Staked by Kevin Hearne [Book Review]
I’m a fan of the Iron Druid. So much so that I pre-ordered Staked in paperback. All the previous ones I’ve read as catch up on my Kindle. However Kevin Hearne has made my pre-order on sight list (along with Ben Aaronovitch, Terry Pratchett, Iain Banks and Charles Stross).
Staked is the eighth full novel, and I’ve lost count of the novellas. The paperback version also has Prelude to War in the back of it, which is handy because Staked makes more sense when you’ve read Prelude to War.
Just in case you’ve not read any Iron Druid, it’s a very sensible urban fantasy series set in the modern day. I say sensible because the universe isn’t too strange. You can imagine it coexisting with the world we live in. The action in Staked, and the other Iron Druid stories is all within the bounds of plausibility in our world. Possibly the only scene that would be hard to explain away happens in this book. A vampire ambush on Atticus and some Rabbis that are helping him in Rome. Even that gets a plausible explanation for its cover story/news report in the book.
Staked sees atticus O’Sullivan, our 2,000 year old Iron Druid, fighting a personal war against vampires. The war escalates more than Atticus expects. Atticus realises that as a consequence he’s moved away from the tenets of druidry. However he manages to enlist help and deal with the vampires enough to end the war. There are a number of interesting twists and turns, not least of which what his old archdruid is up to and also Granuaile’s adventures. A number of other old friends appear too, and all play a key role in the story. There isn’t any spare material here, it all forms part of the narrative and is necessary. In fact I think it will bear a second or third read later.
I really enjoyed the story, and if you like urban fantasy where the gods exist like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods then this is definitely a series you need to go pick up.