Fantasy/SF Book Reviews

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Thunderbird Falls by C.E. Murphy

Luna Books, May, 2006
Trade paperback, 408 pages
ISBN: 0373802358
Ordering information:

Thunderbird Falls
by C.E. Murphy In Urban Shaman readers met Joanne Walker, a Seattle cop who has an interesting legacy: she's a shaman, although she'd rather work on cars in the police garage. After she came into her powers and faced down the Wild Hunt, Walker's boss transferred her from the garage. Now she walks a beat, but she's determined to show her boss she has what it takes to be a great cop. When her newly discovered spirit guide disappears and bodies start turning up on her beat, Joanne is in way over her head. Joanne has been ordered not to investigate the death of a 20 year-old college student named Cassandra, but Joanne keeps finding connections to the murder. To make things worse, a young group of coven members want Joanne to take Cassandra's place in helping a benevolent spirit cross over onto the earthly plane. But Virissong, an ancient Native American spirit, may not be telling Joanne the entire truth about why he wants to cross over. And if she doesn't find out what's really going on, she -- and a whole lot of other people -- are going to end up dead.

Joanne has matured a bit since her first adventure, but she is still very young and inexperienced. There really aren't a whole lot of teachers to explain to a newly-minted shaman what to watch out for while she's performing her shamanic duties. This makes the learning process a very dangerous one. But Joanne is well up to the task, and her adventures make for very entertaining reading.

Widdershins by Charles de Lint

Tor, May, 2006
Hardcover, 560 pages
ISBN: 0765312859
Ordering information:

by Charles de Lint Musician Lizzie Mahone is on the way back from a musical performance when her car breaks down on a deserted road. She barely escapes with her life when three very nasty Fae spy her broken-down car. But she is rescued by a very old spirit when her music touches him. Lizzie now has proof positive that supernatural beings exist side by side with the everyday world, and her life will never be the same. A war is brewing between the Fae that came over from Europe and the Native American earth spirits that claim the land as their own.

Charles de Lint's brand of magical realism manages to be both gritty and lyrical at the same time. As in previous works, he weaves a storyline of a number of different characters, eventually bringing all the threads together in a complex narrative. Jilly Coppercorn from The Onion Girl and Georgie Riddell finally have their chance at a romantic relationship. But it's complicated, as is everything in Newford where the Fae love to stir up trouble. De Lint is in fine form with this unique and quite compelling story.

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