It looks like I started reviewing individual books after I read the first seven Iron Druid books, so this is my first individual review. I reviewed the first seven all together on my blog: https://blog.jverkamp.com/2015/02/20/…
On the downside, Staked has pretty much the same issues I’ve had with each of the previous novels. I don’t really care for the shifting points of view, either the style or the additional viewpoint characters themselves. I think the talking dogs are vastly overdone. The worldbuilding (although neat in a lot of places) is badly kitchen sinky, with literally everything thrown into the same world. And Atticus is just too strong. He’s always been too strong from the first book and never felt like he had/has to work at anything.
On the upside, Staked has a lot of the same strengths as the previous Iron Druid novels. There’s a heck of a lot of world building, taking on a lot of mythology I’m otherwise not that familiar with (Irish and Slavic mythology in particular). There’s also a lot of really fun lines in these books. I’ve highlighted more sections from a Iron Druid novel than most other series all together… And that’s enough to bring this right back up to four stars by itself. Here:
I had to suppress a shudder, because semi-sentient facial hair is viscerally disturbing. (As an aside, those guys are among the coolest characters I’ve seen in urban fantasy.)
I had to skedaddle, which I think is the best possible word for getting the hell out when a poltergeist thinks you’ve jilted her.
“Defend the honor of your arse-munching couch.”
Normally I wouldn’t bother punching a stone. Your fingers would break long before the stone would, and rock doesn’t make any noises to let you know it’s hurt.
Purposefully seeking out a poltergeist might be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. Well, that and growing muttonchops.
The truth is, your smarts are better hidden than a pair of snake nuts.”
My skin stung all over with the raw thrill of exfoliation.
… and a shepherd with a small flock of sheep. ‹Fluffy meat,› Orlaith comments.
“Fecking stew me bollocks in the queen’s own cup o’ tea,
I had no problem disassembling vampires in plain view but didn’t want to truly terrify anyone with my full frontal nudity.
‹Hey, did that guy just call me gross?› Oberon asked. Yes, but that means big in French, as it does in German.
The saucier got saucy with me and demanded that I leave.
“Of course not. As the famous Vulcan said on more than one occasion, I wish for you to enjoy extreme old age and economic bounty.”
There’s harmony there to be found, and I’ll fight for it, and damn the paradox of fighting for peace.
“Yeah, I just asked where the weird was happening in the world, and she pointed me here. And look! You’re right next to it!”
Or, to be more specific, an unholy horde of Guilt Ferrets. They’re bastards.
“Since I’ve become a Druid, I’ve seen some pretty weird shit, Atticus,” Granuaile said, “but Beardy Baggins there squaring off against Squid Head McGee in the snow might be the weirdest.”
‹Yeah, finally! I’ve been wanting to tell you that I think you’re an amazing hound. I knew from the moment I first sniffed your ass that we would get along!›
So yeah. I’ll keep on reading them if only for that. :)
Plus, I think there’s only supposed to be one more? I want to see how it all ends. A lot of the plot lines were tied up rather happily by the end of Staked, but that only leaves the proverbial shit to really hit the fan when armageddon rolls around…