The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

So this post is all about The Iron Druid Chronicles. I got the three book bundle and read them one right after the other. Witty, fast-paced, heavy in magic and paranormal creatures, I strongly recommend all three that I read. I desperately want the next, but I have too much to read. And so, let the reviewing commence. The blurbs come from Goodreads and that is where the link goes. And just for fun, I liken my reviews to jungle cats. For no reason whatsoever.

HOUNDED  

hounded

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Tempe, Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time. A handsome, tattooed Irish dude, he looks like he’s about twenty-one years old—actually, he’s twenty-one centuries old and he wields a magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and now Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, and a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

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My take:  The plot takes off and doesn’t stop for a second. The writing style is excellent – you just fall into the story. Sometimes, you flounder at the beginning of a book trying to learn the world. Hearne does a good job of peppering in information about the more esoteric mythological people and creatures in a way that doesn’t bring the story to a stop. I will admit that dummy here spent the first 3/4 of the book confusing druid with dryad….then I remembered…. them what built the stonehenge! Yeah. Sad.

If you love intermixing of the magical with the mundane, people turning into animals, you love action in your fantasy, gods, goddesses, and/or if you’ve ever wished to converse with a gigantic Irish wolfhound, this could be for you. Our hero learns there are drawbacks to having two beautiful goddesses after you… especially when the two goddesses are not exactly friendly. Turns out the Tuatha de are not exactly at war with one another… yet. But besides the goddesses wrangling for power, Atticus’s enemy, Aenghus Og is gathering followers and magical weapons. But is Atticus his target, or Brighed, his sister, and leader of the Tuatha de Danann?

This kept me turning pages and gave me a satisfying ending. I finished this and opened the next book right away.

I rate this book: Cheetah force.

HEXED 

hexed

Atticus doesn’t care much for witches, but he’s about to make nice with the local coven when suddenly the witch population in Tempe quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II. But with a fallen angel feasting on local students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt.

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My take: This book had more tension rather than non stop action. This one also has a moral. Be very careful when making deals with witches. Trust me. And if you don’t, read the book and see where Atticus went wrong. Yes, it turns out our hero isn’t all knowing and invincible. This one he’s dealing with witches and bacchants, rather than the Tuatha who he had shielded himself against.

I loved the first, but it was a raging white-water raft trip, and this one, while heavy on action and plot, (as well as 5 words I didn’t know) has twists and turns that really made me go … ah! And it SHOULD be hard to outmaneuver a 2100 year old magical druid. A real page turner.

I rate this book: Tiger stealth.

HAMMERED 

hammered

Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is a blowhard and a bully, and Viking vampire Leif Helgarson has asked his friend Atticus for help taking down this Norse nightmare. As a rule, Atticus generally tries to stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. Soon, though, Atticus and Leif are off to the plane of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

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My take: We knew it was comin’. The battle with the Thunder God. We’ve heard what a jerk Thor is for two books, and now, we hear just HOW big of a jerk. And believe me, he has it comin’. Adding to the tension is various magical beings trying to convince Atticus what a mistake this could be. They don’t convince him, but they had me wishing he wouldn’t go. I hoped he would find a way out of this. I hoped he was going to pull a Laksha (read the last book to see what I mean by that) and maybe pull thru on just the letter of his promise to help kill Thor and everything would come out ok. But then we wouldn’t have a book.

Atticus really flexes his Druid powers in this one. And shows he’s got the smarts. But the gods of Asgard have might, and they know he’s up to something. Added to the danger is the emotional toll all this is taking. Atticus is much more introspective. He realizes he’s stirred the deity pot, and that all the troubles have increased since he settled in one place instead of staying mobile. I actually teared up during a talk he has with his wolfhound, on the matter of humans and immortality.

In short – this was still fast paced, well written, engrossing – I hated when real life kept getting in the way and keeping me from what was happening. I just wanted to sit and read. Very satisfying, even though he hits you with a cheap shot at the very end. Read the epilogue and you’ll see what I mean.

I rate this book: Jaguar camouflage.

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