Audiobook Review: Shattered by Kevin Hearne

Posted September 15, 2014 by Carmel in Audiobook Reviews, Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 103 Comments

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
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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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.

Cliffhangar Snarky Infuriating

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.

The Iron Druid Chronicles

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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103 responses to “Audiobook Review: Shattered by Kevin Hearne

    • The first installment is still my fav, but there were several other installments that were also 5-star listens for me, so it’s definitely worth your while to continue it.

    • Really? I’m surprised because I thought he was such a welcomed addition, as opposed to Granuaile. Then again, I’m Irish, so I immediately liked his brand of humour. I’m kinda hoping that G sets off on her own, and become less of a presence in this series.

  1. Sorry this didn’t live up to the others but with a series already this long, I guess it is bound to happen although one never wishes for it to.
    I started all the prequels for this and then never made it to the first book. I know there are a ton of fans out there so I really should pick it up soon and actually start the series.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Winterspell by Claire Legrand

    • Like I said, this was the first installment that really fell short, so 6/7 isn’t a bad track record IMO. You really should make time for Hounded; the novellas are fun, but book 1 is awesome!

  2. Sorry to hear it wasn’t as good as the others. I’ve only listened to one audio book and I just couldn’t get into it. I’d rather read it than listen to it. The one voice doing all the characters was distracting to me since while I read, I usually hear separate voices for each character.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Happy Raturday!

    • My guy is a huge fan of this series, but can’t stand the audios either, then again, he doesn’t listen to ANY books, so I assumed that it was just him. LOL

    • My complaints seem to be common among reviewers, so I’m hoping that Hearne will take that feedback into consideration when he starts writing the next one.

  3. Mary from BookSwarm  

    YES! I read the books because I love Atticus and Oberon. All other characters are secondary and I sure as sh*t don’t want their POVs. Give them their own novellas or spin-off series if you want to do that. I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope he goes back to the way the stories were rather than continuing down this path. Not that I won’t read them but I’ll skim over the other parts.
    And, yeah, Owen is SUCH a dick. Which is hilarious (but I don’t want so much of his POV. Too much of a good thing is too much.). /rant
    Mary recently posted…Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Gifted Dead by Jenna Black

    • I agree that Owen’s POV is probably better in small doses, but Granuaile’s just plain sucks. Ditch the girl already Atticus! You already have a fabulous dog; what more could a guy possibly need? Oh yeah, sex. LOL

  4. Well that’s really too bad Carmel! It seems like the author maybe felt added pressure since this installment was being released in hardback, and he ratcheted everything up to the detriment of the real heart of this story and its characters. Hopefully the next book sees a return to Atticus and Oberon and everything that worked so well in the previous books:)

  5. i’m not that far in the series which i read in paperback ( still no audiobook for me^^;; )in fact i’m quite behind i have read one or two? and i know i have one or two in my tbr but that’s all.
    So far i enjoyed what i read but i do wonder if the novellas wouldn’t be needed to enjoy it further and sadly they are not free nor in pdf so i’m waiting^^;;

    granuailel isn’t my favourite character so far so i would eprhaps relate to you when i reach this book ( safe if on paper it’s less boring)
    miki recently posted…Witch Song ( tome1) par Amber Argyle

    • I didn’t mind Granuaile as much in the early days when she was a secondary character, but now that she’s getting her own chapters she needs to go. I thought a strong female protagonist would be a great addition to this series—apparently not.

    • I hear ya! I tried to read the Game of Thrones books cuz he’s really into them, but they are just so darned long, and wordy. I gave up after two installments. At least we’ll always have The Iron Druid Chronicles. Hehe

  6. Mogsy from BiblioSanctum  

    You’ve read wayyyyyy past me when it comes to this series. I’ve certainly enjoyed what I read, but I can also only take Atticus in small doses. I was so drawn to the 2000 year old druid thing, and so the frat boy image he’s got going is such a turn off! I think the audiobooks will go over better with me though.
    Mogsy recently posted…Panels: 28 Days, Later Vol 6: Homecoming

    • He left the frat boy identity behind 3-4 books ago, so you should really give this series another go if that was your main issue with it. Mind you, Atticus is still a smart ass…

    • This installment didn’t rock my world, but I’m still holding out hope that the next one will. If Hearne misses the mark again, then I may consider dropping it.

    • This one was a jumbled mess, so many things went wrong in such a big way. Fingers crossed that this isn’t the beginning of the end for The Iron Druid Chronicles.

  7. The last couple book’s ratings have scared me a little bit. I agree, too many different points of view can be challenging for the listener as well as for the narrator. Until know I haven’t yet listened to anything that has left me disappointed by Luke Daniels, but I haven’t yet listened to last few books in this series and I’m completely aware of that even the best and most experienced narrator can get a character’s interpretation totally wrong 🙁
    Thanks Carmel, I get you 🙂
    Lupdilup recently posted…Fairy Tale Magic Giveaway Hop

    • I’ve been enjoying this series up until this point, and like I said in my review, I’m not sure if Luke Daniels was to blame, Granuaile, or maybe a little of both. Book 8 will be telling.

    • You have nothing to be nervous about! I loved the first 6 books, well Hammered a little less so… but still! At least give Hounded a whirl, you owe yourself that much. 😀

  8. Nice review. I read the first couple of these then stopped because I wasn’t a fan of how the women were written. I find myself buying used copies of these books though in the hopes that I’ll read it and like it more…whenever I get a moment. Looks like audio isn’t the way to go though either.
    Jessica Cooley recently posted…Subtly and book lists

    • Writing a female character’s POV has to be challenging for a male author; maybe Hearne should pick a few girls’ brains before writing the next installment. LOL

    • Owen is hilarious on Twitter! I follow him, Oberon, Atticus, and of course Hearne. I don’t know it Granuaile has an account, but even if she does, I wouldn’t want her tweets clogging up my feed.

  9. Oh no! I love this series and I have listened to all but the first one on audio. I adore Luke Daniels. I am so disappointed that this one fails on so many levels. I will still listen to it, but I will do so with caution. I am hoping like you, though that we get back to more simple adventures.
    Heidi recently posted…Audiobook Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

    • I listened to this one in June when it first came out, but put off writing my review until now because I was just so torn about it. I hate giving one of my fav series 3.5 stars. 🙁

  10. Audiobooks are always such a hit and miss for me, that I usually avoid them after a few bad experiences…
    This series sounds quite interesting after all and the mention of a snarky druid and an Irish wolfhound? I’m quite sold on them! Hopefully the whole mess of too many plot lines thrown together will be just a question only of this book. Seems that I do have a bunch of interesting books to read!
    Thank you for putting this one on my radar, Carmel!
    Pili recently posted…Mark This Book Monday: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas!!!!

    • I can’t do long audios; 20-ish hours is my max, and even that’s pushing it. I prefer 10. I tune out if it’s any longer than that, and forget what I already listened to. I learned my lesson after two BDB books.

    • In previous books Granuaile’s POV was minimal, so I never realized how much I disliked her character until this installment. Is it too much to hope for that she’ll get off-ed soon? 😉

  11. I don’t know how you do it Carmel but I just can’t get into audio books. The fact that there was one POV you didn’t complete love is annoying, I hate when that happens. I also just want to go ahead and skip their bit but become to lazy and end up dragging my reading experience on and on with th ebook *sigh*! Great reveiw though!
    Lily recently posted…Before You (Before &After #1):Review

    • It took a while for me to get used to them, but I wouldn’t be able to squeeze in nearly as many books a year without ’em. They are a lifesaver for people peeps!

  12. I agree with you that Luke Daniels is brilliant, Carmel, so if he wasn’t able to save this, no one else would be either. I actually gave up on the series maybe two books back even thoguh I adored it at first. But the endless lectures bothered me, and I didn’t much care for the direction it all took.

    • That was my original thought, but having never read any of these books, I couldn’t be 100% certain. You didn’t miss much from this latest installment (obviously!).

  13. I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks but I assume the narrator plays a large part in the book’s enjoyability. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t listen to them, because I don’t want my liking of a book to be swayed by a narrator. I also really dislike it when the author decides to change the writing style halfway through a series. I can totally understand why you’d be annoyed by that character Carmel! Wonderful review xx
    Joy recently posted…ARC Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

    • I understand your thoughts on not wanting to be swayed by a narrator, but sometimes they make the experience SO much better. My internal voice just can’t compare! Fingers crossed that this didn’t indicate a permanent change in Hearne’s writing style.

    • I totally get where you are coming from. It took me MONTHS to review this one because I was just so torn, and while I was listening to it I kept finding ‘excuses’ to read something else. LOL

    • Loki is hard to resist, but unfortunately most of his scenes involved Granuaile which kind of took away from his awesomeness. If the next one tanks too, I’ll be horribly disappointed.

  14. I’ve only read Hounded so my feelings about Granuaille are pretty much non-existent. She’s kind of a non-entity in that book, beyond being attractive and about to become Atticus’s student. Honestly, even from my admittedly brief encounter with her she seemed a bit boring. But I’m not too discouraged – it’s going to be a loooooooong time before I make it all the way to book 7 in this series!
    Danya recently posted…ARC Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

  15. Wow it’s already book 7? I’m so behind. I bought book 1 once upon a time and it’s still where I left it. One day I’ll really have to get into the story and try it because everyone is liking it.

    • It’s funny how quickly the installments can add up when you’re not paying attention. Unfortunately it’s impossible to stay up to date on every series.

    • I agree, and I think that that was partially my problem. This series went from 1 POV (+ Oberon), to 2, to 3 (+ Orlaith). It made me long for the good ol’ days.

  16. He lost me at book 3: it got way too complicated and I missed the character and dialogue focus. Books one and two were great for me, though. I still can’t do audio – I just love the voices in my head. Oh, and the character’s voices,too 😛
    Lorelle Page recently posted…Too anxious to succeed?

    • I’m a sucker for world-building and lore, so I don’t mind the details overly much, but I hear ya on the character/dialogue aspects. Haha! Thanks for clarifying about the voices. 😉

  17. Aly P

    This was on my list to listen to after I finished with the audiobook I started now. I’m not so sure any more… I haven’t liked G’s POV in the last book and now more?! I don’t know what to do :))
    PS: Love the review and congrats on convincing your man to read the series 😀

      • Aly P

        Damn! If it were a paperback I could have skimed through… no such luck here *sigh*
        Keep them coming, the reviews 🙂

    • I hate to break it to ya, but the romance in this series is practically non-existent. There is the occasional sex scene, however they happen off page. So, if that aspect is a MUST, then you might want to reconsider continuing.