My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In previous reviews I have raved about Kevin Hearne possibly being “the next Jim Butcher.” I like his style of writing and Atticus, his Iron Druid, is such a well-fleshed, dynamic character. This is book 7 in the series. Unfortunately, this one was a disappointment for me.
The story is good and the plot is interesting. I can never complain that Hearne’s books are dull or “plods.” They aren’t. Usually they are fast, action-driven, and keep me riveted.
This tale, though original, flipped POVs among three characters. I am used to such writer devices (Game of Thrones anyone?), but these character voices were not divergent enough for me and it was sometimes difficult to distinguish who was speaking. The tone remained the same between the female character and another male character and I began to dislike the tone and style by mid-book. The female sounds very much male. This is one trick often troubling male writers.
Additionally, as much as I love Atticus’ dog Oberon (who is the best comic relief character EVER), this tale includes heavy “thinking” dialogue of the newest druid Granuaile’s wolfhound, Orlaith. Unfortunately much of the story revolves around Granuaile and Orlaith and Orlaith is not as smart or funny as Oberon given that she is learning language. It makes for many stilted and not-as-funny moments. Very staccato writing.
Overall the book is all classic Hearne but, unlike many others reviewers, I do not like the flipping of POVs and felt it distracted from the story. I know it was done to give us insight into Atticus’ rescued archdruid and now there are three druids in the world. I understand the insights of druidic workings that the diverse viewpoints allowed us, but for me, it was herky-jerky and too distracting. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the other Hearne volumes. I hope he returns to his normal style in the next installment. And I will certainly be there for the next book because I trust Hearne to deliver.
Despite my dislike this time, I would recommend this series to anyone! He still may be the next Jim Butcher and in my mind, there is no higher compliment to give.