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.
Audible Audio, 12 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Random House Audio
Four stars: Another exciting installment, but beware it is complicated.
Atticus finds himself on the run, trying to stake the vampires or be staked. He is still trying to snuff out Theophilus, the vampire responsible for wiping out the Druids two thousand years ago. Needless to say, he has a daunting task ahead of him. Meanwhile, Granuaile is on her own mission, she must get the mark of Loki wiped off her skin once and for all, and find away to cloak herself, which means calling on the coven of witches who once helped Atticus back in Arizona. Let's not forget about Owen, Atticus' former Arch Druid, who is nestled in Flagstaff, Arizona with Greta. Owen is given an exciting new opportunity, but before he can get started on his new endeavor trouble strikes. Will the three Druids live to see another day, or be wiped out once and for all by the vampires?
What I Liked:
- Whew! This is now the eighth installment of The Iron Druid Chronicles, one of my all time favorite series. There was much to love about this book, but there were also areas in which I struggled. Still by the end, I was satisfied with the conclusion and pleased that the series seems to be moving in an all new direction. I will be most eager to see what is next for the gang.
- This book incorporates three points of view. First, you have Atticus. Atticus is on a quest to destroy the vampires once and for all. His path leads him in several unexpected directions, and I enjoyed seeing him reconnect with some characters from the past such as The Hammers of God and The Dark Elves, not to mention an encounter with Leif. Even though I am not a fan of Atticus' revenge plots, I enjoyed the adventure. Granuaile is striking out on her own, and I liked that she is setting goals for herself and becoming independent. She has her own thrilling adventure that involves Perun, The Thunder God, and a War Horse. I love that she wants to rid the world of fossil energy. Finally, Owen the old Arch Druid. I am now a big fan of Owen. I love watching the old guy try and navigate through our modern world. He makes me laugh. Love him! The dogs are back as well, and you know it wouldn't be an Iron Druid book without Oberon and his love of meat products.
- The plot is thick and complicated. Each of the three characters is on their own quest, and so they all have their own story lines. Many of the story lines, especially Atticus', pick up on conflicts from the previous books. There is so much to keep track of, but believe it or not, it all comes together in the end. I was pleased to see that so many open story lines from the series were drawn to a close at the end of this one. It felt like the series was concluding old conflicts in order to prepare for a new direction. I am hoping that the future will bring us an Atticus that is not focused on revenge. Yeah for the move to Oregon!
- This book has a lot of action and danger. If you are a fan of the battle scenes, you won't be disappointed. This one hardly lets up, and there is rarely a moment to catch your breath. It was one thrilling battle after another, leading up to an epic finale.
- As always, there are plenty of moments of snark and hilarity that made me snicker. I love the humor in this series.
- I continue to listen to and love this series on audiobook. Luke Daniels is without a doubt one of my all time favorite narrators. His voices are fantastic. His accents are spot on. I actually tried to read a chapter or two of the print book, and I wasn't able to as I needed Luke to pronounce everything correctly for me. If you are going to tackle this series, I can't recommend the audiobooks enough.
And The Not So Much:
- I used to love Atticus, but I have to admit, I have struggled with him through the last few books. Starting especially with Hunted. Atticus has been completely focused on revenge and killing, and he doesn't care who he has to go through to achieve his goals. I am hopeful that things are changing for Atticus after this book. There were several times when he stopped to reflect on his behavior, and I can only hope it is a sign that we will see a new and improved Atticus. Hopefully with Granuaile's influence, he will be a kinder and gentler Druid.
- As I mentioned, there are three view points, and I found myself struggling a bit early on with the shift. I think I wasn't as invested in Graunuaile's adventures.
- The plot of this one is complicated as it draws on many of the story lines from the previous books. You can't go into this one without having read the others or you will be lost, and even I struggled having read all the books as it has been at least a year in between books and it was hard to keep track of everything. I honestly thought that this one was a bit too much at times, and I found myself longing for the simplicity of the earlier books. I am hoping that with many of the story threads concluded, that future books will be a little less complex and that they will get back to the roots of the series.
Staked was another exciting and entertaining read. This book has a lot going on as there are numerous story lines and three view points. After the dust settles, things appear to be changing for the series. I am hoping for less revenge and more simplicity in the next book. Still, I have a soft spot for Atticus and the gang, and I will continue to read this series. If you are a fan of this series, you will like this book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.