I recently finished Shattered by Kevin Hearne, the seventh book in the Iron Druid Chronicles. This is the first book I have read of the series. Yes, I know it's the seventh; it was the only book the bookstore had. I've taken to picking up a book in the middle of a series for research on my own writing, but that's another post.
I must admit, I haven't been this torn over a book in a long time...possibly ever.
In Shattered, Atticus O'Sullivan has been the last Druid for over two-thousand years. His apprentice and girlfriend, Granuaile, has reached Druid status and in the previous book Atticus rescued his Arch Druid, Owen, from being frozen in time.
Atticus needs to catch Owen up on the last two-thousand years while also trying to find out what gods and goddesses are trying to kill him. Meanwhile, Granuaile is working to save her father, who is possessed by an evil sorcerer's spirit in India.
The premise of this book is so good. I love mythology and Druids so this book is right up my alley. The book visits several different places in the world and incorporates different pantheons, making it even more appealing to me. Even though I hadn't read any other books in the series, I was able to follow the plot. Hearne provided enough backstory when needed for me to know what was happening and why, without bogging the story down.
I also love Atticus. He's quirky, rather mouthy, confident and fun. Granuaile's character is also well done as a strong, independent woman. Probably because I picked up the latest book in the series, I wasn't sold on their relationship. They spend the majority of the book apart so I didn't find there was a strong connection between them. I found Atticus a little too dismissive when he doesn't hear from Granuaile, though I liked his confidence in her that she can handle herself.
So if I liked all the stuff, why am I so torn?
I was really into the book after the first chapter. When I started reading the second chapter, something annoyed me about how Granuaile's perspective was written. I realized it was written in present tense. Atticus's chapters are in past tense while Granuaile and Owen's chapters are in present tense. I found that super annoying, but was determined to move on.
My next major issues was the way Hearne slipped in his own likes, dislikes, and opinions into the book, like the shot at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Areas where he did this were stiff and seemed out of character, which drew me out of the story.
I've read some other reviews of this book and found that some people enjoy Atticus and Granuaile's dogs. The two Druids are able to talk to talk to the dogs, who answer them back in their minds. To me, it was over done and rather annoying at times. It does lighten the book and add some humour, but I could have done without it or at least a lot less of it.
So will I go back and read the rest of the series?
It actually hurts to think of how awesome I would have found the series if those other things had not been part of it. This easily could have been my favourite series. But once you realize something annoys you when reading, it's hard to over look it.
I decided that I love the premise and Atticus so much that I will.
Do I recommend this book?
I recommend it with caution. Everyone is different so the things that annoy me, might work for someone else. There's a lot of things I had to overlook to really enjoy the book and some people might not have the patience to do that if they have the same issues I did.