- Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles (Book 7)
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (March 31, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345548507
- ISBN-13: 978-0345548504
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (816 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles Mass Market Paperback – March 31, 2015
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*Starred Review* The seventh book in the Iron Druid Chronicles starts with a handy summary of the story so far, allowing the uninitiated reader to jump right in. Atticus O’Sullivan is the last Druid and has survived more than 2,000 years of fighting with gods from every imaginable religious and mythological source. This particular volume is set in the modern world, but one where every pantheon of gods and demons is real—and a potential threat. Atticus has managed to train an apprentice who has now become a full-fledged Druid in her own right, and he has awoken his former teacher, an archdruid from ancient Ireland. The funny, razor-sharp wit that the author uses to bring Atticus to life, and narrate the difficulty that the archdruid has in integrating with the modern world, brings to mind the likes of Spider Robinson’s Callahan series and Gordon R. Dickson’s Dragon Knight stories. As Atticus is gearing up to fight with Loki, perhaps with the help of the archdruid, his former apprentice is off trying to save her father from a malevolent sorcerer’s spirit that has taken up residence in his body. Plenty of action, humor, and mythology keep this book fun and interesting. --Rebecca Gerber --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Shattered
“Funny, razor-sharp . . . Plenty of action, humor, and mythology keep this book fun and interesting.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Uproariously entertaining in a way that [Kevin] Hearne is uniquely able to achieve . . . [Shattered] has the feeling of a new beginning for its hero and for the series.”—RT Book Reviews
“This series just gets bigger and better, and Shattered shows no signs of it slowing down.”—Vampire Book Club
“Well and truly awesome.”—Fangs for the Fantasy
“So much fun to read!”—Hidden in Pages
“[With] clever writing and engrossing story-telling, it’s impossible not to get completely absorbed into the world Kevin [Hearne] has created.”—Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
Praise for Kevin Hearne and The Iron Druid Chronicles
“Clever, fast paced and a good escape.”—Jason Weisberger, Boing Boing
“[Kevin] Hearne is a terrific storyteller with a great snarky wit. . . . Neil Gaiman’s American Gods meets Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden.”—SFFWorld
“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 Tempest
“[Atticus is] a strong modern hero with a long history and the wit to survive in the twenty-first century. . . . A snappy narrative voice.”—Library Journal, on Hounded
“Outrageously fun.”—The Plain Dealer, on Hounded
“Superb . . . plenty of quips and zap-pow-bang fighting.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Hounded
“An exciting mix of comedy, action, and mythology . . . [Atticus] is one of the best main characters currently present in the urban fantasy genre.”—Fantasy Book Critic, on Tricked
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It feels as though the entire novel was background material for a real novel. Instead of building up with character development the epiphany of a major character which should have been the most emotionally engaging point of the novel was a rushed, dry, two dimensional blurb buried in an action sequence ... when the blow by blow account of a battle is more engaging than a major inflection point in the emotional character development of the most important character of the series ... well underwhelming is the nicest way I can put it.
For another authour I would have given this three stars but given that this authour has spent six books showing that he can do so much better I was actually tempted to give it one star. Partly because it falls so far short of the six previous books and partly because it is uneven and two dimensional it was a real effort to finish and in the end it didn't feel as though the effort paid off.
The only way this book is worth reading is if it sets up the next book and the writing in the next book shows the quality that made me buy this one without thinking. Even if, or maybe especially if, the next book is good I suggest skipping this one and just read the prelude or a plot summary online. That way you can enjoy his writing and the characters will not lose their grip on your imagination while you slog through book 7.
First of all, the pace is toned down a bit from the previous book (which was a nonstop run-for-your-life kind of novel). There was still action and there were a lot of good fights in this one, but there were some of the scenes of everyday life that I've come to enjoy in this series, as well.
We have a new character in this book, Owen Kennedy, who was Atticus's (the "Iron Druid" of the title) archdruid many (many) years ago. His introduction to the modern age is a highlight of the book for me (well, it's more a series of smaller events). Owen is one of the three viewpoint characters and one of his chapters has one of the funniest paragraphs I've read in a book in a long time (it's the one about getting a pet monkey instead of a dog and I'll say no more -- except that someone who had not read any of these books, when shown only that paragraph, also laughed).
Atticus gets Owen settled (kind of) and then goes off on a quest to find who is sending various divinities after him and why. He does get his answer, and it ties back into something that happened in the very early books of the series. I like his interactions with various deities; we are introduced to some belief systems (including Shinto) that haven't appeared in previous volumes.
And Granuaile is off to solve a mystery of her own: the disappearance of her father on an archaeological dig in India. This ends up tying in nicely to the overall story arc, plus I like that Granuaile is considered *able* to go off on her own -- she doesn't need protection from a man. She has been trained and bound to the Earth as a Druid and is considered fully capable. In Granuaile's storyline, we are introduced to some of the Hindu pantheon, as well.
At any rate, I think all the main characters' sections are interesting and do a reasonably good job of balancing the current quest along with advancing the overall story arc.
This book is a little unique among volumes in this series in that it has a theme outside of all the plot events, that of coping with loss. In the previous volume, the Morrigan died and Atticus and others are coping with that. Owen comes back to realize that everyone he knew (except Atticus) is long dead. Granuaile deals with issues involving both her parents. Even Orlaith, Granuaile's dog, has a little bit to say on the matter. And Greta the werewolf also has some comments about loss. It's interesting that this all came to a head at once. And each character deals with it in his or her own way. (Owen has some downright sensible words on the subject.) It's not just loss of relationships, but the consequences of making a choice (say, to become a werewolf or Druid) that is discussed. But it's well-integrated into the story and not at all preachy.
Worldbuilding is consistent with previous volumes in the series, as is writing style. The series' characteristic humor is present, and of course Atticus's dog Oberon has a lot of interjections for comic relief. If you liked these elements before, you'll like them again. They don't radically change.
The only aspect I wasn't totally sold on was the alternation in viewpoints. Each of the main characters had a number of POV chapters. I didn't monitor these to see who got the most page time. I didn't think the split was too uneven. And I didn't hate any of the viewpoints; I actually found them all interesting (wanted to read everything, didn't want to skip to new sections of the story). The problem I had was that it was often hard to tell which character's head we were in, when a new scene opened. All of them were in first-person POV, which is fine, but it was jarring to think I was reading something from Granuaile only to realize it was Owen, for example. It wasn't always easy to tell from the context of the first few lines.
I liked the conclusion as well. There were some surprises, some things I did not expect. But they didn't come out of nowhere -- their foundations were well-laid in this and previous volumes. Overall, though, this was a fun book and I can't wait for the next one. 4.5 stars.
That being said, it's a really fun series, and I love the polytheology of it; if you like books like "American Gods", you may enjoy this. Other books have had wider pantheons making appearances, but I appreciate the integration of them.
The plot is tighter than the past couple have been; mostly the Norse thread is lying in wait, so that other ends get tied up. While aspects were unexpected, they worked.
Also, we now have 3 Druids, and the archdruid's exposure to modern life- when he was put in a time warp 2000+ years ago- is amusing, though he finds his feet pretty quickly.
There's plenty of plot left to go, and ends to be tied up, so I'm looking forward to #8.
Person warns main character: Someone is coming to kill you!
Main character: I will not run.
Person: They're coming!
Main: I will not run.
Villain of some type: We are here to kill you before the one who comes to kill you!
Main: I beat you!
Main character beats the one who wanted to kill him.
Every. single. book. After the first three, I started skimming. There's a LOT of exposition and traveling and description of the traveling. I like the dog Oberon, but otherwise, all the characters start sounding the same. I could post a quote from a character, and nobody would know who said it. Definitely not a book series I'll read again, but I'll finish reading the series.