Raven Calls (Walker Papers Series #7)

Raven Calls (Walker Papers Series #7)

4.3 32
by C. E. Murphy
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Murphy’s seventh Walker Papers urban fantasy (after Spirit Dances) shakes things up nicely. Shaman Joanne Walker has resigned from the police force after being bitten by a werewolf. Feeling called to Ireland, Jo trades in romantic interest Mike Morrison and Seattle’s cityscape for her old pal Gary Muldoon and encounters with the Morrígan and wild banshees, slowly learning about her new werewolf abilities as she goes. Some fans might be frustrated that Jo and Mike are separated so soon after finally getting their romantic opportunity, but it’s a crafty decision on Murphy’s part, forcing Jo to focus on immediate threats and the continuing revelations about her heritage. A few twists lead to a cliffhanger ending to set up book eight. Fans of the series will enjoy this chapter, while new readers should be able to put together enough of the backstory to jump on board. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels and the works of urban fantasists Charles de Lint and Tanya Huff should enjoy this fantasy/mystery's cosmic elements. A good choice."

-Library Journal on Thunderbird Falls

"Tightly written and paced, [Coyote Dreams] has a compelling, interesting protagonist, whose struggles and successes will captivate new and old readers alike."

– RT Book Reviews

"Murphy's fourth Walker Papers offering is another gripping, well-written tale of what must be the world's most reluctant-and stubborn-shaman."

– RT Book Reviews on Walking Dead

Library Journal
The seventh book in this long-running paranormal series (after Spirit Dances) finds shaman Joanne Walker traveling to Ireland on a whim. Joanne's recent battle with a werewolf has left her scarred, both physically and emotionally, and she isn't entirely sure what effects the werewolf bite on her arm will have on her powers. Upon her arrival in Ireland, she quickly realizes that she's there for a couple of reasons—to bury her mother's bones and to battle the Morrígan, an ancient goddess whose vengeful ways have shaped history. Joined by the goddess Méabh, her long-lost cousin Caitríona, and her best friend, Gary, Joanne uses her shamanic powers to battle a variety of supernatural beings while trying to sort out her complex relationship with her mother, who abandoned her as a child. VERDICT Readers who enjoy Karen Marie Moning's "Fever" series or Patricia Briggs's "Mercy Thompson" series will appreciate Joanne Walker's quest to master her powers while staying true to herself. The cliffhanger ending implies that Joanne will be back for another installment.—Nanette Donohue, Champaign P.L.,IL

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373803439
Publisher:
Luna
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Series:
Walker Papers Series, #7
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
557,059
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Sunday, March 19, 9:53 A.M.

The werewolf bite on my forearm itched.

Itching was wrong. It wasn't old enough to itch. It should hurt like the dickens, because I'd obtained it maybe six hours earlier. Instead it itched like it was a two-week-old injury, well on the way to healing.

Only I was quite sure it wasn't healing. For one thing, I kept peeking at it, and it was still a big nasty slashy bite that oozed blood when the bandages were loosened. For another thing, my stock in trade was healing. Fourteen months, two weeks and three days ago—but who was counting—I had been stabbed through the chest. A smart-ass coyote—kinda my spirit guide—had given me a choice between dying or becoming a shaman. Even for someone with no use for the esoteric, like I'd been, it hadn't been much of a choice. So now, nearly fifteen months on, a bite on my forearm was something I really should be able to deal with.

And it wasn't that I hadn't tried healing it, because I had. Magic slid off like oil and water, or possibly more like oil and gashed flesh, if oil slid off gashed flesh, which I assumed it did but didn't want to actually find out. Either way, the magic wasn't working. Normally that would be a bad sign, but my talent had taken both a beating and a boosting in the past twenty-four hours, and wasn't behaving. It reacted explosively when I tried using it, and I didn't want to explode my arm. So I was getting on a plane with absolutely no notice and flying to Ireland, because I'd had a vision of the woman who had turned werewolves from slavering beasties 100% of the time into part-time monsters, and in my vision, she'd been in Ireland. I figured if anybody could keep me human, it had to be the woman who'd bound the wolves to the moon's cycle.

That's what I was telling myself, anyway, because it was slightly better than a full-on panic attack in the middle of the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. A day earlier I hadn't believed werewolves existed. Now I was petrified that come the next full moon—which was tonight, the second of three—I would get all hairy and toothy. It was a dire possibility even without adding international air travel to the mix, which, who was I kidding, was possibly the worst idea I'd ever had. Turning into a werewolf was potentially bad enough. Doing it mid-flight presumably meant a plane full of handy victims, although I might get lucky and have an air marshal on board so it would just be me who got dead.

My life was a mess, if I considered that lucky. But I had this rash idea that because I'd be missing moonrise all the way around the globe, the magic shouldn't trigger. And I could always lock myself in the bathroom if I thought I was about to get bestial. Locking myself in the bathroom wasn't that bad an idea anyway. I was afraid of flying, and bathrooms didn't have windows. That automatically made them less scary than the body of the plane. Either way, it wasn't just the werewolf cure that had me wandering the duty-free shops at SeaTac. The other vision I'd had, the one of a sneering warrior woman, had made my healing magic respond as if a gauntlet had been thrown down. It felt like fishhooks in my belly, hauling me east. I was going to Ireland whether I liked it or not.

My personal opinion leaned heavily toward or not. There were places I'd rather be and things I'd rather be doing. Specifically, those things were Captain Michael Morrison of the Seattle Police Department, who up to about three hours earlier had been my boss. I'd quit, he'd kissed me, and the more I thought about him, the more I wanted to tear out of the airport, jump in a cab, and race back into his arms. The fishhooks pulling at my gut, though, weren't about to let that happen. Their horrible prickle and tug had become familiar enough over the past year that I knew it meant something serious coming down the line, as if finding a cure for a werewolf's bite wasn't serious enough. Whatever awaited me in Ireland, I was not especially looking forward to it.So I was trying to distract myself by shopping, which wasn't my favorite past-time in the best of circumstances. Still, I'd wandered the international terminal twice already. The shops hadn't changed displays since my first pass, but the second time through I laid eyes on something I neither needed at all, nor was I sure I could I live without.

A not-helpful part of my brain whispered that I had a credit card. I mean, I was American. I didn't think I'd be allowed to keep my citizenship if I didn't have at least one rectangle of plastic money. But it was reserved for emergencies, like buying a plane ticket to Ireland on no notice.

An ankle-length white leather coat did not in any way qualify as an emergency.

I stood there staring at it through the shop window. The shoulders were subtly padded, just enough to give the mannequin a really square silhouette. It had a Chinese-style high collar and leather-covered white buttons offset from center straight down the length of the entire coat. It nipped in at the waist tightly enough to look pinned, but nobody would pin leather of that quality. There had to be a discreet belt on the back. Its skirts fell in wide loose folds, and looked like they would flare with wonderful drama.

No normal person would wear a coat like that. A movie star might. A tall movie star. A tall leggy movie star with really good sunglasses and enough confidence to shift the earth with her smile alone.

I stepped back from the window. Light caught just so, letting me see my reflection.

Nobody could argue that, at a smidge under six feet in height, I wasn't tall and leggy. I had cool sunglasses, although I wasn't wearing them. And that coat might instill enough confidence in the wearer that she could do anything.

Five minutes later I was eighteen hundred dollars poorer, but so pleased with myself I slept the whole flight to Ireland without once worrying about the plane falling out of the sky.

Monday, March 20, 6:28 A.M.

I wasn't a werewolf when I woke up. Fuzzy logic said I'd left the States on Sunday morning, flown all day, and arrived in Ireland early Monday morning, thus having skipped the night of the full moon entirely and saving myself from shifting into a monster of yore. That was very fuzzy logic, but then, the whole not being a werewolf thing supported it. Besides, who was I to say an ancient curse wouldn't work that way, when magic by its very definition defied the laws of physics. I left the plane grateful to not be furry, and, aware of the advantages of having been born in Ireland, slipped through customs on the European Union passport holders side.

The insistent ball of magic within me wanted me to head west, but Irish roads were legendarily convoluted. I needed a car, a map, and a cup of coffee before I struck off into the sunset. Nevermind that sunrise was in about half an hour, so I had many hours to wait before I could strike off into its sister darkness.

For a woman who'd slept the entire ten hour flight across a continent and an ocean, I was certainly running on at the brain. I stopped just outside the arrivals area and scrubbed both hands over my face hard, trying to waken some degree of native intelligence.

"Hey, doll," said a familiar voice. "Can I give you a lift ?"

I left my hands where they were, covering my face, for a good long minute while I tried to understand how that voice—the voice of my best friend, a seventy-four year old Seattle cab driver—could possibly be addressing me in the Dublin International Airport. Last I'd known, Gary Mul-doon had been in California for the St. Patrick's Day weekend, partying with old Army buddies in a yearly event he refused to give details on. Since it was now the twentieth of March and the weekend in question had just ended, my information was pretty up-to-date. It was therefore impossible in every way for Gary to be here. It had to be somebody else. Satisfied with my reasoning, I lowered my fingers enough to peer over them.

Gary leaned against a pillar, arms folded across his still-broad chest, and gave me a wink and a grin that from a man thirty years younger would set my heart a-flutter.

I rubbed my eyes again and squinted. Gary's grin got wider. He looked like a devilish old movie star in a set scene, and like he knew damned good and well his presence was the culminating factor. After about thirty seconds' more silence, I said "Sure," and wished I'd been suave enough to just say that in the first place. And then because I wasn't suave at all, I squeaked "What the hell are you doing here?!" in disbelieving delight.

Gary threw his head back and laughed out loud. He had suspiciously good teeth for a man his age who used to smoke. I suspected dentures, but had never been rude enough to ask. Then he stepped forward and swept me up in a bear hug, which put paid to any thoughts of his teeth as I grunted happily and repeated, "No, seriously, what the hell?"

"Mike called me. Told me to, and I quote, get my old ass on the next flight to Dublin and try to catch up to Joanne goddamned Walker who's gone off again and needs somebody to keep her from doing anything stupid, end quote. So I got on the next flight outta LA. Got in ten minutes ago. What's going on?"

I pulled my head back far enough to look up at him. "Mike? Mike who? You mean Morrison? Morrison called you? Morrison sent you to Ireland after me? Morrison my boss? That Morrison?"

"That's the one." Gary set me back, hands on my shoulders as his grin faded. "'cept I hear he ain't the boss anymore."

"Not the boss of me, anyway." I wrinkled my nose. "I'm not six, really."

"What happened, doll?" Real concern was in my big friend's gray eyes. I'd gotten into Gary's cab over a year ago, on the very morning my shamanic powers had been violently awakened. He'd been at my side, backing me up, ever since. Gary was the sort of person I wanted to grow old to be: vital, fascinated by the world, and always up for an adventure. At twenty-six, when I'd met him, I'd been none of those things. At pushing twenty-eight I was just getting on the bandwagon. I couldn't have a better role model.

"It's okay, I quit. I mean, I didn't get fired. Everything's cool. I just…" It turned out I had other things to not think about besides a werewolf bite. The enormity of what I'd done—quit my detective job on the police force with no notice and with no prospects for other employment in the future—hit me, a mere twelve hours after the fact. Or a full day, counting elapsed travel time. Either way, I felt myself go colorless and the insistent pit of magic in my belly turned to just a boring old pit of sickness for a moment.

Gary put a hand under one of my elbows and crooked a smile. "Don't worry, Joanie. I can always get you a job at Tripoli Cabs."

If Gary was calling me Joanie, I looked even worse than I suddenly felt. Usually he went with Jo, a nickname I'd never liked until he used it. Still, rough laughter bubbled up from somewhere beneath the ook in my tummy. "Petite would never forgive me if I took to driving another car most of the day."

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