Spirit Dances (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Spirit Dances by CE Murphy
Walker Papers #6


For Seattle detective Joanne Walker, spring is about new beginnings. She's mastered her shamanic abilities (mostly), survived a cannibalistic serial killer (barely) and now she's facing the biggest challenge of her career - attending a dance concert with her sexy boss, Captain Michael Morrison. But when the performance - billed as transformative - actually changes her into a COYOTE, she and Morrison have bigger things to deal with.

And there's more. Homeless people are disappearing, a mystical murder puts Joanne way out of her jurisdiction and with the full moon coming on, it's looking like the killer is a creature that can't possibly exist.

But Jo could probably handle all that, if one ordinary homicide hadn't pushed her to the VERY EDGE...


Joanne thought she had faced down some pretty tough situations in the past, but nothing compares to her date with Morrison. She accidentally asks him to a dance concert, and somehow he says yes. Things are already pretty complicated between then, and a date that gets messed up by the supernatural, well that just doesn't help at all. When the dance concert turns her into a coyote right in front of Morrison, Joanne wants to just curl up and die. Add in all of the other craziness going on with homeless people disappearing, and a choice looming in her future over her job or her Shamanistic responsibilities, she has a very rough road ahead of her. Luckily she has some experience under her belt and some confidence to back her up, she's really gonna need it to survive this one intact.

Joanne and Morrison make some major headway in this book together, only to backtrack, move forward, and backtrack yet again. I cannot count the number of times I have "growled" in frustration at these two in this series. I'd love to just pull both their heads out of the sand and maybe just bash them together while I'm at it. Perhaps then they might just stop letting everything get in their way. The chemistry between them is amazing, and I honestly think I will jump up and do a victory dance when they finally do get together. I say when, not if, because I refuse to believe the author could possibly be that cruel to set us up with this great potential between them only to let it fizzle. As you can see I am definitely "team" Joanne and Morrison, so I am really hoping by some miracle there will be some sort of gratification on that front in the next book, otherwise I just might go insane.

Looking back to the previous books in the series, I cannot believe just how far Joanne has come. In this book she is very confident in her abilities and isn't afraid to admit and accept herself for who she is. She really has a breakthrough and realizes that she is who she was meant to be. I'm so glad she is no longer fighting herself, and I think we have only begun to see her potential now that most of her inhibitions and blinders are gone. She seems to be meant for "greatness," and the road ahead is sure to be hard, but Joanne is determined to persevere and stopping running from her problems. If you have read the rest of the series, you know this is incredible progress, and I can only hope she continues on this new path.

I really enjoyed this book, and I think it might just be the best one yet in the series. Other than my frustration at Morrison and Joanne's relationship, this book was everything I could have hoped for, especially with Joanne's progression towards acceptance. I will be counting down the days until the next book as this one ended on a pretty major cliffhanger. While this series had a slightly slow start for me, with this latest installment, it is quickly becoming one of my favorites in the urban fantasy genre. If you are a fan of the series, you will not be disappointed with this book, and if you haven't checked the series out, I recommend starting from the beginning. Hopefully you will enjoy all the books as much as I have.

(Received from Netgalley)


Pre-order at Amazon:
Spirit Dances (Luna Books)

Challenge Categories:
Outdo Yourself
Horror and Urban Fantasy

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