Shattered | Kevin Hearne

Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles #7) by Kevin Hearne published 17 June 2014

Atticus’s apprentice Granuaile is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy.

And Owen has some catching up to do.

Atticus takes pleasure in the role reversal, as the student is now the teacher. Between busting Atticus’s chops and trying to fathom a cell phone, Owen must also learn English. For Atticus, the jury’s still out on whether the wily old coot will be an asset in the epic battle with Norse god Loki—or merely a pain in the arse.

But Atticus isn’t the only one with daddy issues. Granuaile faces a great challenge: to exorcise a sorcerer’s spirit that is possessing her father in India. Even with the help of the witch Laksha, Granuaile may be facing a crushing defeat.

As the trio of Druids deals with pestilence-spreading demons, bacon-loving yeti, fierce flying foxes, and frenzied Fae, they’re hoping that this time, three’s a charm.

How was it? This book is full of surprises, twists, and thought provoking plots.

The changes of P.O.V. was jarring at first, because the characters had their own thing going which made the whole book feel out of focus at first. However in the end, it made the story a lot more interesting. It took alliances we took for granted in a grey area of uncertainty and made a looming threat look more dangerous than it had.

I’d say it’s centered around Granuaile, since her storyline seems to be the one following / tieing up with Trapped and Hunted the most while also pushing the story forward.

Arc Druid Owen Kennedy is brash, funny, and full of surprises. Him adjusting to modern life was fun but seemed unnecessary until he talked about his past – hint hint – it made him more interesting, and more of a wild card.

As for the Iron Druid, Shattered might be the book in which he disappointed me the most. Just when you think that Atticus has learn his lesson and his using is accumulated knowledge wisely, he does something to create more grief for himself and the people associating with him.

Shattered was fun, frustrating and entertaining.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can check out the book and audiobook here

Hunted | Kevin Hearne

Hunted (The Iron Druids Chronicles #6) by Kevin Hearne published 25 June 2013

For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt—Artemis and Diana—for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is . . . run like hell.
 
Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok—AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living—and still have a world to live in.

How was it? The weird thing about Hunted is that, in my mind it makes one big book with Trapped. I seem incapable of disassociating the two. They truly read like two halves of one book. It’s the title, Hunted, that helps me find my place in the overall story arc.

This book starts off sad, gets funny, then sad again. It’s fast-paced for most of it but then it slows to a crawl. The thrilling action-adventure ride that it is will make you renew your vows to the series. At times, the excitement is constant, and the comedy and heart-wrenching moments are sprinkled throughout. There are very cleverly dropped seeds that are used here. A kernel of a story, a foreshadowed plot point, whatever you want to call it’s . I’m thinking of one in particular that was planted so long – or many books – ago that you might have forgotten about it or not noticed it but once you make that connection it’s impressive.

There’s another impressive feat done here by Hearne, besides ramping up the danger, he made a newer character – I’m trying my best to stay vague – more palatable, likable, even badass.

Like I said, Trapped and Hunted feel like one long book. I didn’t realize that I had started another book – since I dove right into this one. So when I said that I might revisit book 5 I actually mean both stories.

P.S.: I’m so proud of myself I didn’t spent the whole thing gushing about the dog. I’m not really a dog person what is happening to me?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can check out or get the book here: US | EU

Trapped | Kevin Hearne

Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles #5) by Kevin Hearne published 27 November 2012

After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.
Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

How was it? Contrary to Tricked, who was kind of – much needed – swerve from the “main story-line” Trapped is that breath of fresh air The Iron Druid Chronicles needed. In this book we are smartly lead to the a place that would revives some old story-lines. It’s a whirlwind but one hell of an entertaining one. It’s face-paced with exciting passages, some serious action that is thrilling. There are frustrating moments a few that would make you think “Jeez let a beech get bound.” Or funny exchanges like “Poochism” and many others. Oberon is in top form in this one, he’s seriously the heart of this book series, it doesn’t work as well without him.

Trapped has depth, a great dose of culture, amazing geeky references, action and fun. It might be the one book that I might return to revisit in its entirety.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can check out or get the book here: US | EU

The Demon Barker of Wheat Street | Kevin Hearne

The Demon Barker of Wheat Street (The Iron Druid Chronicles #4.6) by Kevin Hearne published 8 September 2014

The ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan gets more than greasy corn dogs and flat soda when he visits a carnival in Kansas to which his apprentice, Granuaile, drags him. He runs across a barker with a strange power over the crowd: attractive women leave their men and disappear into an unmarked tent, never to be seen again, and the men wander away, forgetting that they ever had girlfriends or wives. When Granuaile falls under the barker’s influence and enters the tent, Atticus isn’t about to forget it and move on. He and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon, pursue her and discover the horrifying secret to the carnival’s success.

How was it? Featured in the anthology Carniepunk and, in an extended version, in “Besiege” this Iron Druid Chronicles novelette comes right after Two Ravens and One Crow chronologically. This might be this short story’s biggest hurdle, it sort of pales in comparison of the previous one. I had to read this twice to even muster a shred of interest in this story. Althought there is some action in this one, it will not be story that will make you want to keep with the series if you’re slowly losing interest. Fighting demons and ghouls can be fun but not here, it’s just O.K. I’d advise to skip this one, and maybe circle back, wouldn’t you agree?

Rating: 2 out of 5.

You can get or check iut the book here: US | EU

Two Ravens and One Crow | Kevin Hearne

Two Ravens and One Crow (The Iron Druid Chronicles #4.5) by Kevin Hearne published 04 September 2012

Six years into the training of his beautiful apprentice, Granuaile, a large crow swoops down and transforms into none other than the Morrigan, a goddess who insists that Atticus come with her at once. He must leave his apprentice behind, along with his Irish wolfhound, Oberon—and he must also leave his sword. The Morrigan has always taken extreme pleasure in pronouncing the Druid’s mortal danger and imminent doom, so the fact that she won’t reveal the purpose of their journey makes him very nervous. Of course, any time the Celtic Chooser of the Slain drops in unannounced, it’s never good. When she does let slip that she’ll be saving his life in the near future, Atticus is left to wonder . . . will he soon be giving his legions of enemies something to crow about?

How was it? Set 6 years after Tricked, this interlude is legit, unlike Goddess at the Crossroads but kind of like The Eye of Horus, this story moves the Iron Druid Chronicles forward. It has character development and action.

Nevertheless, I groaned when it started to be about his attraction to his apprentice. He’s sharing his creepy thoughts with us, great 😒 – because they did come off as creepy to me – but at least Oberon’s commentaries made it much better. Besides, is it just me, or was it never really established that the Morrigan could hear Atticus’ thoughts? It was mentioned she could infer them by listening to Oberon’s not outright hear him.

Hearne briefly tried to sale us on a celibate Atticus, maybe in an attempt to clean up his image, to make him prince charming materiel? It gave me a good laugh. I’m not dissing the piece, in fact it’s a tightly written short story. In less than 100 pages Hearne manages to bring mystery, tension and action in an entertaining short story that also closes a story-line or two.

The action here is very visual and like most of the series might warrant an animated adaptation since the male and female nudity would hinder a live-action adaptation, at least in America.

For some reason, I always figured that Atticus stayed young, never really got to be old and gray so I loved learning more about him. Two Ravens and one Crow felt like a progression over filler, worth the time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can check out or get the book here: US | EU

The Iron Druid Chronicles: Short Stories | Kevin Hearne

Taking place between Tricked and Trapped, and before the novella Two Ravens and One Crow, these novelettes sheds more light on Atticus’ long life.

The Eye of Horus (The Iron Druid Chronicles #4.1)

Follows an adventure of a much younger Atticus – he’s simply over 300 years old here. This stroll down memory lane is quite directly related to the Grimoire of the Lamb. The stpry is a fun quick read, interesting because it showcases another pantheon and some of the politics between Gods of different faiths. We get to meet an Atticus who didn’t have some of the tools he now has at his disposal. It’s the mission impossible: Druid edition, and a round about way to learn how Atticus came up with one of his greatest weapon.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Goddess at the Crossroads (The Iron Druid Chronicles #4.2)

Another amusing anecdote about Atticus’ life. This one stands alone though, unless you count the fact that it has a connection to popular culture. The story itself is entertaining but the fact of real tether to the main storyline is a bummer for me. At least my favorite character, Oberon, is featured and the double entendra about the lack of French puddles in that time affecting Oberon made me cackle.
Goddess at the Crossroads is still a nice appetizer before diving into the fifth book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.