logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Kevin-Hearne
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-10-09 22:37
Carniepunk
Carniepunk - Kevin Hearne,Kelly Gay,Jackie Kessler,Nicole Peeler,Kelly Meding,Hillary Jacques,Allison Pang,Jaye Wells,Delilah S. Dawson,Rob Thurman,Rachel Caine,Seanan McGuire,Mark Henry,Jennifer Estep

The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions—the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion—is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?

And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns—or maybe some magic of one’s own.

Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.

 

I read this book to fill the Creepy Carnivals square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I seem to be developing more of a taste for short fiction, especially in this dark fantasy category. I enjoyed the offerings by the well-known authors (Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire) but actually found some of the stories by folks that I didn’t know to be more engaging. These people have to try harder, they can’t rely on well-trodden paths with familiar characters and situations. I think I’ll be checking out more fiction by Rob Thurman, for example, who got cover billing (and so must enjoy some notoriety) but whose work I had never encountered before. I’m also eyeing a book by Jaye Wells (Cursed Moon), maybe for Halloween Bingo next year.

It was fun to dip into several people’s versions of the creepy carnival, rather than cope with one author’s vision for 440 pages. It’s not like I need to expand my reading list at this point, but if you are struggling to find new authors that you enjoy, I would recommend an anthology like this one on a subject that intrigues you—you are bound to find someone whose work you enjoy.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-03 17:50
Hunted (Iron Druid Chronicles, #6)
Hunted - Kevin Hearne

This is one of those weird series that I thoroughly enjoy when I'm reading it, but can easily put off picking up the next book for long, long stretches of time.  However, since this book fits a number of Halloween Bingo squares, it seemed like the perfect time to get further along.

 

Atticus is being hunted across Europe by Diana and Artemis for his perceived crimes against Bacchus in the previous book.  All the pantheons have agreed to neither help nor hinder the chase and are using it as a form of entertainment.  Interspersed throughout are random drop-ins by Loki, recently escaped from his eternal punishment and bat-sh*t crazy.

 

I like the way Hearne creates an overall story arch about how the road to hell can be paved with good intentions.  Atticus' loyalty to his friends (good thing) results in the bringing about of Ragnorok (very bad thing), and now he's trying to atone for his sins.

 

It's a good read; fast paced, well written, and I like the characters.  For me, though I never rave over them, the Iron Druid chronicles always offer up a solid, entertaining read.

 

I'm using this one for the Cryptozoology Square for Halloween Bingo 2018.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-16 19:49
Kill the Farm Boy
Kill the Farm Boy - Delilah S. Dawson,Kevin Hearne

Let me start by saying that I did not finish this book, and it truly pains me to say that. I'm a bit obsessive about finishing anything I start, and I tried, but a person can only stand so much drivel. While Ms Dawson is new to me, I absolutely loved Hearne's Iron Druid series - the wit, the action, the characters, etc. So, when I saw this one, I had to read it. I didn't expect this to be anything like the Iron Druid series, but I also didn't expect so much adolescent humor and well, that's pretty much it. I get the idea of taking a trope, or several of them, in a particular genre and creating a fun parody, but despite the claims, Monty Python this is not. From the very first page, it felt like the authors were trying to see how many puns, bad jokes, and satirical moments they could cram into each and every page. I'm sure there was some kind of story in there somewhere, but I don't think plots and storylines were the point here. Sometimes less is more, and that certainly could've been put to good use in this case. Add to that the feeling that a lot of words in the book came from a word-a-day calendar and I was over it. Don't get me wrong, I did find the occasional funny line, but what's funny once can become old when it's done over and over - On the same page! (Again, the less is more adage comes into play here.) If you like corny lines about poo, boogers, vomit, and penises, then this may be the book for you, but the 'humor' was lost on me. Color me disappointed in this one. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-16 03:10
A Comedic Fantasy Tells a Good Story While Playing with Too-Familiar Tropes
Kill the Farm Boy - Delilah S. Dawson,Kevin Hearne

Ugh. I wish the eARC didn't say I needed to hold off any quotations until I could compare it with the final copy -- or maybe, I wish I had noticed that very tiny print before I got half a draft of this finished. On the other hand, I was having trouble narrowing down which of my lengthy options to use, because, if nothing else, this is one of the more quotable books I've read in the last couple of years.

 

Kill the Farm Boy is a comedic fantasy, a satirical look at fantasy and even a parody of the genre. But what makes it effective is that for all the comedy, there's a decent story and some solid characters throughout. It's be easy for it to be a collection of jokes, with no story; or a tale full of character types, not characters. But Dawson and Hearne avoid those pitfalls.

 

The titular farm boy, Worstley, is going about his typical day, full of drudgery when an inebriated pixie shows up to announce that he is a Chosen One -- one who is destined to save, or at least change, the world. To demonstrate her power, the pixie gives one of his goats, Gustave, the power of speech. The goat isn't too happy about being able to speak, but since he was destined to end up in a curry in a few days, decides to travel with the newly appointed Chosen One, his former Pooboy. The pixie, having Chosened Worstley, disappears. Worstley the Pooboy (hey, Taran, worse things to be called than Assistant Pig-Keeper, eh?) and Gustave head off on a quest for glory.

 

Despite the book's title, we don't spend that much time with Worstley -- instead the focus shifts (for good reason) to a band of hero--well, a group of companions. There's Fia -- a fierce warrior from a distant land, who just wants to live a life of peace with some nice roses -- and some armor that would actually protect her (not that there's anyone who minds seeing here in her chain-mail bikini). Argabella, a struggling bard who is cursed to be covered in fur -- she's basically Fflewddur Fflam and Gurgi combined (last Prydian reference, probably). Every adventuring party needs a rogue/thief, this one has to settle for the klutzy and not necessarily bright, Poltro, and her guardian, the Dark Lord magician, Toby (though some would only consider him crepuscular), of dubious talents. I can't forget Grinda the sand witch (no, really), Worstley's aunt and a magic user of considerable talent.

 

There are no shortage of villains -- and/or antagonists to this party. There are some pretty annoying elves; a hungry giant; Løcher, the King's chamberlain and mortal enemy of Grinda; Staph, the pixie behind the Chosening; as well as several magical traps, Lastly, there's Steve. We don't meet him (I'm betting it'll be in Book 3 when we do), but throughout these adventures we how much this world, and our heroes lives, have been turned upside down my the worst Steve since one (allegedly) unleashed the preposterous hypothesis that Jemaine was a large water-dwelling mammal. Steve . . .

 

The writing is just spot-on good. Dawson and Hearne have taken all these various and disparate themes, tropes, characters and surrounded them with a lot of laughs. There's some pretty sophisticated humor, some stuff that's pretty clever -- but they also run the gamut to some pretty low-brow jokes as well. Really, these two are on a tight comedic budget, no joke is too cheap. The variation ensures there's a little something for everyone -- and that you can't predict where the humor will come from. I will admit that early on I got annoyed with a few running jokes, but I eventually got to the point that I enjoyed them -- not just in a "really? they're trying it again?" sense, either.

 

For all the comedy -- Kill the Farm Boy hits the emotional moments just right. There's a depiction of grief towards the end (spoiler?) that I found incredibly affecting and effective. There are smaller moments -- less extreme moments -- too that are dealt with just right. Maybe even better than some of the bigger comedic moments. This is the reward of populating this book with fully-realized characters, not just joke vehicles.

 

I have a couple of quibbles, nothing major, but I'm not wholly over the moon with this (but I can probably hit sub-orbital status). There was a bit about a fairly articulate Troll being taken down by a female using (primarily) her wits that could've used a dollop or five of subtly. Clearly they weren't going for subtle, or they'd have gotten a lot closer to it. But it bugged me a bit (while being funny and on point). Secondly, and this is going to be strange after the last 2 posts -- but this seemed to be too long. Now, I can't imagine cutting a single line, much less a scene or chapter from this, but it just felt a little long. I do worry that some of Poltro's backstory is too tragic and upon reflection makes it in poor taste (at best) to laugh about her -- which is a shame, because she was a pretty funny character until you learn about her.

 

This is probably the best comedic/parody/satire fantasy since Peter David's Sir Apropos of Nothing -- and this doesn't have all the problematic passages. I've appreciated Dawson's work in the past, and you have to spend 30 seconds here to know that I'm a huge Hearne fan, together they've created something unlike what they've done before. Well, except for their characteristic quality -- that's there. I cared about these characters -- and they made me laugh, and giggle, and roll my eyes. This is the whole package, folks, you'll be glad you gave it a chance.

 

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/06/15/kill-the-farm-boy-by-delilah-s-dawson-and-kevin-hearne-a-comedic-fantasy-tells-a-good-story-while-playing-with-too-familiar-tropes
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-05-27 21:43
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Staked - Kevin Hearne

I started reading this series while waiting for Jim Butcher to return to the world of Harry Dresden, and there are plenty of comparisons to be made between Hearne's Iron Druid and Butcher's Harry Dresden (though to be honest, I would always back Kate Daniels against either of them).

 

Both series have vampires, werewolves, fae, and assorted deities, plus a good dollop of magic. And both have lots of humour and pop culture references, and a way too perfect female love interest.

 

They also both have a big, scary dog; Mouse in Harry's corner, and the sausage-obsessed Oberon for Team Atticus.

 

But I'm on Team Harry, and that's because Harry has one thing that Atticus doesn't have. And that thing is a 30lb badass cat called Mister.

 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?