Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Book Review: Staked by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid #8)

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.

My Review: 
Atticus need to gain an advantage over his enemies by getting the location of all the vampires around the world for his allies to use which means a trip to a city which he has bad memories of. The down side is having to break into a bank vault to get the information and then trying to make peace with the dark elves. Owen starts training werewolf children to be druids but is going to have some troll trouble as well as Fand escaping prison, while Granuaile seeks help from Malina with the Loki situation. Atticus unites with an old enemy as the Pack regret ever getting involved with him.

Things are getting very dangerous for the druids on several fronts but having Rabbi Josef offer the services of his group is a welcome help. Malina's Coven are happy to try to help Granuaile with Loki if Atticus deals with the Polish vampires as he promised, as they are unhappy that he is instead stirring up the vampires in other parts of Europe. Atticus is reluctant to go to visit the dark elves but having one less enemy and a new ally against Hel and Loki means he has little choice but to try, especially with a vampire war to fight. However some of his actions turn out to be reckless and will visit trouble on his allies and friends.

"He's out there somewhere right now with his cheeky hound doing something dumber than eating a bowl full of llama shite."-Owen

On the personal side of things, Owen is adapting to a whole new life by planning to move in with Greta, who is moving to join Sam's Pack. Their home will become a training centre where Owen can train the children of werewolves to become druids which will help protect them. Owen knows when he sees the troll that this is connected to Fand and tricks the information out of him. When the vampires are next to come calling, Owen and the Pack are about to lose patience with the whole mess. Is it going to be safe to train anyone when more Atticus inspired trouble keeps coming their way?

One thing which left me cold though was when Granuaile decides to visit her stepfather and beat him up under the poor guise of 'defending the environment'. Yeah his company damages the environment so go and damage his business interests or help clean up the environment. Knocking ten bells out of him even if he is a douchbag is a personal vendetta against him, not helping the planet. I don't think a druid is supposed to attack people like that for personal reasons. Grow up Granuaile, you lose my respect with this stunt.

"What kind of extra special batshite is that right there?"-Owen witnesses Rabbi Yosef's bearded battalion for the first time!

I could have smacked Atticus in the face for what he did in his fight against the vampires, especially when he didn't warn his friends what he was doing. He is reckless and overestimates his own ability while seriously underestimating his enemy. The shitstorm that he stirs up has long reaching consequences for his allies who are starting to wonder why they are helping him at all. Atticus is facing a whole new uncertain future, and he is unsure how to deal with it. This book really does leave Atticus and Granuaile at a crossroads with more trouble on the horizon.

I hope that if book nine is the last one that we get a satisfactory conclusion.  

Read November 2016. 
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png


  1. I do think I've heard the new one coming out is the last. It's been a pretty long series run but I do hope it ends the way you want. Sometimes authors don't seem to know how to end things (looking at you Laurell K. Hamilton).

    1. I'm feeling hopeful on this as a big battle looms...so plenty of action! Keeping my fingers crossed for the dogs though...