Audiobook Review: Shattered by Kevin Hearne
Shattered by Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #7
Published by Random House Audio
Published on: June 17, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 11 hrs & 35 mins
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Acclaimed author Kevin Hearne makes his hardcover debut with the new novel in his epic urban fantasy series starring the unforgettable Atticus O’Sullivan.
For nearly two thousand years, only one Druid has walked the Earth—Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword have kept him alive as he’s been pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he’s got company.
Atticus’s apprentice Granuaile is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy.
And Owen has some catching up to do.
Atticus takes pleasure in the role reversal, as the student is now the teacher. Between busting Atticus’s chops and trying to fathom a cell phone, Owen must also learn English. For Atticus, the jury’s still out on whether the wily old coot will be an asset in the epic battle with Norse god Loki—or merely a pain in the arse.
But Atticus isn’t the only one with daddy issues. Granuaile faces a great challenge: to exorcise a sorcerer’s spirit that is possessing her father in India. Even with the help of the witch Laksha, Granuaile may be facing a crushing defeat.
As the trio of Druids deals with pestilence-spreading demons, bacon-loving yeti, fierce flying foxes, and frenzied Fae, they’re hoping that this time, three’s a charm.
All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately this seventh installment in Kevin Hearne’s THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES terminated its 4/5 star reign for this reviewer. It seemed as though the author tried to go all out for his hardcover debut by incorporating multiple POVs, countless gods, several mythologies, and way too many plot lines which caused the story to lack focus, and to feel somewhat disjointed. I really enjoyed what Owen and Orlaith brought to the table, but the lack of Atticus/Oberon moments, and the overabundance of Granuaile ones made it impossible for even Luke Daniels’ superb narration to save. The Tuatha De Danann story arc has finally come full circle, so one can only hope that the next novel will be a return to a simpler time when these audiobooks were about an outspoken druid, and his quirky Irish wolfhound.
This is the only Urban Fantasy series that I’ve succeeded in convincing my guy to read, and he actually devoured this one twice because we were travelling at the time. Anyway, on his second pass he admitted to having skipped over all of Granuaile’s chapters, and they were my main issue with this listen as well. I’m not sure whether Hearne was overcompensating because she’s his first female POV, if her character was just over-ecstatic about being a new druid, or if Daniels’ breathy narration got on my last nerve—probably a combination of the three—but I absolutely HATED her in SHATTERED! She came off as such a hippy-ish worry wart that hitting play became a real challenge for me because I just wanted this audio to be over; she single-handedly turned one of my favourite stories into a horribly painful experience. It took me a full week to finish this book compared to my usual 1-2 day norm.
I adored Owen, he’s cranky and a bit of a dick, and quite frankly I loved him for it. He was the complete opposite of Granuaile, and boy did I need that! I enjoyed Orlaith’s simplistic speech, and of course Atticus & Oberon are long time favourites of mine, although I wish they’d played larger roles instead of the equal three-way split. All of the previous installments in this series have focused on one specific lore while as this one had a bit of everything which led to a lot of nothing. The plot threads were difficult to follow, and felt like separate stories haphazardly smushed together in a vain attempt to make one congruent tale. I did not care for this new format; it was a far cry from Hearne’s typically smooth flowing writing style. The author’s trademark humour was also severely lacking because Granuaile simply is NOT funny.
I have yet to actually read an IRON DRUID book because I am a huge fan of Luke Daniels’ narration; however I strongly considered switching to hard copy in the middle of this one to see if Granuaile’s POV would annoy me less on paper. Again, I’m not sure if it was his actual performance or just that specific character, but listening to Miss MacTiernan’s chapters was downright unpleasant. That being said, I enjoyed Daniels’ gruff portrayal of Owen, he did a fab job of bringing this old Irishman to life, and I really liked his Mexican accent when he stepped into Jesús’ shoes.
SHATTERED was good, but not my favourite, and if this series continues this format I may have to stop pre-ordering these audiobooks.
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