Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 368 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Release date: February 28, 2012
Series: Walker Papers #7
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed by: Jenn
Something wicked this way comes…
Suddenly, being bitten by a werewolf is the least of Joanne Walker’s problems.
Her personal life in turmoil, her job as a cop over, she’s been called to Ireland by the magic within her. And though Joanne’s skills have grown by leaps and bounds, Ireland’s magic is old and very powerful…
In fact, this is a case of unfinished business. Because the woman Joanne has come to Ireland to rescue is the woman who sacrificed everything for Joanne—the woman who died a year ago. Now, through a slip in time, she’s in thrall to a dark power and Joanne must battle darkness, time and the gods themselves to save her…
SPOILER ALERT: It's impossible to discuss this book without referencing events from the previous novel, SPIRIT DANCES. Please don't read this post unless you're all caught up or don't mind spoilers from previous novels. (There's a bit of a give away in the blurb.)
As you may have guessed from me daring you to read URBAN SHAMAN, the first book in the Walker Papers, I'm a big fan of the series. Seven books in, I'm still completely hooked.
At this point in the series, Joanne's quite different from the Jo we met in URBAN SHAMAN. She's come into her own and accepts her shamanic gifts, though she's still not a master. She's also explored her roots on both her mother and father's sides of the family. On a romantic front, Jo and Morrison have finally taken steps in the right direction (squee!), thanks to Jo quitting the force. Unfortunately, not everything is roses. Jo learns best by making mistakes and her latest mistake was getting bitten by a werewolf.
One of the best parts of the Walker Papers is the cast. Joanne's one of my favourite urban fantasy protagonists. She's grown so much over the course of the series, both in terms of her powers and on a personal level. Her growing acceptance of her gifts and her heritage has been lovely to watch and I am so stoked that Jo and Morrison have finally acted on their feelings. And the series would be nothing without Gary. I love that old man. He's the heart of the series in so many ways and I love his relationship with Joanne. There are also a host of amazing secondary characters but most of them aren't in RAVEN CALLS because the book takes place in Ireland not Seattle.
Another great part of RAVEN CALLS? The story. It ties in so nicely with threads from previous novels. We get to explore Joanne's Irish ancestry and delve even more deeply into Celtic mythology, which is amazing because the world building in the series is fantastic. We get to explore Tara and watch Joanne fight banshees and werewolves and a mysterious force known as the Master, which instantly had me thinking about Doctor Who. =) C. E. Murphy presents a very different take on werewolves and their origin. It's thoroughly original and I can't want to see what the ramifications will be for Joanne and company.
Once again, the author has delivered an exciting urban fantasy tale filled with mythology, action, and humour. Readers unfamiliar with the series will the Walker Papers will want to go back to the beginning since the novels build on one another but you won't be disappointed if you decide to invest the time. C. E. Murphy knows how to build engaging characters and layered worlds. You're sure to enjoy the ride!