Iron Druid Atticus O'Sullivan, hero of Kevin Hearne's epic New York Times best-selling urban fantasy series, has a point to make - and then drive into a vampire's heart.
When a Druid has lived for 2,000 years like Atticus, he's bound to run afoul of a few vampires - make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers - led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus - have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It's time to make a stand.
As always, Atticus wouldn't mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ornery archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: Turns out when you stiff a troll, it's not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki's mark and elude his powers of divination - a quest that will bring her face to face with several Slavic nightmares.
As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis, Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won't come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.
©2016 Kevin Hearne (P)2016 Random House Audio
"[The Iron Druid books] are clever, fast-paced, and a good escape." (Boing Boing)
"Superb...plenty of quips and zap-pow-bang fighting." (Publishers Weekly)
"Celtic mythology and an ancient Druid with modern attitude mix it up in the Arizona desert in this witty new fantasy series." (Kelly Meding, author of Chimera)
First off, this is probably my favorite book series. But this is probably my least favorite of the bunch.
We get to hear more from Owen (I'd read a whole series on him!) and a certain Icelandic vampire. Much of their treatment is done well.
There seems to be a significant lack of the banter that made many of the earlier books hilarious, especially with Atticus and Oberon, but often with Atticus and anyone. The conversations with Oberon, Leif, Hal, The Morrigan, Coyote, etc... really make the earlier books enjoyable.
The bad: (spoilers!)
Granuaile has gone from bland to really annoying. Her focus on global warming and daddy issues is not only tedious, but also ridiculous. The portrayal of her stepfather as some sort of frothing monster because he's in the oil business is downright silly. The scene in the office was despicable and makes me dislike her.
Then there are the questionable choices. I'm used to Atticus making stupid choices such as not killing Verner at the first encounter, but siding with evil in the battle along with Brighid comes off as a betrayal.
Overall, if you're a fan of the series, you should read it as it does offer some closure on things. But let's hope the final installment is better.
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
After SHATTERED, I had concerns that THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES may be taking on water with an excess of POVs, mythologies and threads. STAKED slowed its roll a bit by limiting the amount of chapters from Owen and Granuaile’s perspectives, and I certainly can’t find fault in Kevin Hearne’s comedic writing style, but the female druid continued to annoy me, and when compared to some of this series’ epic stories, I found that the conclusion to the two century-long vampire saga was rather anticlimactic.
Atticus and Oberon have jetted around most of the globe and several planes; however in this installment they visited Canada, and tons of familiar cultural references ensued including a visit to Timmies and the hound discovering his new favourite dish: poutine! Readers also get to discover why one never wants to be “Nigel in Toronto”, and Owen was temporarily put on dog sitting duty which was seriously the funniest thing ever. Listening to Oberon explain to the archdruid how modern tech works was priceless.
Granuaile has to be one of the most irritating characters that I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing; I literally counted the number of scenes from her POV because if I reached ten I was DNF-ing this audiobook. Happily, that didn’t happen, but her personal crusade against her stepfather, and elitist attitude about what a druid’s mission *should* be pushed me to my breaking point. Owen on the other hand is an absolute peach! I like the direction that his tangent has taken, and of course Oberon is still the bestest of sidekicks.
Luke Daniels is THE man for the job with regards to narrating this series. As soon as he starts talking I immediately know which persona he’s assumed whether its the protagonist’s or a secondary that’s not made an appearance for several novels. In this title he dabbled with some French, and even though he botched one word pronunciation, I give him full marks because the rest was on the nose. His rendition of Owen is SO good, and the last scene with Oberon and Orla is as close as humans will ever come to dog speak.
STAKED was an step up from the previous book, but I still pine for the pre-SHATTERED days.
This is my least favorite in the series. There are some parts that I really enjoyed but there are some parts that I didn't like at all, which is new for me when it comes to this series.
I have liked Granuaile up until this point but the bit with her stepfather? I have to agree with some of the other reviews I've read, I kind of wanted to slap her.
I read somewhere that the next book is the last in the series. I am not sure if that is true or not but so much has happened and is on the verge of happening that I'm not sure that the series can end in a way that won't make my head explode.
In a way, I kind of wish that Staked was the last one. The end of this book ended on such a joyful note that I am apprehensive about the next one. However, I will be getting the next (last?) one. I am interested in what kind of part Owen will play in the next one, how far into the future it will be since he has his own grove and is separate from Atticus.
Luke Daniels is amazing. Just amazing. I could listen to him read the phone book, a fast food drive up menu, anything. The best choice of narrator for this series. Luke Daniels is one of the reasons that I listen to audiobooks. There are just some narrators that take great books and elevate them and he is one of them.
I have always loved reading, helping people to find a passion for these amazing books lead me to work in a local bookstore.
This installment spends most of its time dealing with Gronuail's daddy issues and not in an interesting way. I would have preferred to have the story advanced further. It is difficult to understand why a life or death issue would take a backseat to dealing with her father. If you have read the books this far you will likely enjoy the book but it is disappointing to sit through the multiple characters for such little pay off.
Best: Oberon is still funny. Brighid lighting up the Asgardians. Least: Granuaile (sp) - just got on my nerves - and all the preaching - I think she has become the author's mouthpiece but if you can't get your political beliefs across without resorting to preaching, then I think you've failed in your story.
Stop the preaching. Focus more on Atticus. By the end of the book, I didn't like him. I didn't like Granuaile (sp) And the story just didn't seem as good as some of the previous ones in the series.
I'll probably get the next and last Iron Druid novel when it comes out. But I doubt I read any more Kevin Hearne beyond that.
Even Luke Daniels - who is one of my favorite narrators seemed off this time. Like they didnt' have enough time to prepare and rehearse. There were a few instances where he would start a sentence in one voice and then switch, like he realized someone else was talking and there wasn't time to go back and fix it. Also, I learned on Good Reads that the author actually put the first three chapters to this book in a short story collection which is why Staked seems to pick up in the middle of the action which irritated me a little bit.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read the book, you may see spoilers below.
I've been a fan of the Iron Druid since the beginning, and enjoyed the growing relationship between Atticus and Granuaile; I've always been a fan of Granuaile. Until this book. I've now lost 85% of my respect for her. Instead of the level-headed, intelligent, and capable character I've known and loved, in the last half of the book she turns into an emo whiner with daddy issues letting emotion trump rational thought. I was very disappointed. If/when I listen to the book again, there will be entire chapters that I'll skip.
Luke Daniels does another outstanding job of narration, bringing each character alive. His ability to handle all of the foreign names and phrases are amazing.
I'm glad I listened to the book, but it is on the bottom of the list of my favorites in the series. Three stars for the story.
Granuaile's devolution into an eco-terrorist has nearly ruined these books for me. I dread her chapters. I want to enjoy Atticus and Oberon doing adventurous things and making me laugh. I enjoy Owen chapters and think he's a fun character. Granuaile just annoys me to no end. She's just no fun to read, and since more and more of the books are following her boring, and now terrorist storyline I'm enjoying them less and less. I'm kinda glad it's almost over.
I am a lover of fantasy novels with exciting action, complex plots, and unforgettable characters.
I know the Iron Druid fan base is going to shoot me down for this review, but I didn't like this book that much. It was a decent novel, and that's about it. Now don't get me wrong it is better than the last two books Shattered and Hunted, but it just doesn't live up to the first few books.
Ok if you are looking for an entertaining read that is all action and witty banter than this is your book. However, at this point in the series I am looking for a little more. I found out last year that this series was going to finish out at nine books. If you would have asked me how many books were going to be written in this series after I finished this one, I would have easily said at least three if not more. There isn't really a hint that Hearne is trying to wrap up this series for the most part. Sure there are a couple of important plot lines wrapped up at the end of the book, but the main plot doesn't seem to move that much to me.
Also, I can't believe he is introducing more characters to the story, which don't seem all that important to me. As many people have already mentioned they don't like the multi character storylines. I disagree with that opinion somewhat because I don't think the changes are that jarring, although it is a bit strange the order he puts the chapters in. The fact that the numbers of chapters for each character are not equal is also interesting. I like Owen as a character view point, he is funny and I think his character is decently developed. However, I really dislike Granuaile as a character, she comes off whiny and somewhat selfish in my mind. Also, she doesn't really fit the comedic vein this story is trying to accomplish. She feels like a character Mr. Hearne tried to hard to make, and everything is over done.
Despite the flaws in this story and the lack of plot movement there is still a lot of the charm that previous books had. Atticus and Oberon are still hilarious together. Owen provides a different kind of humor that is rather refreshing. The action is still highly entertaining, although there seems to be focus around the druids being injured in this book, which there wasn't before. Finally, I enjoyed Luke Daniels narration, his variety of voices was highly entertaining, but his accents tended to get a bit over the top on occasion. If the next novel is indeed the last in the series, I will probably read it just for closure if anything, but overall this book was a decent read.
I listen to many audiobooks and review the ones I find most notable.
Obviously, this is probably not the first you've heard of the Iron Druid Chronicles. If it is, do not start here. Start with the first book in the series, Hunted. This book was great. I am not sure why other people are complaining about multiple points of view. Many books have multiple points of view. And this one was very well done. Luke Daniels makes it completely clear who is speaking. There is no confusion. It allows for a depth in the story that would not be possible from only one point of view. Owen is freaking hilarious. I can not imagine why anyone would complain about this edition. Granuaile is again the weakest link in the series. Her personality falls a little flat for me. I don't really feel her growth or depth. But this is just one girl's opinion. I am still very invested in all the characters and the story line. Sometimes, when a series has many books I will eventually lose interest. Not so with this series. It is well worth the time investment. Lots of action and feels. Loved it.
Luke Daniel is, as always, amazing. Choose anything he narrates and it's a win.
Performance was awesome as always!
The storyline was very good, although a bit too quick of an ending... 100mph to a dead stop it seemed.
I can appreciate that a Druid is "earth" conscious, but the "save the earth" "tree hugging" message was laid on way to thick in this book. Made me really start to hate Granuaile in this book. I'm not against renewables, but they portrayed the entire non renewable industry and those tied to it as tyrants and evil.
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