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review 2019-03-06 09:09
Lauf, Atticus, lauf!
Hunted - Kevin Hearne

„Hunted“ ist in der Benennung der Reihe „The Iron Druid Chronicles“ von Kevin Hearne ein kleiner Hickser. Die Titel der ersten drei Bände enthalten alle den Anfangsbuchstaben „H“ („Hounded“, „Hexed“ und „Hammered“), Band vier und fünf das „T“ („Tricked“ und „Trapped“) und die letzten drei Bände das „S“ („Shattered“, Staked und „Scourged“). Der Symmetrie zuliebe hätte der sechste Band eigentlich ebenfalls einen Titel mit einem „T“ tragen müssen. Tatsächlich sollte er ursprünglich „Tracked“ heißen. Letztendlich entschieden Hearne und sein Verlag jedoch, dass „Hunted“ die inhaltlichen Entwicklungen besser widerspiegelte, da „to track“ eben nicht nur „jemanden verfolgen“ bedeutet, sondern auch „jemanden beobachten/überwachen“. Ein nachvollziehbarer Einwand, denn was in „Hunted“ passiert, ist definitiv keine Überwachung. Es ist eine Jagd.

 

Atticus, Granuaile und Oberon sind auf der Flucht. Atticus‘ Entscheidung, den Gott Bacchus aus dem Verkehr zu ziehen, kam im griechisch-römischen Pantheon nicht gut an. Jetzt sind ihnen gleich zwei Jagdgöttinnen auf den Fersen: Artemis und Diana. Atticus würde gerne einfach in Tír na nÓg Däumchen drehen, bis sie sich beruhigt haben, aber das ist nicht möglich. Die Portale zur irischen Ebene wurden blockiert. Stinkt nach einer Verschwörung. Ohne die Hilfe der Morrigan, die ihnen einen Vorsprung verschaffte, wären sie niemals entkommen. Sie riet ihm, sich quer über Europa bis zum englischen Windsor Forest durchzuschlagen, das Hoheitsgebiet von Herne dem Jäger. Es ist ihr letztes Geschenk an ihn. Atticus, Granuaile und Oberon nehmen die Beine in die Hand. Doch die wilde Jagd ist nicht ihr einziges Problem. Ragnarök rückt näher. Atticus muss all seine grauen Zellen anstrengen, will er die Griechen und Römer austricksen, bevor Loki das Universum in Brand steckt. Irgendwelche Vorschläge?

 

Verrückt. Obwohl ich nach der Lektüre des letzten Bandes „Trapped“ bemängelte, dass mich Atticus‘ ständiger Krisentango nervt und ich mir lautstark Abwechslung wünschte, gefiel mir „Hunted“ erstaunlich gut. Trotz des Jagdmotivs. Oder gerade deswegen. Die aufregende Flucht vor den griechisch-römischen Göttinnen der Jagd ist die eine große Baustelle des sechsten Bandes der „Iron Druid Chronicles“. Natürlich ist die drohende Apokalypse in Form von Ragnarök weiterhin präsent – Loki und Hel lassen sich schwer ignorieren – und Atticus vermutet, dass ihm irgendjemand in Tír na nÓg bösgewillt ist, weil niemand unbemerkt die Portale dorthin schließen kann, aber hauptsächlich läuft er um sein Leben. Dadurch wirkte „Hunted“ wesentlich fokussierter als „Trapped“, denn Atticus hat schlicht keine Zeit, die vielen kleineren Brände zu löschen, die er sich im Verlauf der Reihe einbrockte. Artemis und Diana sind furchteinflößende Gegnerinnen, die seine gesamte Aufmerksamkeit und all seine geistige Beweglichkeit einfordern. Im Grunde sind sie unsterblich. Sie sind zwar verwundbar und können vorübergehend besiegt werden, doch kaum ist man sie los, erstehen sie der Mythologie entsprechend schon wieder auf. Ich fühlte mich während der Lektüre oft hoffnungslos und zweifelte mehrfach daran, dass Atticus, Granuaile und Oberon sie überlisten können. Mir unterlief der Fehler, Atticus‘ Intelligenz zu unterschätzen. Durch seine witzigen Sprüche und seine lässige Persönlichkeit vergaß ich, wie clever er ist. Er ist ein Fuchs. Ich wäre niemals darauf gekommen, dass hinter seinem Zwist mit dem griechisch-römischen Pantheon eine größere Verschwörung stecken könnte und war verblüfft, was er sich alles einfallen lässt, um Artemis und Diana kaltzustellen. Er konnte einige der Sympathiepunkte, die er im letzten Band einbüßte, wieder wettmachen. Ein entscheidender Faktor dafür war eine gesteigerte emotionale Verbindlichkeit, die ich als echten Fortschritt empfand. In den letzten Bänden fehlte mir Atticus‘ Bewusstsein für den Schaden, den er (unabsichtlich) anrichtete. In „Hunted“ hatte ich das Gefühl, dass er sich den Konsequenzen seines Handelns erstmals stellt. Das betraf nicht nur Ragnarök, sondern auch seine Beziehung zur Morrigan. Ihr Opfer erschüttert ihn. Natürlich erhält er auf seiner Flucht durch Europa kaum Gelegenheit, sich mit seinen Gefühlen für sie auseinander zu setzen, aber Kevin Hearne vermittelt einen klaren Eindruck dessen, was er empfindet. Das gefiel mir, ebenso wie die überraschenden Kapitel aus Granuailes Ich-Perspektive, die mein positives Bild von ihr bestätigten. Hearne gelang der Stimmenunterschied zwischen ihr und Atticus, er sollte ihn allerdings noch verfeinern. Die ehrlichen Einblicke in das Innenleben der beiden entschädigten mich beinahe für die mittelmäßige Umsetzung der Europareise. Schon klar, die drei müssen rennen, Sightseeing ist nicht drin. Dennoch fand ich die geringe Interaktion mit dem Setting, diese wenig aussagekräftige Abfolge distinktiver Landschaften, schwach. Eine spannende Verfolgungsjagd vor einer leider zu blassen Kulisse.

 

Es wird ernst in den „Iron Druid Chronicles“. Ich sehe in „Hunted“ den etwas verspäteten Beginn der neuen Handlungslinie, die mir für „Trapped“ versprochen wurde. Die Situation gewann für Atticus, Granuaile und Oberon an Dringlichkeit, die Phase des Versteckens und Herumalberns ist vorbei. Ich spürte jetzt den Zeitsprung von 12 Jahren, der sich bereits im Vorgänger hätte bemerkbar machen müssen. Die Flucht vor den Jagdgöttinnen weckt Atticus unsanft auf. Er kriegt endlich seinen Hintern hoch, bereitet sich auf Ragnarök vor und schließt zum Wohle des Universums ungewöhnliche Allianzen. Zeit wurde es. Ich verzeihe Kevin Hearne die Verzögerung, einerseits aus Sympathie, andererseits aus dem festen Glauben heraus, dass er Atticus nun auf den rechten Weg führt und ihn mal was richtig machen lässt. Zu lange betrieb er lediglich Schadensbegrenzung. Er muss ein echter Held werden. Leicht wird das nicht. Aber wann war die Rettung des Universums jemals leicht?

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/kevin-hearne-hunted
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review 2017-05-09 01:50
Hammered by Kevin Hearne
Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles, #3) - Kevin Hearne

Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #3

 

I kind of want to smack Atticus after this book. Although I still want to continue the series, I didn’t enjoy this one as much.

 

Atticus is finally off to kill Thor with the help of Leif and a bunch of others despite the threat of Ragnarok and a whole bunch of warnings not to go through with it. The flow of the story didn’t really work for me since the whole part where everyone was sitting around the campfire explaining why they all wanted to kill Thor came so late. There were also quite a few battle scenes all strung together and it just got old after a while. Oh well. Maybe things will pick up in the next one.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly square #13 “Read a book about a (real of fictional) American lawyer or politician, or that is set during the Civil War”. Both Leif and Hal (one of the werewolves) are Atticus’s lawyers and some lawyering is done before they set off to get back at Thor, so I think it counts even though it’s stretching things a little. Pagecounts range from 273 to 310 or so, so this earns me another $3 for my bank, bringing the total to $67.

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review 2017-03-18 12:45
#Audiobook Review: Trapped by Kevin Hearne
Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5 - Hachette Audio UK,Kevin Hearne,Christopher Ragland

Twelve years have past since the last book, and Granuaile has finished her Druidic apprenticeship. Looking for a safe place to bind her to Gaia, the earth, Atticus discovers that Loki is free and the Olympus pantheons are plotting against Atticus. Now the pair, along with best hound friend, Oberon, are trapped between a rock and a hard place unsure who to trust, as they try to find a safe place to tie Granuaile to the earth.

 

Oh I really, really enjoyed Trapped. I love the deepening connections Atticus and Granuaile. The book isn’t about romance, but their love is true and a perfect addition to the overall mythology and storylines. Stories are best when the reader/listener connects with the characters, developing a relationship with them. In this case, I’ve grown to care about Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon, making their journeys more exciting and emotional. And all three characters have matured so much since the first book. Especially Granuaile, who is now a full Druid. Yet she still has so much awe for the world around her. Having Atticus reconnect and rediscover the wonders of the earth and other planes through Granuaile, in effect allows me the same discoveries and awe-inspiring experiences.

 

I also appreciate and am extremely thankful of the direction the author has taken with the overall story arc. Atticus continues to pay for his crimes when he chose to help Leif seek revenge against Thor instead of walking away and staying neutral. It was one thing to kill Angus Og, who had been hunting him, but to assist in and cause the destruction he did to the Norse pantheon was simply outrageous. And now, over twelve years later, his actions are still causing him problems. Atticus’s introspection over his choices is the perfect blend of regretfulness and acceptance. He understands that he may never make amends and balance the scales, but he will do his best to try. However, it seems that in his effort for atonement, Atticus continues to cause more issues, and the problems he and Granuaile face just keep growing in a trickle-down effect. 

 

Luke Daniels continues to surprise and amaze me with his consistently strong narration. Not only has he mastered the voice for Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon (which I completely love!), but his wealth of accents for all creatures great and small is astounding! He seems to fit each character’s personality with a slight inflection here and there, or an outrageous accent when called for. He softens his voice for gentler characters, rasps it for deadly ones, booms loudly for thunder gods, and some how works in jovial mirth into others, making each voice utterly unique and memorable. Mr. Daniels is top of his game in Trapped.

 

Trapped is a self-contained, wonderfully written story, but the ending makes it clear that danger is around every corner for Atticus and the gang. The story served to whet my appetite for the future tales as I wonder how Atticus can right his wrongs and save the world without dying. 

 

Story: A

Narration: A+

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review 2017-01-30 13:37
#Audiobook Review: Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles - Kevin Hearne,Kevin Hearne,Luke Daniels

Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles is just that - two shorter-length stories set in the Iron Druid Chronicles world that are tied to the series, but do not directly impact the overall storyline of the series.

 

The first tale, Kaibab Unbound, takes place shorty before the start of the series. Atticus and his dog companion, Oberon, go north to the Arizona wilderness for some hunting time. However, their trip is cut short when the Kaibab elemental calls to Atticus for assistance, and Atticus must right the wrongs of a trio of witches. 

 

The short story is a glimpse into Atticus's life and duties as the last Druid. It's a self-contained short and good introduction to the series. It was enjoyable for this existing fan of Atticus and Oberon. 

 

Test of Mettle is a bit different because it is shared in the first person POV narration of Atticus’s apprentice, Granuaile. The story takes place concurrently with book 3, Hammered, when Atticus is in Asgard. Granuaile is keeping her promise to Sonora, the desert earth elemental, by ridding the river of an evasive species, when she is attacked by animals under the direction of the goddess of the hunt, Flidais. 

 

Test of Mettle was my favorite of these two tales because it gives a perspective we don’t normally experience. I liked seeing how Granuaile interacted with Oberon since she can't hear him, therefore neither can I. I also enjoyed seeing her survive her trials and get a new perspective of her enjoyment and desire to become a Druid. HOWEVER… there is a dark side to Granuaile as she thinks about a time in the future when she will be able to destroy her stepfather. Eep!

 

While the stories are both narrated by series narrator Luke Daniels, my first notice was that the narration was slightly different. The biggest difference was that Oberon came off a bit rough around the edges - more wild and goofy than I’m used to. I don’t know if it was recorded early on or if the narrator purposely changed slightly. 

 

Since we haven't had a story told from Granuaile's POV, I didn’t have a lot to compare her voice to. Mr. Daniels kept his narrator voice softer and lighter than what he uses for Atticus and therefore, appropriate for this female lead, and there was no confusion who was sharing the tale. 

 

Overall, Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles is a very enjoyable look into the series. The book is like a slice-of-life duology. It’s a good place for newbies to get a feel for the series without too many spoilers, so one could then go back and start the series with the first book. 

 

Rating: B

Narration: B

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review 2017-01-30 13:35
#Audiobook Review: Hammered by Kevin Hearne
Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles Series #3) - Kevin Hearne,Luke Daniels

Making good on his promise to the powerful witch Latcha to obtain a fabled apple from a Norse god, Atticus finds a “backdoor” into Asgard, then weaves a ridiculous tale of the Roman pantheon aiming to hurt the Norse pantheon to lay blame for the tragedies he causes while on his task. But Atticus isn’t done! He follows up these acts by heading back into Asgard with friend Leif and a handful of scorned immortals, fulfilling his promise to assist the vampire in his quest to kill Thor.

 

Hammered is an interesting and exciting adventure for Atticus. Honestly, I’m still a bit dumb-struck over the events that occurred. Let’s just say that Atticus makes some really, really awful decisions this time around. The story has a different feel as Atticus takes on the Norse pantheon. The author expands beyond the limited look at the Tempe area and tosses about all sorts of new-to-the-series mythology. I appreciate that the majority of the world-building is presented as fact, rather than trying to convince the reader through telling. 

 

The book has a bit of a transition feel to it as Atticus concedes it is finally time to move on. His reflection on his reasons for always moving and never loving again are profound. We find out that he was married and experienced deep, true love for two centuries and had 25 kids! It’s been over 500 years and he’s afraid to set roots and love again. But he does love Oberon. And now he has a friendship with the Widow MacDonagh and his obligations to Granuaile (his apprentice). And he feels obligated to repair the damage to the land that happened back in the first book. It’s actually a very moving self-reflection as he makes the decision to leave Arizona.

 

Another reason Hammered comes off as transitional is that as Atticus says his farewells to companions and friends, everything from the previous two books makes an appearance. Things like the Hammers of God, the witch coven, his friends, the shop; they are each dealt with in a manner that is mostly permanent, yet leaving room for reemergence one day. However, it was his farewell to the Widow MacDonagh that had me in tears. It was well done and I'm glad he got to have a proper farewell. 

 

The book then transitions to the attack on Thor. As part of the process, readers are privy to the long and painful reasons each member of the expedition seeks revenge and Thor’s demise. And while it was clear that Thor really is an ass, the whole quest felt wrong to me, especially since both Jesus and the Morrigan tell Atticus point blank what a bad idea it is. 

 

I had very mixed feelings on the battle with the Norse gods. It felt petty and needless. I understand why all were justifiably angry. But to slaughter so many "innocents" for revenge?! I just couldn't get behind it. It wasn't a noble cause. It was a bloody, mean-spirited battle, which left me unfulfilled and sad. 

 

On the bright side, the story’s narration was elevated to a new level this time around. Mr. Daniels expanded his repertoire of voices, adding several gods and accented characters.  From a blowhard god to a whimsical wizard, from dimwitted frost giants to a gentle dessert elemental, each was unique and appropriately fit the persona of the character. And I only had to listen to Coyote for a brief time (I still don't like his voice!)

 

In the end, Hammered is a tough one to rate. It is probably the strongest story to date. The entire book flowed smoothly from beginning to end, even with the lengthy backstories in the middle of the book. However... While I enjoyed the connections forged between Atticus and his companions, the overall story of revenge was tough to swallow. So much bloodshed and needless death in the name of vengeance and not for some noble cause just felt wrong. Additionally, the open-ended conclusion was a little frustrating. Between all of the goodbyes and the prophesies of doom and despair, the series appears to be heading in a new direction. I cautiously look forward to discovering what happens next. 

 

Rating: B/B-

Narration: A-

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