Shattered brings back some serious fun into The Iron Druid Chronicles via Atticus’ old archdruid. After being freed from 2,000 years of imprisonment on a time island, Eoghan O’Cinneide (aka Owen Kennedy) finds himself in a very strange world. His viewpoint bring a lot of freshness to the story. Meanwhile, Atticus and Granuaile get into some deep trouble. There are battles between gods and not all of them live to see the light of the next day.

Continuing to explore the many pantheons out there, Shattered delves into India and Japan. Both mythical creatures and gods come into play as the main characters visit those locations. The Tuatha de Dannan (the Irish pantheon) also have a major role in the book. Plus there’s a fun side trip with some yeti. As mentioned above, Granuaile and Atticus get into a lot of trouble in this book. For her part, Granuaile heads to India on a rescue mission and finds her druid skills being pushed to their outer limits. With some help from Laksha the mind witch and some Indian goddesses, she must battle ancient spirit forces unlike any foe she’s face before. It provides for some tense moments and helps set the way for Granuaile becoming a fully fledged druid in her own right.

“Snow is the form to which all water aspires, for only as snow is it unique and at rest.” -the yeti.

Not to be outdone, Atticus makes sure to screw things up so his share of trouble is even more impressive. Battling strange creatures in Japan serves as a mere warm up for what’s to come. He tracks down the culprits who have been trying to kill him, finds out which gods are involved in the secret cabal that’s helping him, and goes off to set things right. Unfortunately, everything goes to pieces.

“Now, ye know right well I’m in favor of solving problems through stomping nuts, but the first rule–the one ye didn’t remember–is not to stomp on your own. If ye want to learn how to do it right, take a lesson from the person what’s causing all your troubles lately. Who did you say it was again?”

“I didn’t. I don’t know who it is.”

“Fecking exactly, lad. We’re dealing with a sneaky nut-stomper here. That’s what you need to be.” -Owen and Atticus

Yet with all those cool things, the parts of the story that brought me the most joy were Owen’s chapters. Atticus, Granuaile and Owen serve as the viewpoint characters for the entire book which is all first person. As such, we get to see Owen come to terms with 2,000 years of change. He see’s the use of electricity as magic, deals with the barriers of language, and learns how the ways of society has evolved. The plus side is that it’s extremely fun to see Owen not only shocked by these new things, but adapt to them. For all his gruff exterior, he proves to be a thoughtful and intriguing character. I really hope we see a lot more of him in future books.

“And I suppose ye think I should get an Irish wolfhound like you?”

“Can’t go wrong with a hound. I know a good breeder.”

“I say balls to that, lad. I’m going to get a monkey and let it throw shite at people. They’ll clear the feck out of me way right quick.” -Owen and Atticus

As the seventh book in the series, Shattered has a tough spot of being somewhere in the middle of things. The long game with Loki is still in play and only small moves are made in this section of the overall story. The biggest changes come with the murder plot involving a member of the Irish pantheon. That story point gets fully resolved. There are also a couple mini-adventures (the India and Japan subplots), but a good chunk of the book is spent with quiet moments. Attius has a drink with Jesus again as he tries to get answers to the problems that are plaguing him. He also gets his damaged tattoos mended so he can get all his druid powers back. Atticus even has a chance to go back to his old bookshop. Granuaile hangs out with some yet and bonds more with her Irish wolfhound. On the other hand, Owen spends a lot of time with werewolves. The quiet moments can be nice as they keep everything from walking a razor edge of tension. But it does slow the story down at times and gave me some worries on whether the book was going anywhere or not. Basically, keep with it and trust in Hearne to get back to the big picture. It all balances out.

Like other books in the series, Shattered was a hard book to put down. When I was reading it, I stayed up later than I should have because it was difficult to break out of the story. By the same token, I was eagerly anticipating my return to the book each day when I came home. Kevin Hearne puts some storytelling magic into this novel that easily ensnares the imagination. With Owen as my new favorite character, I found myself enjoying the series more than I have since back in Hammered when Atticus formed a hit team to take out Thor. While it’s still not quite on par with those first three novels, Shattered comes very close. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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