Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles #): A Book Review

shattered

*Contains spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read previous books in the series*

Shattered is the latest book in Kevin Hearne’s increasing popular Iron Druid Chronicles. Seven books in and these books are still wonderfully magical and action-packed, without sacrificing story. This is the first book of Hearne’s that was released in hardcover, but that doesn’t really matter to me, because I would never give up Luke Daniel’s excellent narration.

Atticus, Granuaile , and, of course, Oberon are back. They are joined by two new characters, Owen Kennedy, Atticus’s arch druid whom he saves from an island of frozen time, and Orlaith (Orlagh? Orla? What? I listened to the Audiobook and for the life of me cannot find how this was spelled in the book–if you can pick up your copy and verify, hit the comments, please), Granuaile’s new talking Irish Wolfhound. The story is told from the three different perspectives, with each of the druids getting pretty-much-equal storytime. Atticus is searching for who’s been plotting his demise, while Granuaile travels to India to save her father from a demon, and Owen comes to terms with the fact that two-thousand years have passed in a single moment for him.

As I was going along with the story, in the beginning, and middle for that matter, I had the feeling that this was a bridge book. It was meant to get the reader over a hump in the over-arching storyline, answering some small questions in order to move the story forward. It seemed as if it were just preparing readers for a big event which would happen in the next book, but nope. Things quickly and dramatically come to a head. Confrontation happens in a big way, and a huge storyline is dealt with.

Also, Granuaile’s side story of her journey to India turns out not to be a side story so much as a link to another of the big, bad story lines. So while some people may see the beginning of this book as meandering, everything really comes together and has a purpose.

This book includes *deep breath* Hindu gods and demons, Norse gods, Irish gods, faeries, yetis,  a selkie, Jesus, and a partridge in a pear tree. But it works! However, this is not a book you can just dive into. If you haven’t read the other Iron Druid books, you will be left with your head spinning. If you’re interested in a bad-ass urban fantasy series, check out the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

5/5 Stars

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Servants of the Storm Book Launch

Delilah S. Dawson’s latest book, Servants of the Storm, released earlier this week. Last night was the super awesome book launch party hosted by FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA. A wonderful time was had by all. Delilah’s parties are always fun and filled with great food, drinks, and costumes–not to mention books!

Read My Interview with Delilah from earlier this year!

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Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1): A Review

skinwalkerSkinwalker is the first book in Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. Badass female leads aren’t hard to find in the Urban Fantasy genre, but Jane Yellowrock is a cut above the rest. She’s a Native American (probably Cherokee) skinwalker, meaning she can change into any animal that she has a part of (tooth, feather, hide, etc), but even though she is quite possibly the last skinwalker, she is made more unique by the fact that she has a literal beast living inside her – the soul of a mountain lion.

Jane is temporarily relocated to New Orleans (from her home base in Ashville, NC), were she is on a bounty hunting job. She has been hired by the local vampires to hunt down and slaughter a rogue vampire who’s been killing humans. But Jane quickly realizes that there’s more to her target than anyone else knows, and while hunting him down, she also learns more about her own unknown past.

Skinwalker is an awesome, page-turning adventure set apart from other urban fantasy books with its unique, unfolding mythology. Jane is an intriguing main character with unique characteristics. And the story surrounding her unfolds with her own self discoveries.

Tired of typical vampires and witches? Pick up Skinwalker and give Faith Hunter’s world a try.

5/5 Stars

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Re-review: Hunted

hunted

Hunted is the sixth and latest book in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles. It picks up immediately after the events ofTrapped, the previous book. Atticus (The 2000+ year old Druid,), Granuaile (the freshly made druid), and Oberon (Atticus’s Wolfhound) are literally on the run from Artemis and Diana—the Greek and Roman goddesses of the hunt. But, like with all the other books in this series, those two goddesses aren’t the only ones after our heroes. He also still has to deal with a traitor among the Tuatha Dé Danann, he still has to worry about Loki and Ragnorok, sprinkle in a few angry vampires, and you have the usual host of characters who want to kill Atticus.

I have to give some major kudos to Hearne. This story had one particular part that I was totally NOT expecting. Both the event and the resolution caught me by surprise, which is not something that happens very often. Of course I’m not going to say what it is here. It’ll just have to suffice for me to say that I was left speechless and wondering for a couple of chapters.

Hunted, like all of the other books in the Iron Druid Chronicles, is a fast-paced, exciting, and comic adventure. I’m a bit disappointed that I’ve caught up to the series and must now keep waiting in between book releases to continue the story.

5/5 Stars

Skin Game (Dresden Files #15): A Review

skingameSkin Game is the latest book in the oh-so-popular series known as The Dresden Files, written by Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files are the tales and adventures of professional wizard Harry Dresden, who is now also Queen Mab’s Winter Knight. For these books, I prefer to listen to the audio versions. James Marsters returns as the narrator and does a marvelous job.

In Skin Game, Dresden is loaned out by Mab to one of Dresden’s oldest enemies–Nicodemus Archleone, a fallen angel and overall evil bad guy—in order to repay a debt of Mab’s. The job?—to steal the literal Holy Grail. Dresden, of course, isn’t happy about his situation, especially since there is something living inside his head is threatening to kill him at any minute. Dresden has to break out the big guns for this mission, make sure his temporary allies don’t betray him, and must rely on his group of friends for help and guidance.

Early on in the book, there’s a fight scene that was reminiscent of Butcher’s Codex Alera battle scenes, meaning it was long, boring, and pointless. It was a bit disheartening, because I know Butcher can do better, and normally does with the Dresden books. This one scene threatened to lower my overall rating of the book. Luckily, it was only the one instance, and the story recovers from it and makes up for it. The rest of the novel is an emotional thrill ride and brought my rating back up to 5-stars.

5/5 Stars


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Trapped: A Re-Review

trapped_audioTrapped is the fifth full-length book in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series. I “read” the audio version narrated by Luke Daniels, who adds so much life and character to the stories that I cannot imagine how else the characters would sound.

The Iron Druid series has been great, and this addition is no exception. Trapped fast forwards in time, and it takes place 12 years after the events of the previous book. In it, the last druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, has finished training his apprentice Granuaile, and it is time to bind her to the earth. To do so, they need to be in a place where they can be undisturbed and in touch with the earth for months while Atticus tattoos the magical wards into Granuaile’s skin. But of course the peace cannot last. Atticus is being hunted down not only by Loki, the Norse god of Mischief, who has broken free of his bondage, but also by Bacchus, dark elves, and crotchety vampires—all for varying, though somewhat related, reasons. Atticus and Granuaile, along with Oberon, the trusty Irish wolfhound who doubles as sidekick and comedic relief, must set out to rid themselves of all these distractions to complete the binding ritual.

Oh, and they have to kill Fenris, a monstrous wolf of the Norse mythos.

All of the Iron druid books are filled with story, conflict, and humor. These elements are all expertly wove together by Hearne and brought to life by Luke Daniels. If you have not read this series yet, and are interested, please consider the audiobook!

 

5/5 Stars


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Tricked: A Re-Review

Note: This book was first reviewed July 1, 2013

284px-TRICKED-coverKevin Hearne’s fourth installment of the Iron Druid Chronicles, Tricked, is a stark improvement over the previous title. I mainly believe it’s because Oberon and his witticisms are back in full force, but also, the story itself leads to a bit of closure.Tricked ties up several loose ends, but still leaves enough intriguing story lines available for additional books.

The book opens with Atticus faking his own death, with the help of Coyote. Coyote’s price for his help is that Atticus must move gold to a certain place in the local reservation so that the locals could open up a mine, and invest that capital into creating clean, renewable energy—wind and solar power—which sounds a bit too good to the druid.

Of course it’s not that simple. Nothing ever is. Hearne’s Iron Druid books do not lack for story. Within each book, there’s a central storyline and about an additional 4-5 subplots going on. In the case of Tricked, the main story is about the wrath of two skinwalkers who are terrorizing the Indians on the reservation. Also involved in this story are vampires, Hel (of the Norse mythos), draugr (aka, crazy strong undead dudes also of the Norse Mythos), several angry thunder gods of different pantheons, and probably others that I’m forgetting. There’s a lot going on, but Hearne manages to keep everything straight. Luckily, most of the subplots get resolved quickly and don’t drag on to butt heads with the main storyline.

I’m glad that this series of books was recommended to me, and I too recommend them to others, especially if you like The Dresden Files, ancient mythologies, or just plain ol’ good, fun stories. I recommend the audio version read by Luke Daniels, his reading and characterizations are perfect!

5/5 Stars