Blood Pudding | Kevin Hearne

Going from Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries to Blood Pudding was rough. Even though she grew on me, Granuaile is not my favorite character to spend time with. But this novelette is one of these stories that are the most connected story to the main story-line, because it truly feels like a cut scene or chapter.

It’s also the least memorable – I went back to it when I explored the audible version and couldn’t remember the title and what it refers to. Blood Pudding relates to the events from Staked and their consequences, and follows Granuaile as she bar-tends in Poland in an attempt develop a new mental space, master the language, and hang out with a coven of witches.

The story features an unlikely alliance as Granuaile teams up with an old friend turned enemy to work toward a common goal. Like parts of Hunted the novelette showcases the young Druid’s abilities in action but also highlights a Polish dish, beer pudding, that I’m interested to try. The story only gets exciting toward the end, yet feels like part of a whole but it is worth the read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can get the collection of short stories here

The Purloined Poodle | Kevin Hearne

The Purloined Poodle (Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries #1) Kevin Hearne published 30 September 2016

Thanks to his relationship with the ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, Oberon the Irish wolfhound knows trouble when he smells it—and furthermore, he knows he can handle it.

When he discovers that a prizewinning poodle has been abducted in Eugene, Oregon, he learns that it’s part of a rash of hound abductions all over the Pacific Northwest. Since the police aren’t too worried about dogs they assume have run away, Oberon knows it’s up to him to track down those hounds and reunite them with their humans. For justice! And gravy!

Engaging the services of his faithful Druid, Oberon must travel throughout Oregon and Washington to question a man with a huge salami, thwart the plans of diabolical squirrels, and avoid, at all costs, a fight with a great big bear.

But if he’s going to solve the case of the Purloined Poodle, Oberon will have to recruit the help of a Boston terrier named Starbuck, survive the vegetables in a hipster pot pie, and firmly refuse to be distracted by fire hydrants and rabbits hiding in the rose bushes.

At the end of the day, will it be a sad bowl of dry kibble for the world’s finest hound detective, or will everything be coming up sirloins?

How was it?

If you’re not familiar with The Iron Druid Chronicles, this novella might be a little weird at first, but you’d quickly get into it. For one, it’s a detective story told from a dog’s perspective who has a great personality – and you don’t even need to be an animal lover to agree with that statement. Another element is that The Purloined Poodle is captivating and funny. I was laughing and/or had a smile on my face from beginning to end.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Oberon’s observations and dog logic are gold. You can find little quotable gems like:

“There’s nothing more friendly than an easy-accessed back door.”

“The woman was a blonde of the chemical kind.”

“I’m not saying he’s rabid or anything, just liable to snap at any moment like Jack Nicholson in every movie ever.”

“He seems like the type to have a basement with lots of plastic sheeting on the walls and floors, you know what I mean?”

and many many more. Oberon’s mind getting blown about one subject or another – one my favorite is the stud fees and the ethics of it – is just hilarious and amazing. One thing I need to specify though, I got the audible version, Luke Daniels put my appreciation for Oberon on another level. He rounded my 4.5 to a 5 stars.

The Purloined poodle is highly entertaining and has everything it needs to be the awesome experience it is, Oberon! The detective noir mystery, and Luke Daniels helps too.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You can get the audiobook here

Cuddle Dungeon | Kevin Hearne

Having Perun telling this story was a surprise :). The title alone put so many ideas on my head, and I wasn’t that far off. At first, before even starting this short story, I thought it was a story about vampires – silly me.

This short was weird, sexy, and sweetly serious at the end. Hearne flirted with more graphic / sexy romance novels but turns it around. The characters featured here are perfect for that specific story and given what happens at the end is quite humbling, if gods go through it too we should be Ok.

Side note: Was Cuddle Dungeon Hearne’s low key way to tell us something personal? 😛

Rating: 3 out of 5.

You can get it in the collection of shorts here

The Bogeyman of Boora Bog | Kevin Hearne

The Bogeyman of Boora Bog is an interesting short, because it’s told through Owen’s eyes, it’s about his past, an anecdote of his but it also pertains to Atticus’ druidique origin.
Early on in the story, I thought it was foreshadowing the possible death of Atticus and/or Oberon’s in the next and last book – so you can imagine my panic, I love the dog lol. Then upon hearing the bogeyman ramble on about the villagers, I immediately thought “f*ck Granuaile will turn evil or some kind of eco-terrorist“. I even thought that it’s a way to help Greta forgive Atticus. All of that to say that I tried hard to look for a deeper meaning to the short. This short doesn’t move the plot forward much but it’s nice additional material.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

You can get it in the collection of shorts here

Staked | Kevin Hearne

How was it? Hearne is truly genius with the pop culture references. They operate on so many levels. They are smart and funny, with references hidden in references. The first few sentence of Staked is a prime example of that, alluding both to Tarantino’s movie, directorial style, and foot fetish.

Whenever Oberon shows up it’s always a good time, and grumpy Owen is seriously growing on me. Putting the two together, is just hilarious but it’s weird that the dog seems smarter at times.

Staked is action-packed from beginning to end, the multiple P.O.V.s were disorienting a bit in Shattered, but made for interesting story-lines. It differentiates each character, giving personalities that are wildly different but work together as well. It also gives the series some of what it was missing, a sense of danger for the main characters. Where Atticus’ seemed unbeatable, and a bit of a Gary Sue, Granuaile and Owen balance it out. They even humanize Atticus and in contrast show his carelessness and selfishness.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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