Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #1
Atticus O’Sullivan is a 21-centuries-old Druid who would prefer to be left alone. But a sword he happened to acquire in his younger days is still being sought by its original owner: the Celtic love god Aenghus Og. Atticus has been on the run for centuries, but this time, when the fight comes to his doorstep, he might be ready to try to end this for good.
This urban fantasy contains a lot of the usual suspects: vampires, werewolves, witches, gods and goddesses. And a few of the not-so-usual in the form of the main character, a Druid (who conveniently avoids most of the less savory things historical Druids have been known to practice in favor of a more earth-worshipping religion). It was also a nice change of pace that most of the gods showing up were Celtic.
The story moves quickly, as Atticus finds himself at the center of a storm of attacks designed to either steal the sword or kill him (or both). I did like his lawyers, and how all of them are deadly in their own ways. And the dog is a lot of fun.
Mostly I wasn’t too swayed one way or the other by this. It’s a decent urban fantasy, but nothing particularly grabbed me and made me want to keep going with the next book. The worldbuilding is probably the best part, but the “everything goes” mindset was annoying because it fails to provide any context for how wildly disparate belief systems can all be equally true. I would have preferred some kind of baseline that could then show how various things worked within it. I rate this book Neutral.
Title: The Flame of Olympus
Author: Kate O’Hearn
Series: Pegasus #1
When Olympus is invaded by four-armed creatures called Nirads, the Olympians find themselves losing the terrible battle. Few escape: Pegasus, along with the thief Paelen, enter the modern world, where Pegasus crashes onto the roof of an apartment complex. Emily finds him there. Fascinated by the winged horse, she enlists the help of a classmate, Joel, to help her care for him. But the Nirads haven’t given up, and secret government agencies are also interested in the mystery of a horse with wings . . .
The book strikes a good balance between Roman myths and modern day. There aren’t so many mythological references that readers will be overwhelmed, but enough that Olympus does feel like its own unique world. I really liked Paelen. Unlike Diana (and to a lesser extent, Pegasus), he’s not one I’ve seen overused in stories. And I like thieves. And his special ability is amazing and makes escaping through the air ducts actually make sense. Not to mention his way of dealing with being captured and holed up was also amusing.
I didn’t quite buy all of Joel’s mythical acumen. Why (other than for plot convenience) is he only interested in the Roman myths? Simply because he’s Italian? It would’ve been distracting from the main plot to introduce other mythologies, but I did wonder. Also the lack of cameras inside certain rooms was a little too neat. They wouldn’t even have to be saving the video, but the fact that no one at all could see inside a prison cell without going there was a bit hard to swallow.
Overall, though, it’s a solid and quick read. I’m a bit sick of the Roman/Greek pantheon, but the addition of Paelen (and Pegasus as his own character) helped a lot. The plot ties up some major points, but clearly leaves an opening for a sequel. And the cover is very pretty. I rate this book Recommended.