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Alvae96Top Contributor: Fantasy Books
5.0 out of 5 starsWRITE A REVIEW OR NO STARS FROM YOU
Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2017
Thoroughly enjoyable, well-written and well-researched books with an interesting premise. I am more than happy to give Kevin Hearne a 5 star rating in addition to purchasing everything he has published. I hope many others discover the fun adventures of The Iron Druid and a very entertaining cast of characters. However, the reader must jump through a mandatory hoop if you choose to leave a rating. Star ratings are not acceptable on their own. No, any star rating is booby-trapped with the requirement of a written review, further weighted with a minimum word count, no less! Write a review or no stars from you. This is a tad bit bit onerous for the buyer who enjoyed reading the book and respects the author enough to pause and tap some stars. The demand for written review effectively prevented me from posting the 5 star rating that might encourage others to enjoy an excellent book. This is ultimately unfair to Mr. Hearn, undoubtedly depriving him of many well-deserved 5 star ratings. Guilt eventually caught up with me, so herein lies not only my enthusiastic support of this book, but a bonus review of a misguided policy: to the Kindle folks or whoever came up with this Either/Or toll: lighten up on the needy/greedy gate keeping, already.
4.0 out of 5 starsVery good quick reads, perhaps for the beach or a flight. Not for kids.
Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2016
This review encompasses most of the series - I've read almost all of the books except a few short stories/other stories that aren't part of the individually-published books (and the series finale is due soon so obviously I haven't read that).
Hearne can write, and the stories are entertaining enough for a quick read. The books are heavily derivative of Jim Butcher's Dresden series, and there's a lot of very obvious borrowing going on (examples: the charms O'Sullivan draws on vs Harry's charged jewlery; Harry's skull Bob vs Oberon the hound), but Butcher is able to flesh out his characters a bit more over the series, while Hearne's characters remain pretty much inscrutable. Hearne doesn't give us enough character development to allow us to get a real feel for the characters' motivations. For example, the main character is a Druid and a protector of Gaia, but at the same time he could be characterized as a sociopath who would kill a person in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. Yet we don't find out why he's like that, except that the guy's been around for over 2 thousand years and so perhaps he just doesn't care about regular mortals any more.
Despite the lack of deep character development, I found these books humorous, enjoyable, and the plot moves briskly.
I also found these books to be somewhat educational - for example, several parts of the series talk about the gods of different cultures (you can see Gaiman's influence in here as well, as the gods are still around because people still worship them or remember them). However, not all bits are accurate so be sure to check them out before quoting them. One admittedly minor sentence that was wrong but that stuck out for me was a causal line about Orvis, a chain of fishing/outdoorsy stores: Mr. Hearne, you may have seen these stores in England, but Orvis isn't British, it's American: According to Wikipedia, "Charles F. Orvis opened a tackle shop in Manchester, Vermont, in 1856." Again, I'm nitpicking here and this only stuck out for me because I'm a fly-fisherman.
This series is not suitable for young children, as there are many sexual references and a lot of graphic violence.
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2013
I really enjoyed books 1&2, but this was hard to stomach. I get that Atticus needed to fulfill his promise and go to Asgard to get some magic apples - I get that. But I didn't expect to actually see it happen. This book could have been summed up in one paragraph, so that the reader could have gotten back with the happy-go-lucky 2100 year old Druid.
Instead he decides to write a detailed account of Atticus with Asgard while leaving the characters we love behind on earth, leaving us to labor through ridiculous imaginary conversations amongst Cpt. Kirk, Spock, and Attitcus. And yeah, I'm not a Trekkie, but I do have some Trek-sense. Spock would not be much into cursing. "It's just not logical."
Anyway, this book was exactly what I expected would happen: that Hearne would jump the shark. So now I feel like Padme: "Hearne, you're taking me to place that I cannot go" - a ridiculous line for a ridiculous book.
Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2021
This was a hard one to rate. Hearne's knowledge of folklore and ethnic belief systems is phenomenal. I must offer a bow to the great amount knowledge he uses in this book. I found this one exceeding difficult to stay invested in but trudged through. I understand the approach and the empathy, but too many storey lines opened up in one was not enjoyable, to me. Hearne' knowledge couldn't help me get past the " why is all this necessary ?". The. Iron Druid is moving on, but I'll be waiting a while before my sandals hit that rode.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 21, 2020
I really like the Iron Druid books, featuring Atticus, an ancient druid who looks about nineteen and runs a bookstore in Tempe Arizona. He has a quirky Irish Wolfhound called Oberon, with whom he has a telepathic link, and an apprentice Druid called Granuaile.
Anyhow, this time Atticus is in trouble after making a couple of promises in exchange for help in the previous book. Both involve trips to Asgard. The first, to retrieve a golden apple, is bad enough, and leads to unintended fatalities. The second promise, to his vampire lawyer friend, Leif, is a game changer. He's promised that he will help Leif kill the Norse god Thor. Thor, apparently is a dangerous and destructive arse, and could do with a good killing, so Atticus Leif and Gunnar the werewolf end up with a team, a Russian thunder god, a Finnish magician and a Chinese immortal, all with good reasons to want Thor dead. But you can't go up against one Norse god without going up against the whole pantheon. There's a lot of collateral damage to the denizens of Asgard and Atticus is warned twice that killing Thor will have extremely bad repercussions, but unfortunately the team members are determined to finish the job
I confess I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first two, and I was trying to work out why. Less Oberon, maybe? In places the pacing seems a little slow, and I didn't particularly connect with the new characters in the god-killing team, especially when there's a long break while everyone tells their own story. In previous books Atticus has been defending himself against beings who want him dead, maybe that's why it didn't feel quite right that this time he was going after someone (a god, no less) without a personal grudge. He knows it's not right, but he's made a promise to a friend and he's going to keep it. I presume the next book will deal with the fallout from Atticus and company's trip to Asgard.
Bit of a dogs breakfast of a story this one. The author seems determined to have every possible god appear in this tale and so you end up with a mish-mash of the numerous superstitions available. Once again we get the ideology of the American Irish being displayed with all its lack of cultural awareness. Try asking for an Irish Car Bomb in the Falls Road and see how amused the natives are at your wit. While Oberon the dog continues to work well as comic relief this is not enough to make me want to continue with the series.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2011
The third in Mr Hearne's enjoyable druid series. Atticus is the last remaining druid, 2000 years old and he looks like he is in his twenties. In an urban fantasy scenario, he deals with Gods of various types and religions and traditional creatures of the night such as witches, vampires and werewolves.
You should read the series in order (and it's worth it) but here Atticus fulfils a promise to help his vampire and Werewolf chums kill the legendary Thor. The author has a light and entertaining touch with many modern references (including Star Trek and Neil Gaiman) but the research and thought is also obvious here. Those with strong religious beliefs may be offended (Atticus has lunch with Jesus) but Hearne is very careful not to mock with his take on a world where religions and Gods co-exist and their strength is based on the level of worship (building on Gaiman's American Gods theme).
There are things unresolved here which will make you eagerly anticipate the next in the series.
5.0 out of 5 starsJust keeps getting better and better!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 26, 2016
I am absolutely loving this series. Loaded with surprises and you never quite know what's going to happen next. The main characters are continuing to develop really well and there were some great new characters in this book (Russian thunder God - awesome!). The story was bold and well written. The humour of the previous novels is still very much there despite some more serious undertones. Can't wait to read the next one.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat, a stonking tale that nails a few myths.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2015
Really enjoyed this the third outing of the Atticus saga, missed the banter between Atticus and Oberon in the second half. I finally remembered the last time I enjoyed the banter and by play of two characters as much as Atticus and Oberon, and that was Remo and Chiun from 'Created the Destroyer'. The second half of the book is a tribute to the magnificent seven, if you class a Werewolf as two. Ok off for book 4