Tag Archive: Hearne, Kevin

Aug 06

Review: Hunted by Kevin Hearne

Hunted by Kevin Hearnes

I must have forgotten how disappointed I was in the last Iron Druid book when I reviewed it earlier this year because I grabbed the audiobook version of Hunted by Kevin Hearne last week.  I’ve been listening to it at night as a less light-intensive way of trying to fall asleep.

This edition is also narrated by Luke Daniels, who also narrated the previous five books in this series.  Great voice acting, and he stays remarkably consistent with his differently voiced characters both within the novel and throughout the series.

The action picks up en medias ras: Atticus and company are running away from Diana and Artemis, the Roman and Greek goddesses of the hunt, because he offended them in previous books (the salient details slip from mind.  Suffice to say they’re angry and ready to kill).  Anywho, The Morrigan, the Irish chooser of the slain and longtime series character, is holding them back.  That is, until she delivers her final message: Europe is locked down from teleportation between the planes, but they have to get form Poland to an old way in England before the huntresses and others catch up with them and kill them.  So the chase is on.

Most of this book is just this single chase sequence.  There are a few side quests, Loki shows up a few time to wreak minimal havoc, Atticus “dies” (but totally really doesn’t because see my redshirt comment in my last Iron Druid review), but the action always quickly returns to either the run towards England, or the next one of the fight scenes.  It’s a very telegraphed narrative.

For the first time, Granuaille narrates portions of the book.  This is very distracting from an audiobook perspective, and it doesn’t fit with the tone or style of the series up to this point.  The narrator has just been Atticus, not Atticus and friend(s).  I didn’t care for it (obviously), and it was jarring enough to take me out of the story every time it happened.

Hearne’s world is getting ambitious.  There are running threads of story around a shakeup in the vampiric world, new power structures in the Greek/Roman pantheons, the oncoming of Ragnarok, personal challenges for the main characters, intrigue in the Irish pantheon, and characters from the past that won’t stay down.  And if that sounds like a lot, it’s only because it is.  However, with the action-packed narrative that most of these books possess, few of these side narratives can be treated on with any sort of depth, or their resolutions feel forced or too easy.  While progress was made towards finding out who is really pulling the strings behind Ragnarok, you don’t find out in this book.  The Greek/Roman storyline is handled somewhat, but it could easily explode again.  The vampires are in chaos, but it isn’t really covered.  The action in this story is great, but it’s just a bridge towards the really important things that will take place in the future.

And I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but according to Goodreads, Hearne’s been tapped for at least three more books in this series.  So, don’t expect any dramatic deaths or anything.

JMF Rating: 5.5/10

‘Til next time,

-JMF

Apr 06

Book Review: Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Okay, I’m going to start off with a confession: even though I just finished this book yesterday, I still had to Google the title.  These one word Kevin Hearne titles are hard to keep in my head.  Anywho, on to the review…

Like the other four books in this series, I listened to this book on audiobook.  Same narrator who has done a good job with the entire series.  I imagine at this point that if I were to read this book as an actual book, I’d hear his voice in my head the way I do with the narrator of The Dresden Files audiobooks.  And that’s all I need: two authors from similarly styled series fighting it out for who serves as the voice of fantay in my interior monologues. 

At a decent-sized 9 hours, this book kept me occupied for the better part of a week, though I imagine the paper version moves much faster.

The story picks up after a 12 year flash forward.  Atticus is done training his apprentice Granuaille, and he’s ready to bind her to the earth so that he’s not the last druid anymore.  However, vampires, Greek gods, and dark elf assassins are after them, and the binding is taking a bit longer than expected.  Also, due to some supernatural shenanigans, the Norse god Loki has escaped from his prison and Ragnarok is about to start happening.  This leads to the druids having to come up with a way to help the Norse pantheon hamper the plans of Hel and Ragnarok by killing the wolf Fenris while dodging all the supernatural bad guys besides an evil kitchen sink.  Oh, and they fall in love.

Spoiler alert (which, if you haven’t figured this out yet, come on), they kill the wolf and get the girl bound to the earth.  I don’t know; I enjoy these books for the light filler that they are, but every problem gets fixed just a little too cleanly.  Need to kill a wolf god? Done. Trick a god of trickery and insanity? No sweat. Heal third degre burns all over your body? It’s nothing but a flesh wound.  It’s not that the character isn’t interesting, it’s just that for all his protestations that he isn’t unstoppable, he seems pretty damn unstoppable.  And that sucks the suspense out of scenes.  Hearne doesn’t allow anything bad to happen to his main three characters.  They’re like the core cast of the original Star Trek: we may kill off a red-shirt, but nobody in the credits is EVER going to take a dive. 

And the love story has been telegraphed for so long that I just wanted them to move on. 

I enjoy The Iron Druid Chronicles. I really do.  I like the humor.  I love alternative mythology.  But although the plots and gods keep changing, these books are starting to feel very thematically similar, and I’m not sure how much this is going to have lasting power as the series continues.

Rating: 5/10

Until next time,

-JMF