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.
Until next time,