Early review: Raven Calls by C. E. Murphy ★★★★

Raven Calls by C. E. Murphy
Genre: Urban Fantasy (romantic elements, shaman, magic, Celtic mythology, mystery, powers)
Series: Book seven in The Walker Papers series
Original Language: English
Publisher: Luna
Country: United States
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
ISBN: 978-0373803439
Page Count: 384 My Rating: ★★★★


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.


This book picks up almost immediately after the events at the end of the last book, Spirit Dances, with our lovely protagonist Joanne Walker on her way to Ireland to take care of that pesky werewolf bite. I had some very big expectations for this book after the way the last book ended, and in most ways those expectations were met, maybe even surpassed. And yet, I can't help deducting one respect point for the missing characters in this instalment. Phone calls are all well and good (very good, actually) but after being made to wait six books (SIX books!) for something to happen between Jo and Morrison, and then to have this be what I call a "departure book" - basically a book in a series that sticks out as separate from the rest in some way and can often be referred to as "the one where she goes to ... " and to have nearly all of the secondary characters I've grown to know and love be absent as well, was a slight disappointment.

However, that was basically my only complaint with this book. The rest of it was grade A awesome. The narrative was fresh and funny as ever. Joanne has always been comical, but some of her inner thought processes in this one had me laughing out loud. I love the way she weighs up her options when she faces a new situation or danger. She counts them on one hand, then on the other hand, then on the third hand...it really tickled me. One of my favourite passages that displays this:

"On the positive side, I'd caught a banshee with nets before. On the less positive side, it had taken Sheila's help to hold it in place. But on another positive side, I was a lot more confident in my powers than I had been then. Of course, on the negative side that confidence was currently stymied by a werewolf bite and general uncertainty about using my skills at full bore. Then again, back on the positive side --- apparently I was an octagon---if things were going to explode, they might take a banshee or too along with them."

This kind of dithering made the narrative seem friendly and relatable and I could really connect well with Jo because of it. Obviously her Shamanic and fighting skills have both improved exponentially since book one, but that doesn't mean she always knows exactly what to do in any given situation. There is no "How to be a badass Shaman" handbook, after all. So seeing her face down the bad guys even with this level of uncertainty, really upped my respect for her as a main character.

The delightful Gary, her septuagenarian BFF was with Joanne for some of the book which I was very thankful for, and his scenes were as sweet as can be and often highly amusing as well. They really are very close friends now, probably more like family, actually, and it's just adorable to watch. We also meet some interesting new characters, revisit some old ones, as well take on some amazing creatures, beasties and bad guys. All of the things you have come to expect from this series is here. (Except Morrison!)

I'm really, and I do mean REALLY, looking forward to the next book and just hope (wish, pray, expect, demand, insist) that the rest of the gang will be reunited once more and that we will also find out what Jo will be doing now that she is officially unemployed...

I give this 4 stars and a big, fat Morrison-shaped heart. ★★★★


  1. Hi Lynsey,

    Just found your blog and it's great! I'll be linking to this review when we post our review of RAVEN CALLS this weekend :)

    1. Thank you so much. All Things Urban Fantasy Rocks. I love it. Especially the conversations with the TBR pile- hilarious :)



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