Allyson James, Shadow Walker

Posted January 23, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Shadow Walker (Stormwalker, #3)Shadow Walker by Allyson James
Series: Stormwalker, 3
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Third in the Stormwalker urban fantasy series revolving around Janet Begay, a unique magic user and hotel owner who likes to hop on her Harley and ride.

My Take

It certainly makes life easier for Janet now that Nash and most of his men, Maya, and Fremont accept the weird stuff that happens around Janet. Now, if only their alpha personalities could be toned down to make Janet’s life easier…snicker… Seriously, James does a nice job of balancing their acceptance while still keeping life a bit of a trial for Janet.

Mick and Gabrielle both taunt Janet quite a bit about her powers. Mick tells her that she has so much more available to her and she’s clueless about its uses.

Dang, Janet sure is hard on vehicles this time around: two motorcycles, a car, and two trucks. Now you know Janet’s friends like her since they’re still around at the end!

I dunno. I think I’d’a let Gabrielle go into the vortex. So I’m assuming that James has plans for her.

I do enjoy this series. It’s different and lively in its characters and the variety of activities that crop up. They all relate, but James has a knack for making them unique in spite of their common root.

It rather reminds me of Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series in that both have strong women heroines following a unique path.

The Story

Life has been going so well…just why Nash has such a need to chase Janet down. Just because she’s a bit over the spee…whoa…where did that hole come fro…aiyee

Is he alive? Did he make it? What are the odds of a sinkhole suddenly opening up just as Janet and Nash are driving across it? And those skeletal hands with their grasping fingers!? What are they? How can she stop them? Please, Mick, find us! Help us!

And Mick does find them as do the paramedics and the police who rush Nash to the hospital and its ICU. Where only family is allowed in to visit. Where a magical being masquerading as Nash’s dead mother attempts to kill Nash.

And it’s all downhill from there as Mick gets colder and colder toward Janet. A county safety inspector arrives with a long list of violations that he insists must be fixed within a week or the county will shut her hotel down and sell it out from under her. He even takes it upon himself to fire Elena! Janet knows that Fremont and Maya did incredible work replacing all the plumbing and electrical wiring. State-of-the-art work! How could it have deteriorated so quickly? And, how quickly can they replace it all!!?

Sliding even further is Janet’s encounter with her nutso sister Gabrielle. A battle to the death, secret plans, a demand for an evil alliance, threats against her friends…sure would hate to be at those family reunions!

The Characters

Janet Begay has been learning to combine her stormwalker and Beneath powers and she owns a hotel in Magellan, New Mexico. Her mother is a Beneath goddess whom Janet and Mick trapped inside a vortex a year ago (see Stormwalker). Her father, Pete Begay, lives in Many Farms in Chinle with Janet’s formidable Grandmother—even Coyote hops to her tune!

Mick is a dragon in one form and a six-foot-six-inch tattooed biker in his other. He has declared Janet as his mate and no dragon can harass her.

Series regulars include Cassandra Bryson, a Wiccan and Janet’s hotel manager. Cassandra left her old life seeking refuge here in Magellan. Maya Medina is Janet’s friend and an excellent electrician who has finally gotten Nash to admit to loving her. She goes a bit overboard in this story. Fremont is the plumber who dreams of having a touch of magic. Jamison Kee is a mountain lion Changer, shaman, and renowned sculptor. He taught Janet how to control her magic when she was young and helped her get started as a professional photographer. He is still one of her best friends. He’s married to Naomi who runs a plant nursery in Magellan who has a daughter Julie. Coyote is a trickster god who has a thing for Janet. Pamela Grant is the Changer now living with Cassandra. Elena is Janet’s temperamental cook. Ansel is the resident Nightwalker at the hotel.

Nash Jones is the sheriff in Hopi County as well as a null around magic; he used to be Special Forces in Iraq and now suffers from PTSD after a building fell on him there. He’s the only one who made it out. Lieutenant Salas has given up on dating Maya, Chief McGuire, and Deputy Lopez who all work with Nash.

Colby is a dragon not-friend of Mick’s who also has a thing for Janet; he makes clever use of Nash’s abilities to get around council bindings, partly to help Janet and Mick. Drake is a dragon flunky to Bancroft, one of the dragon councilmembers.

Koshare is a clown kachina god to whom Janet made a promise about using her magic. Gabrielle Massey is another daughter of Janet’s mother; she has no compunctions over using people to achieve what she wants. Heck, she’s embarassing the way she goes after Nash! Ted Wingate has recently moved to Magellan with his wife Vonda. He is a county safety inspector with a roving eye and open to a particular kind of blackmail as well as an obnoxious and a condescending jerk.

The Cover

Janet’s smokin’! She’s down on one knee with her arms crossed and elbows resting on her bent leg atop a mesa with canyons and bluffs spreading out behind her in shades of purple, pink, and blue. Even though there is a light snow fall, Janet only wears light blue jeans, a bicep cuff, and a leather tank top as smoke writhes around one arm twirling upward.

The title is accurate enough for Janet and her friends battle a Shadow Walker.

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