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Staked: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Eight Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2016
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When a Druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he’s bound to run afoul of a few vampires. Make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers—led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus—have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It’s time to make a stand.
As always, Atticus wouldn’t mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ornery archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: Turns out when you stiff a troll, it’s not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki’s mark and elude his powers of divination—a quest that will bring her face-to-face with several Slavic nightmares.
As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won’t come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.
Don’t miss any of The Iron Druid Chronicles:
HOUNDED | HEXED | HAMMERED | TRICKED | TRAPPED | HUNTED | SHATTERED | STAKED | SCOURGED | BESIEGED
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“[Kevin] Hearne is a terrific storyteller with a great snarky wit. . . . Neil Gaiman’s American Gods meets Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden.”—SFFWorld
“[The Iron Druid books] are clever, fast-paced and a good escape.”—Boing Boing
“Hearne understands the two main necessities of good fantasy stories: for all the wisecracks and action, he never loses sight of delivering a sense of wonder to his readers, and he understands that magic use always comes with a price. Highly recommended.”—The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
“Superb . . . plenty of quips and zap-pow-bang fighting.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Celtic mythology and an ancient Druid with modern attitude mix it up in the Arizona desert in this witty new fantasy series.”—Kelly Meding, author of Chimera
“[Atticus is] a strong modern hero with a long history and the wit to survive in the twenty-first century. . . . A snappy narrative voice . . . a savvy urban fantasy adventure.”—Library Journal
“A page-turning and often laugh-out-loud funny caper through a mix of the modern and the mythic.”—Ari Marmell, author of The Warlord’s Legacy
“Outrageously fun.”—The Plain Dealer
“Kevin Hearne breathes new life into old myths, creating a world both eerily familiar and startlingly original.”—Nicole Peeler, author of Tempest Rising
About the Author
- Publisher : Del Rey; Reprint edition (November 1, 2016)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345548531
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345548535
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.16 x 0.86 x 6.87 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #113,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The last fifty pages are the only ones worth reading, the only thing with anything at "stake." It's the only time anything of any real value actually happens in the book, and it's sad that the plot has to turn so suddenly and so sadly for the book to have any depth at all. Before those pages came along, though, I was seriously entertaining the idea of closing the book and not bothering to read any further--a heresy, I would have thought, prior to reading this volume in the series. But it had just gotten so BORING and so almighty shallow!!! Even a death that saddened me no end was better than continuing on the pablum road,so that should tell you just how bad it was to that point.
Please please please, Mr. Hearn: cut the revolving-door dialogue and completely separate story lines. There's just not enough room in any one book to gloss over so much so quickly. Pick one person's story and TELL it with the depth and development it deserves. Instead of one book with three separate narratives, give us three books with a single character's in-depth development in each. For the depth this series needs to be exploring at this point in its mythology, the scatter-shot approach is just too unfocused and diffuse to end well.
Granuaile's chapters drove me nuts for two reasons: environmental preaching, and use of present tense first, when all other chapters are in past tense first. The tense change is jarring. And while I don't have a problem with Gran going after her stepdad, I do object to her premise that all coal/oil mining is bad. Yes, green energy is good, but it also can be detrimental to wildlife, etc. Anyway, this book I skimmed Gran's chapters, and enjoyed Owen and Atticus, and the puppies, of course. :o)
Based on reviews of book 9, and the fact this book ended tightly, I have no intention on reading further in this series. I got a nice tidy ending stopping here without the disappointment of book 9. Sounds like Hearne should have ended the series here.
Top reviews from other countries
At least Dresden got increasingly battered throughout his (superior) series.
It was bad enough when we were saddled with dippy-hippy Granny (correct pronounciation: whatever) who is so sweet-smelling and holier-than-thou that, frankly, I just can't stand her. And then she has to get a goggie as well. And now she's, like, sooo bad-ass. And then she gets all whiney and self-doubting again. Yawn.
But now the author has dragged in the old mentor, the much-feared Archdruid, who has been instantly youthened (why? Why? To make him fit in with the rest of the gang?) who cannot say two sentences without swearing. I really, really don't want to have feck and sh*te (which, for some reason, I find EVEN MORE offensive than if they would say sh*t which at least has a certain honesty about it) shoved down my throat six times in a page. I almost felt that the author was doing if for the sheer schoolboy glee of saying it over and over again. Either that, or he has a fixation on Father Ted.
Worst of all is that only one third of the book is told by Atticus, or sh'vaughan as he is still sometimes called: the rest is done in turns by Granny and Mr Irish Stereotype, and do you know what, I really don't care what either of them are thinking. Almost the most annoying thing about this book is that you can't tell, until you are a couple of paragraphs in, who is narrating each chapter. Why is it so annoying? Well, if I knew it wasn't Attaboy speaking, I'd skip over it to the next chapter. Which probably says it all, really.
When this series started, it was Urban Fantasy, and the best and most clever aspects were hearing how Atticus dealt with everyday contemporary living, and hearing him converse with Oberon.
Now it's just yet another Sword and Sandal serial, nothing but shifting between planes, getting bones broken by yet another god, then whee! getting healed again. It just doesn't grab me: I found that I'd keep putting the book down in favour of something else (re-reading the Rivers of London series, if you are interested, which is truly excellent!) and it was quite an ordeal to keep on reading it.
Apparently there is one more to come in the series, but I've lost interest and won't be buying it.
If you really enjoyed Atticus in the modern world, then don't bother buying any more in this series.
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.
Those of you who have read any of The Iron Druid Chronicles will know there are slices of humour running through the adventures, so now that the stakes (no pun intended…) have inevitably been cranked up, has that sense of fun dissipated, as happened in both the Harry Dresden and Sookie Stackhouse series? No, it hasn’t. I’m delighted to report that Oberon, Atticus’ trusty hound, still brings most life and death topics back to sausages whenever he can, and archdruid Owen, who has only recently been reawakened after being in stasis for a looong time, also provides plenty of humour in his delightfully sour asides on modern life and customs.
However, there has to be a balance – this is a godpunk fantasy adventure, so do the characters convince? Is the supernatural aspect of the world suitably depicted with plenty of complexity and depth? Is the action exciting? This three-stranded approach worked really well – I like all three characters and Hearne has each one nailed, though these days, I suppose my favourite has to be Owen, who bounces off the page with his grumpy, individual take on the world. I also enjoyed watching Granuaile gain more confidence as she is off on a quest of her own – and making decisions she is aware won’t necessarily please Atticus. As for the Iron Druid himself – his talent for upsetting the wrong people is still getting him into more trouble than he knows what to do with. And I really liked watching him genuinely flail and agonise over some of the decisions he has to make.
In amongst the mayhem and humour, were also some darker moments and once more we lost a major character who has regularly helped Atticus out in the past , which was a shock. Although, it shouldn’t have been – Hearne has never been afraid to kill off a steady stream of major players throughout the series. It’s a trick that certainly keeps me paying attention during the battle scenes.
As for the climax of the book – a set piece battle in the heart of a European city that worked really well and provided plenty of thrills and spills. Oh yes, I really enjoyed this offering – all the more because it is the penultimate book in the series and I’m aware that this blast of pleasure will continue only once more. But if you haven’t yet followed Atticus through his various scrapes with other supernatural beings, then whatever you do – don’t go looking for Staked – instead, get hold of Hounded.
There are a LOT of resolutions to previous story arcs in this volume - including finally solving the mystery of why it's not good to be Nigel in Toronto. Mind you, Kevin Hearne is becoming the Tarantino of the genre, in that he sure doesn't worry about killing off major characters along the way - but I won't spoil the plot for those yet to enjoy this book. All I'll say is that this book is every bit as funny, thought-provoking and entertaining as all the others. Don't even hesitate - grab a copy and enjoy the ride!