Coyote Dreams – C.E. Murphy

Coyote Dreams – Walker Papers

Stars: Three and a half out of five.

Review format: Brief review plus links.Summary: Much of the city can’t wake up. And more are dozing off each day.Instead of powerful forces storming Seattle, a more insidious invasion is happening. Most of Joanne Walker’s fellow cops are down with the blue flu—or rather the blue sleep. Yet there’s no physical cause anyone can point to—and it keeps spreading.It has to be magical, Joanne figures. But what’s up with the crazy dreams that hit her every time she closes her eyes? Are they being sent by Coyote, her still-missing spirit guide? The messages just aren’t clear.
Somehow Joanne has to wake up her sleeping friends while protecting those still awake, figure out her inner-spirit dream life and, yeah, come to terms with these other dreams she’s having about her boss…  (from goodreads)
Provenance: Borrowed from the local library.

Coyote Dreams – C.E. Murphy – Book Three of the Walker Papers

Joanne Walker – or Siobhan Walkingstick as named by her parents – is Murphy’s original reluctant urban shaman.

Somehow in my first pass through this series, I skipped this one.  In fact, I was convinced at first that I had read it, but then admitted that I hadn’t. I finally got around to requesting it again this month, and I’m happy to report that it is a first-time read that’s worth tracking down.

As the summary says, the big conflict is the epidemic of coma-like sleep spreading across the city.  With nothing physical to square off against, Joanne’s conflict is played out in dream realms, and arguments/discussions with friends.

I found myself thinking about halfway through the book ‘well, this has more complexity than the others’ – though I can’t quite put my finger on the difference.  The plotline meanders from present-day, back to Joanne’s childhood, then to her adolescence, and around again.  This gave her character more depth than I’d seen in the other books. On the flip side, the Big Bad was… a bit of a let-down.

In short – lots of strong points, worth tracking down more in the series.

Linkage, Spoilage, and Quibbles: below

Links and other reviews   (added by me, not generated)

Quibbles and spoilers

  • About the big-bad… evil butterflies, rainbows, and twins? Really? Maybe it’s taken from some authentic legends, but it felt a bit disjointed. Kind of confusing, and not really a force Joanne could fight.  Although, it was a big misunderstanding, so there wasn’t much to fight.
  • I wish I’d read this in the proper order and recently. Specifically, the stuff with Coyote was supposed to be very important, but I was stumped on what had gotten him into this trouble.
  • The romantic tension with the Captain and Joanne still isn’t working for me. I just don’t sense real chemistry there.

Things I liked

  • Swarms of evil butterflies – If you’ve never seen Disney’s Fantasia 2000, then think of the storms of swirling butterflies and Beethoven’s Fifth thumping along for the soundtrack.
  • Funny coincidence. I’d just read the first story in the Alternate Sherlock Holmes free sampler from Baen.  There was some similar insect imagery with the swarming masses of wings.


Shall I link to your review? Let me know in a comment or contact, and I can add the link here.

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