Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: "Scourged" by Kevin Hearne

If my glowing reviews of the early books in any way influenced you to pick up Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, I’d like to take this moment to apologize.

At one time, this series was energetic and fun. I looked forward to each new installment. The fact that I waited months after its release to read the appropriately-titled “Scourged” ($27, Random House) speaks volumes about my opinion on the last couple of books. Still, I had faith that Hearne would pull it together for a grand finale. Instead, he basically did the equivalent of throwing a flaming bag of Irish wolfhound feces on his readers’ front porches.

Ragnarok is upon us … sort of. The story feels both rushed and like it takes forever to get to the point – what little point there is. Atticus is hurriedly making preparations for the final battle, while Owen and Granuaile are doing … things. That’s pretty much the plot of the first half of the book, which if I’m being honest, wasn’t awful. Granuaile seemed less annoying than usual, and Owen is always fun. We get to spend a little time with Oberon (basically all we’ll get in this story) and we meet a new dog named Starbuck who brings a little levity into the situation. I still had hope Hearne might pull it together somehow.

Then Ragnarok begins.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Review: "War Cry" by Brian McClellan

There’s one huge problem with Brian McClellan’s “War Cry” ($11.99, Tor). There’s simply not enough of it. It's an incredible setting and story that grips you the way that most of McClellan's work does, but it leaves you wanting to know far more about the world and the characters than you get in this introduction.

McClellan puts us in the middle of a platoon of guerilla warriors in a setting that gave me a bit of a World War II vibe. Unfortunately for this troop, they’re stranded behind enemy lines in a war that has gone on for as long as anyone can remember. Supplies are short, their numbers are dwindling, but still they do what they can.

They’ve survived mainly on the strength of their resourcefulness and an illusionist that can disguise their base and movements. Then their pilot, one of the last left on their side as far as they know, learns of a possible supply score. It’s a big risk, but they have to take it, and it may finally change the course of the war.