As with the Kady Cross novelettes last week, I had a hard time reviewing these Iron Druid novellas by Kevin Hearne as their own books. But combining them? That I can do without feeling guilty. (I did read these myself, though, rather than buying the audio book version. I couldn’t justify spending that amount on a novella any more than I could count it as a full book for a 52 Books in 52 Weeks review. Luckily the ebooks were more reasonably priced.)
Grimoire of the Lamb: Iron Druid Chronicles #0.4
This story takes place before the events in HOUNDED, which was weird. I read it well after reading that first book in the series (I think I’d read all six current Iron Druid novels at that point, but I know I’d at least read the first five.) It was very odd to go back to that point in time when Atticus was still happily pretending to be just a bookshop owner. When most of the world didn’t know there was a druid still alive. When there was no apprentice to worry about, and yet an angry Irish God of Love still looking for him. Very strange.
I did really like seeing Egypt through Atticus’s eyes and Kevin Hearne’s imagination. That was a lot of fun. And the interactions with Bast and her minion cats was highly amusing. This didn’t seem as fleshed out as the novels, though – I guess that makes sense, since it wasn’t a novel. But I’d come to expect a high level of polish from Kevin Hearne, and I just wasn’t sure it was there for this one. Maybe I had more issues with it because I was thrown by the chronological back-step for me.
Anyway, I enjoyed this, but other than the stuff with Bast, I didn’t find it to be a must-read. A nice read, but not a must-read.
Two Ravens and One Crow: Iron Druid Chronicles #4.5
I’m glad I read this novella, but I do wish I’d read it between books 4 & 5 (which is when it was set). It explained a lot of the “something happened with Odin” stuff that gets mentioned but not really discussed in TRAPPED. This one seemed to be well-planned and an important part of the series, rather than just an extra.
I liked the bits between the Morrigan and Atticus especially. It added depth to their friendship, which has been supposedly developing over the centuries but when we see them together in the main series, it’s usually the Morrigan bringing bad news to Atticus and not anything that shows much friendship.
Due to the way it was set up, there wasn’t much of Granuaile or Oberon, but given that it was a novella, I guess it was enough. What there was, was fun to read.
This novella is definitely important to read in order to get all of the details in the main series, though if you choose not to, you can skip over the details and just rely on the main series to summarize it for you. Personally, though, I think this one was much better to read than to summarize.