52 Books 2014: Week 41

Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles, book 7)
by Kevin Hearne
narrated by Luke Daniels
(contemporary fantasy)

(Warning: there will be spoilers in this review. I’ll keep them mild, but they will be there.)

To start: I do still enjoy this series. I’m starting to tire of the main series adversary (Loki) though, so I hope that the series arc ends soon. Either because the series ends or because the arc does. I have no problem with a new series arc beginning. That’s fine. Or the series can end and either be completed or a new series with the same world and characters can start. I’m fine with that, too. But I do want this particular series plot to end soon, because I’m ready for something new.

I had thought, initially, that this was going to be something new. I had thought that this book was going to be focused on Indian gods and demons. And about 1/3 of the book (a little less, maybe) was. And I loved getting some of the Indian lore. I’d love more time spent exploring that area. But then Loki showed up again, and the India part seemed almost an afterthought as a result. The good thing is that Loki seems to be arming up pretty heavily, so a big showdown should be coming up soon.

Now, the book plot: most of it is series-related. There are very few parts that are not tied in to the larger plot. I can’t even really separate what was the book plot vs. what was the series plot. (And to me, that means this one wasn’t plotted as well as most of the series. Since this wasn’t the series ender, it needed more of its own separate plot than it got.) There were two main conflicts, and one was precipitated by Loki while the other had been set up in prior novels. And I can’t point easily to a real resolution of either conflict. This was probably the biggest disappointment for me with this book.

And skipping ahead to the part I liked the most: Luke Daniels. As always, he does a great job of narration. I especially like the way each of the different POV characters (because that’s the biggest difference between this book and prior installments: the book is not mostly from Atticus’s POV with little bits of other voices. This one is split pretty evenly between THREE POV characters) has a different sound and feel. (To be fair, it is also written very well.) I also felt that the change in narration style was acceptable for this particular story. The book plot required our heroes to be split up quite a bit, so in order to get a first-hand account of what was going on, it made the most sense.

But this is a reinforcement for me of why it’s time to finish the series arc and move on with a new arc (or a new series). In order to continue with this new narration style, if Hearne decides to, it’s time to start a new arc / series. This is the “Iron Druid Chronicles”. Not “The Chronicles of the Iron Druid and his friends”.

(Random thought: if I had to guess, I would guess that there will be 9 books in this series, because of a mention in this book that 9 is a magical number among the Tuatha de Dannan. But of course, it’s just a guess.)

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