Reviewed by: Krista
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
I have been with Joanne Walker since the beginning back in 2005 with Urban Shaman. And it definitely has been a long journey. With Shaman Rises The Walker Papers are coming to close. One thing you can say about C.E. Murphy’s writing is that she doesn’t believe in a quick pay off or resolution. But in Shaman Rises, every storyline, every plot point, and every lingering question is addressed and played out.
Over the course of the last few books, Joanne has run from one world-ending crisis to the next world ending crisis. At the end of Mountain Echoes, she had won the latest encounter with The Master and his allies. She rescued her estranged father and reunited with the son she had given up from adoption at birth. As this is Joanne’s life, the peace doesn’t last long. Her best friend/side kick calls to tell her that his wife is alive and in a coma; a wife who has been dead since before Gary and Joanne ever met. Joanne and Morrison return to Seattle to discover the Master is playing out his endgame and the final showdown is upon them.
Shaman Rises generally lives up to expectations. Joanne and her friends are constantly put into dangerous and deadly situations. Over the series Joanne has grown from a reluctant mystical newbie to a confident adversary who doesn’t let anyone or anything tell her what she should or shouldn’t be able to do. The book is filled twists and heartbreaking losses. She also faces betrayals that she never saw coming. Each of the characters are fully evolved, and we see deeper into their intentions than ever before. Also the back and forth repartee between Morrison and Joanne is fabulous. It had me laughing and dreaming of their future happily ever after.
Given the buildup, why would I give this book less than 5 stars? I find it almost wrong to be criticizing what bothers me about this book. Normally the issues I have with conclusions to a series have more to do with them feeling too rushed, too many questions left up in the air, and my pet peeve ‘open endings’. But Shaman Rises has the opposite problem. Every plot point, character, and story line is addressed in this book. Which is great…kinda. The problem was that this, at times, overwhelmed the specific story of Shaman Rises. Every time we were reminded of a past situation or met past character, it slowed down the momentum of the current story.
Overall Shaman Rises was a mostly satisfying conclusion to the series. We get to play and fight with all our favorites. Joanne kicks ass on an epic level and Murphy pulls out all the stops to surprise her readers. Other than the moments that felt bogged down with throwbacks to past events and books, I enjoyed the final outing in the Walker Papers
Sexual content: Kissing