Author: Kevin Hearne
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Genre: The Iron Druid Chronicles
Length: 292 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics: Atticus O’Sullivan, the last Druid, is hiding in Tempe, Arizona, from a vengeful god. He has survived over 2,000 years due to his friendships, alliances, and avoidance of battles. But this time, Atticus is taking a stand. He likes Tempe. He has a fabulous dog, Oberon. He has a great neighbor, a successful business, and a life built for himself. Running only to start over again? Atticus would rather fight.
Banter Points: I’m always in search of a new series to read while waiting impatiently for the next Harry Dresden book. This series was recommended by Amazon based on my
lust fondness for Dresden, so I went for it. It was reasonably close in genre, had several titles to its name, and Amazon’s algorithms have done well for me in the past.
Lots of action in this book. Atticus is always getting into fights, arguments or fending off some sort of intruder — even if it’s a verbal banter instead of one involving swords. The writing was good too. I could visualize the fights, understand the banter and the nuisances that could have resulted in Atticus’ demise.
I also appreciated how Hearne clued the reader into what was similar about this urban fantasy compared to others in the genre. Yes, there are vamps, weres, witches and Tuatha Dé Danann (those who became the Sidhe or the Fae) living and interacting in the world, but there are differences too. The information on similarities and differences where shared in a way that was integrated into the story and non-info dump like. (A couple felt a little awkward, but it’s a first book. I’ll give it a pass.)
As a character, I liked Atticus. He was fun to tag along with over the course of the book. He has some interesting allies and, more importantly, some fascinating potential enemies. Tempe, Arizona, was an interesting choice for the setting. It has some natural barriers for things that the Fae normally want; Atticus and the other supernaturals take advantage of that.
Bummer Points: There was lots of action, but little conflict. There is a difference between the two. Even though Atticus was worried about his ability to fight the Celtic god that has been tracking him, I wasn’t, not even the first time it was mentioned. It wasn’t just because there are several more titles in the series. No, it was everything to do with the difference between action and conflict in novels. Atticus craved the fight, welcomed it even. The preparations were minimal, every ally was readily available. There was no way he was going to lose. On the plus side, reading this book helped me understand how that was different and why it wasn’t working for me.
It was frustrating to me that Atticus did not have any “normal” humans in his life. I get it, he is a druid that is more than 2,000 years old. He doesn’t have to have human friends. But every character was Fae, god or goddess, vampire, were, witch or some other mythical creature. I didn’t find it realistic, actually, that Tempe, Arizona could be that much of a hot bed of mythological activity. It’s a town of less than 200,000 people plus a college. Atticus also has some serious understanding of what it means to be early to mid 20s. It didn’t pass the sniff test, especially if he doesn’t have any human friends this age. How does he interact, study and know how to blend in?
Stacie’s Recommendation: Overall, this was an okay book. I’m interested and will give the series until book four to make a decision. None of the negatives were terrible and there’s a potential future conflict that could be really good. The set-up is there.