Booked & Loaded
I have to admit that after the last book I debated if I should continue the series or not. I had some complaints about how one of my favorite characters, Atticus, was lacking in character development and although the stories are great...I wanted more! Well, b*****s, I got it in Hunted! To me character development is critical in a series.
Hearne wraps up a lot of loose ends in Hunted. With high action and the array of characters I have come to expect, I was entertained and captivated. Taking it a step further Hearne still leaves the ending open for more adventures that I cannot wait to explore. If you are a fan of this series, I don't think you will be disappointed! Hearne takes us on a more emotional ride than previous book in this series and I might have even got a little misty in the eyes at one point.
Granuaile begins to take on a much bigger role in Hunted and I enjoyed the feminine feel her personality added to the mix - a touch of diversity in the Iron Druid Chronicles as a whole. As a fantasy and/or urban fantasy Hunted doesn't miss its mark.
This audio book is brilliant. Luke Daniels knocks it out of the park and makes listening to Hunted a complete joy. With so many difficult pronunciations of different names listening to them spill effortlessly from Daniels takes the story to another level.
I enjoy the characters, the relationships, the concepts, the mythology, and the humor in these books. He's always in peril and makes some poor choices, but it's more balanced than in some of this genre. The series is meant to read in order and they wouldn't stand alone well. The narrator does a nice job with inflection, emotion, and voicing the characters.
Given all the difficulty Atticus has had after deciding not to run from Aengus Óg, it's a miracle he lived the first 2000 years. He is now dodging the Roman and Greek pantheon, while his partner in crime Granuaile tries to keep him alive and away from decisions that will make them any more enemies. This book had us driving around in the car because we didn't want to end it yet, which is true of all of the series. There are two things that happen in this book that I thought "he couldn't have written that!", one of which actually had me in tears. Vampire politics continue to affect the story, and his former friend seems to look at them as pieces on a chess board, protected if they continue to be useful and sent against opponents without asking permission or feeling guilt.
I look forward to the snarky comments Oberon brings to the text, and he is both comic relief and something of the 'sacred clown' who brings the focus back to what's important. I hope Granuaile will play a larger part as the series progresses, since her modern understanding of druidic identity is different than Atticus'. She has been raised in a thoroughly Western world view, and her ethics is different from his. I suspect revenge against her stepfather is not going to be able to be put off once they finally stop running for their lives - if they ever manage to stop running.I look forward to seeing what mischief they will get into next.
I can't imagine a better reader than Luke Daniels; he gives Oberon a voice that is truly his own, and I never have to stumble over the pronunciation or the accent. Even reading a female voice works; he doesn't engage in an annoying falsetto but you can tell whose voice it is.
Not content with having read the book, I also had to listen to it. Usually, if I like the book in one form, I like it equally well (or nearly so) in another. This, however, was not the case this time. I still love the book. But I have issues with the narration.
Hunted, by Kevin Hearne, is the sixth book in the Iron Druid Series. It's an action-packed run-for-your-life tour of Europe. Atticus and Granuaile should definitely have taken a cruise, or something relaxing. I'm pretty sure as honeymoon's go, this wasn't the best choice. Not that they had any choice in the matter.
Atticus O'Sullivan, the 2000-year-old last of the Roman Druids is running top speed across Europe. Romania, Germany, Holland, France ... then swimming the English channel to get to the woods by Windsor Castle. This is not exercise -- it's survival -- and as he (Granuaile and Oberon) race, they are fending off two angry, homicidal Olympian goddesses -- Artemis and Diana. And as experienced hunters, they are formidable adversaries.
Atticus messed with Bacchus and put him on a slow time island. Although it was self-defense, the Olympians aren't interested in why. They are just pissed off. Actually, more than that, watching the druids try to outrun the goddesses has become a sporting event for a wide range of deities.They don't seem so upset about Bacchus as they are eager to kill Atticus as well as Granuaile and Oberon. Freeing their crazy family member and co-deity is not their biggest issue.
The usual ways open to Druids of shifting to the safety of Tír na nÓg, are closed. Every tree and grove is guarded. The old ways are locked tight -- leaving them running long, hard, and fast in whatever physical forms and using whatever magic they can. They no longer have Morrigan's help, though they get some assistance from other immortals.
It does seem that just about everyone and everything is out to get them. Old enemies and new, vampires, gods and goddesses, dark elves, and some weird things who fit no category. Sea monsters. And Loki's on the loose bringing Ragnarök with him. The world is going to end. That's sort of Atticus' fault. Sort of. Sides are forming up for the big battle at the end of the world -- Ragnarök - the Apocalypse -- is it the end? Of everything? Could there be a new beginning? It's never happened before, so who's to know?
No one's banking on anything but death and destruction, so avoiding it as long as possible seems the sensible choice.
Sensible isn't part of the equation anymore. No one wants to negotiate, no one feels like chatting. It's kill or be killed. It's magic, weapons, a race to find a safe haven -- hide and seek along the way. No matter where they go, what they do, the Druids and all of their allies -- and enemies -- know the big finale is unavoidable. It will leave no one untouched. Meanwhile, the goal is to stay alive.
Atticus and Granuaile have almost no time in this book -- to my disappointment -- to develop the relationship they began after Granuaile was finally bound to Gaia and became a full Druid. There's no time now ... and given the perils, there may never be time. Not enough, anyway. A day, a few hours, grabbed here and there. This couple is not going to get that leisurely honeymoon, unless you count touring Europe in various forms - stag, horse, sea-lion, sea otter, falcon, mountain lion, wolfhound -- and of course, invisible. Most of the time, naked, a traditional form of battle dress for Celts, but not romantic.
Luke Daniels, the narrator is skilled and he does a fine job with Atticus and Granuaile ... and all other humanoids, but I really disliked his voicing of Oberon. It sounded like Bugs Bunny and was, to my mind, definitely unsuitable for the great wolfhound. I let it slide by me, but every time the voice came one, I got annoyed. I also didn't like his voicing of a bunch of the other secondary characters. Fine on the two Druids, but not fine on the others. Fortunately, there's more good narration than bad ... but be warned: if you don't like the idea of a dumb sounding Oberon with a lisp or cartoon deities from various pantheons, you won't like this audiobook.
This is the most high-speed book of the series to date. I had hoped for more character interaction and a bit less breathless and perpetual motion. If you like action -- and who doesn't? -- there's more than enough fighting, battling, scheming, running, swimming, dying, recovering -- but not much conversation. No down time. Not much relationship development. The book is a bridge to the next. Which is necessary. But you won't get resolution, not yet. Next book soon please!
It's beautifully written (as always). This is the first book in which Granuaile has her own voice. She's a full character now, co-equal with Atticus. Chapters alternate in the first person, her speaking, him speaking. At first, it jarred me a little, but then, I liked it. Nice to have both a male and female primary character in a fantasy novel. I can't remember if I've ever read a book in this genre where both sexes had equal roles. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's all good.
I'm not going to give anything away. No spoilers, sorry.
If you are a fan of the series, you will like the book. It's probably not quite what you expect, but it's a critical link for what's coming.
It's Granuaile's coming of age -- and in its own way, also Atticus' coming of age. Although you would think he's seen it and done it all in his very long life, not so. He hasn't had a lot of human friends, much less lovers. There's a lot of new stuff for him to work his way through. Having a real relationship with a human woman requires relearning old habits. Like any relationship, come to think of it.
There are a lot of plot twists. Not all endings are happy. There are victories and temporary wins. Holding actions. I'm not sure there are solid victories to be had as the world draws ever closer to Ragnarök. It's all about survival, treachery and slippery alliances. The fate of the world hangs on a razor's edge. See you next book!
If you have not read the previous books, don't start with this one. There is a lot of history and the characters have all been built through the entire series. They won't make sense without the earlier books.
The book is also available in paperback and on Kindle. And, obviously, as a download from Audible.com. This is the first of the audio versions I've read. I don't know that I will try another. I think I'll stick with printed words for this series.
I enjoyed the book well enough, but mostly because I have enjoyed the series and characters. Oberon was a fun comedic relief tool in many of the earlier books. In the last two books Oberon has taken a main character role and is constantly interjecting. I don't need a reminder that dogs like sausage, bacon, and bitches every few minutes for an entire book's worth of content. The books are enjoyable because Atticus is so witty and fun himself, there isn't a need for a constant comedic relief, especially if it is the same tired joke that got a few snickers. This book was light on the drama and lore that made the first few books in the series so engaging and fun.
This chapter in the Iron Druid Chronicles seemed a little like a check the box chapter. I don't know that I will continue with the series if there is another book in this vein that goes away from the fun and vibrant characters that are the gods and the engaging recipe that was used in the first few books. If I want to listen to a story that is one third dedicated to the simple mindedness of dogs I would avoid a series that purports to be about gods among us and search out something that is about dogs.
The performance was excellent. Luke Daniels has a good voice spot on emotion and makes the book easy to listen to.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
This one was really amazing... the start the middle the end all were great, although the ending was a bit slow and not full of action, still it was really good.
This book had the best beginning in my opinion, it started with a joke and damn funny joke too. but then the whole book was a mixture of emotions and that was a great thing here.
having a new druid is a great thing, and clever girl is making a really god druid. and don't forget our funny dog, he is damn damn funny in this book. i'm not going to say what jokes he kept on saying, but they were amazing.
This book was better than the one before, and i can't wait to get the next one.
Thanks to Kevin for this amazing series.
It is my understanding that the first three books in this series were already written before Hearne found a publisher. So who knows how long it took him to actually write them. For all we know the first three books could have taken him five years or even longer. Time to develop the plot; time to fiddle with them and rewrite. But the first book made such a big splash that the publisher went crazy. More! they shouted. Write more. Write quickly. Faster, faster, faster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And now it has come to this.
I really liked the first few books. But I didn't like Book 5 much. And I couldn't finish this one. I literally kept falling asleep during it. Or my mind would wander. I've tried three times, starting up from where I left off, but it is just so incredibly dull. A paragraph or two to introduce some new supernatural creature I never heard of before, two more paragraphs of Oberon jokes, a bare mention of Granuale, a page or two of battle to destroy the supernatural creature that we barely know and do not care about (some of them come back for seconds and thirds), they run a bit. Then repeat. Over and over and over.
What I'm saying is that it DIDN'T take five or more years to write the last three books, and it shows. There was no time to develop a plot or revealing information about a few major characters because Hearne's publisher had given him a deadline. I hope that Hearne will take a deep breath, slow down and think hard. And then resist that handful of poisoned candy the publisher is holding out to him. The first three or four books show that he has talent. I hope that his needy publisher will not ruin any hope for him to develop into the writer he could be by pushing him too hard too soon.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
It seems like everyone is out to get Atticus and Granuaile, the world’s last two druids. They’re running from the goddesses Artemis and Diana, the vampires and dark elves want them dead, and Loki and his daughter Hel need to kill Atticus so they can unleash Ragnarok on the world. As the title tells, Atticus, Granuaile and their dog Oberon are being hunted in this sixth novel of Kevin Hearne’s IRON DRUID CHRONICLES. The hunt takes them across Europe, including the English Channel. It’s stressful for our heroes, but the gods find the whole thing pretty entertaining.
I don’t want to mention much more of the plot of Hunted — you’ll understand why when you read it. If you’re a fan of the series, you probably don’t need any encouragement to pick up this book. Likely all you really want to confirm is that Hearne is keeping up his end of the author-reader bargain: we’ll buy his books if he keeps entertaining us with great characters, fun plots, and his geeky sense of humor. If that’s all you need to know, rest assured — your money and time will be well spent. This is another exciting installment in the IRON DRUID CHRONICLES and everything we expect is here. I thought Hunted was better than the previous book, Trapped.
But wait, there’s more! In Hunted, for the first time, Hearne gives us Granuaile’s perspective; some of the chapters are written from her POV, and that is nicely done. Also, this installment is particularly emotional. Kevin Hearne always makes me laugh, but this time he actually made me cry. Though the plot is mostly one long chase scene, it’s never dull, there’s plenty of loss and love, characters get hurt and some of them die, and the story advances. At the end, the world is significantly different than it was at the beginning. Alliances have shifted and Ragnarok is coming…
All this, plus dwarves, Polish witches, rolling heads, a manticore, Japanese television, and Girl Scout cookies.
I’m still listening to the awesome audiobook version read by Luke Daniels.
Life-long book lover. Mother, wife, graphic designer.
My husband and I are very advid fans of the series. We are always excited when another book comes out. We were equally as excited when Hunted was released. That is, until we listened to it.
Luke Daniels does an excellent narrative as always. His Oberon voice always makes me smile. But the narrative couldn't make up for the staleness of the story. Once again, Atticus is running from certain death. He is still harboring ill-feelings towards Leif. But for some reason Kevin Hern decided to narrate from Gronuail's p.o.v. . It has turned her into the female Atticus, not the Gronuail we came to love. It has been so difficult to get passed the first few chapters. Even two months later, I am still struggling to get passed them.
I feel let down by this book in the series.
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
I've dutifully dropped credits on all the issues of this series so far and been generally satisfied. The action has remained strong, the magical intrigue among the various pantheons is getting stronger and the the story, as always, is well paced.
I plan to keep reading this series, but I am noticing a growing problem with Atticus, the main character. Hearne is trying hard to drive the quips and jokes through pop culture references mostly told by the Iron Druid himself. This is getting more and more forced and I think it is starting to eat the core of the main character.
Atticus is supposed to be a 2000+ yrs. old druid with the wisdom of years and a pressing concern with preserving the health of the earth, self-preservation, and passing his knowledge on to his protege, not to mention spending quality time with his dog. He has a lot on his mind. He (including his internal monologue) talks like an idle twentysomething who spent the last three years in front of his computer all day ritualistically refreshing buzzfeed and quickmeme. Up to now, I had generally liked the way he had made such references, but now it's getting too thick. It's fantasy, and it's ok for a character from a different era to dig Coen Brothers' movies. Just don't overdo it and it will be fine.