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melanirobison

The Reading Jackalope

Urban Shaman (The Walker Papers, Book 1)

Urban Shaman (The Walker Papers, Book 1) - C.E. Murphy My biggest problem with this book is that it’s a first person narrative that doesn’t understand the restrictions of that narrative type. See I figured out who Herne’s (the antagonist) human disguise was the second time we met him. And since that was about halfway through the novel I had to suffer as the protagonist ignored all the signs pointing to him as she blithely went about trying to stop him. I don’t normally like feeling smarter than the protagonist, but I can handle it. But the first person narration made it unbearable because all of the anvil shaped clues the author was dropping, and I was picking up, were given through the eyes of the narrator. And that makes the narrator look like an ABSOLUTE IDIOT. Seriously, there’s a moment when Jo finally realizes who the guy is and she just feels totally stupid, and I agreed with her. I get that the author was trying to make it suspenseful, but when Jo is talking to this human disguise and says something like he’s in the area where we are right now, and then she sees fear flash through this guy’s eyes, and then PROCEEDS TO IGNORE that clue; I just can’t. It would be much more bearable if it were described in third person, where it’s conceivable that the protagonist doesn’t notice the fear. In first person the protagonist can only feed the reader the things that she herself notices and so you’re left with the conclusion that Jo is an idiot who can’t process the things that she sees.

Everything else was just a mostly forgettable urban fantasy story. It was ok, I’ll probably pick up the second book, but it’s not something I’m going to tell people they have to read. One more minor nitpick, I sort of felt that Jo’s Cherokee background was painted on. There was no realness to her Native heritage, and she seemed far more at home with the Celtic things. Since she was actually raised by her Cherokee father and barely knew her Irish mother it annoyed me. It’s possible I got that feeling simply because in this case the antagonists were Celtic legends, but I’m skeptical that anything will be done with her Native heritage beyond the cool factor. Possibly I’ve been burned by urban fantasy before in this regard.