She gets helped by her old nemesis, the Wild Hunt and its leader.
Plus: Joannie is a normal human being who has been forced into the abilities she has, and copes like anyone of us would - she fumbles, bumbles and generally lurches from one catastrophe to the next. She describes what she does in a very vivid, colorful, normal style, just as if you or I were creating magic with no training. Realistic and charming!
Minus: One too many twists in the tale for me here, I could hardly remember what was going on. This is one book to start and finish quickly. While #4 Walking Dead shows our reluctant heroine finally getting comfortable with her abilities, a little less whining might have gone a long way. I have also given up on the relationship with her and Morrison, it seems to be going nowhere. "He's just not that into you", anyone?
Overall: This makes for a pretty interesting read, and does justify my anticipation for the Walker Paper series novels. While it might not be a great urban fantasy, it is a good series to pick up if you don't know for sure what to read next.
The previous books in the series are: