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The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne

Welcome to Saturday Shorts. A poodle has been kid—, er, dognapped, and Oberon will not stand for that! Told from Oberon’s point of view, this book is a hilarious short story about a mystery that Atticus and Oberon have together. Will Oberon, and his assistant Atticus, be able to rescue the poodle before something bad happens? And will Oberon be able to earn the sausages Atticus has promised if they find the poodle? It’s a fun read that answers those questions!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Purloined PoodleTitleOberon’s Meaty Mysteries: The Purloined Poodle
AuthorKevin Hearne
SeriesIron Druid Chronicles, Book 8.5
Publish Date: September 30, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Netgalley

Publisher’s Description: Thanks to his relationship with the ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, Oberon the Irish wolfhound knows trouble when he smells it—and furthermore, he knows he can handle it.

When he discovers that a prizewinning poodle has been abducted in Eugene, Oregon, he learns that it’s part of a rash of hound abductions all over the Pacific Northwest. Since the police aren’t too worried about dogs they assume have run away, Oberon knows it’s up to him to track down those hounds and reunite them with their humans. For justice! And gravy!

Engaging the services of his faithful Druid, Oberon must travel throughout Oregon and Washington to question a man with a huge salami, thwart the plans of diabolical squirrels, and avoid, at all costs, a fight with a great big bear.

But if he’s going to solve the case of the Purloined Poodle, Oberon will have to recruit the help of a Boston terrier named Starbuck, survive the vegetables in a hipster pot pie, and firmly refuse to be distracted by fire hydrants and rabbits hiding in the rose bushes.

At the end of the day, will it be a sad bowl of dry kibble for the world’s finest hound detective, or will everything be coming up sirloins?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Percy_Procrastinator_100Percy Procrastinator says…

What I Didn’t Like: I can’t think of anything.

What I Liked: This was a fun, quick mystery that I really enjoyed reading. Oberon’s point of view is just so much fun to read. I do get Oberon’s Shenanigans, his monthly newsletter, so had some idea how it would go. I was not disappointed. Not only do we get a fun mystery, but we also learn why it would be better if everyone greeted each other with butt-sniffs and which meats are the best! And it’s just fun!

From a bigger picture perspective, this is a good story on why Atticus doesn’t get involved in things all of the time. It’s very difficult to explain your druidic powers to the authorities, much less have to explain them in a court! Atticus has to balance out what he tells the detective in charge as well as the owners, so that he doesn’t scare them off giving him the information he needs to help rescue the Purloined Poodle.

badge5v4A strong five. In fact, now that we have eight books, and a few short stories, in this series, I think this would be a strong contender as a short story to get new people hooked into the series. It’s self contained and while it does give away a few things from the series, I don’t think that what it gives away is that surprising. Indeed, having the perspective might make a few early novels be more fun.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

I just LOVE Kevin Hearne. Can I say that? Literary references, historical references, RPG references, sci-fi TV show references. Specific episodes, even, like the X-files episode with Big Mike. I just want to hug this guy and call him family.

Yes, all those references are made in The Purloined Poodle, in addition to it being a great mystery. Oberon, Atticus’s Irish Wolfhound and comic sidekick, gets his own story from his own point of view, and it’s wonderfully done. From the inaccurate sense of time to the obsession with meat to the ongoing battle with squirrels and other distractions, we really get a sense of what it’s like to be Oberon in Atticus’s world.

badge5v4The book had me laughing the entire time; but I cannot WAIT for the audio! I feel sorry for Luke Daniels, as voicing Oberon for a whole novella has got to kill his voice for a few days. But OMG it is going to be so epic. 🙂

Lots and lots of geeky love for this awesome novella.

Nervous Nellie says…

This is a quick novella starring Oberon and his druid, Atticus.  Oberon wants to solve the mystery of Nervous_Nellie_100who is dog napping so many champion dogs.  Their people seem very distressed and Oberon just wants to be Sherlock Holmes complete with the hat and pipe.

Atticus cheats at solving this mystery by using his transportation skills and his ability to talk to dogs.

This was a fun murder mystery, dognapping conspiracy with riotous narration by Oberon himself.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



Staked by Kevin Hearne

Atticus is finding out that actions have consequences, and not just for him.

16280689Title:  Staked
Author:  Kevin Hearne
SeriesIron Druid Chronicles Book 08
Publish Date:  January 26, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Iron Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, hero of Kevin Hearne’s epic New York Times best-selling urban fantasy series, has a point to make – and then drive into a vampire’s heart.

When a Druid has lived for 2,000 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.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Percy_Procrastinator_100Percy Procrastinator says…

Things I didn’t like: I think I would like to see some follow up with Jesus and some of the others who warned Atticus. Just to get closure with them. This is a very minor thing, though, and could still happen.

Things I liked: The whole book. Again, Kevin Hearne has created a intricate world. As with some of the previous books, Atticus’ choices are coming back to haunt not only him but his former archdruid now. Owen is trying to set up his own grove to teach some apprentices, and he has found some, but things go bad when he is attacked in retaliation for Atticus’ actions! I really wondered how it was going to end between those two but it was done well. Meanwhile, Granuaile is showing that she is also a force to be reckoned with in her own right. I liked her own growth and direction in the book.

For most of the book, each of the main characters is on their own. It’s really fun to read how they missed each other by only a day as they check in at standard places. It’s fun to read Owen’s perspective on the modern world and to see his iron age views. I also like that Granuaile has come into her own and has her own agenda and things she wants to do. I like her pushing Atticus to think about things he couldn’t when he was still running from Angheas Og. And now that he doesn’t have to anymore, I wonder what he might choose to do? Well, assuming he survives the next book!

badge5v4I really enjoyed reading about each of their own adventures and how it came together in the end. The author continues to amaze and fascinate me with the world and the characters in it.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: I am in love with this series, particularly in audio!  It pains me that it took me a few months to fit listening to Staked into my schedule.  But I finally did, and the wait was worth it.

Why I kept reading: Because Kevin Hearne and Luke Daniels are awesome.  Because these stories keep getting deeper and more thought-provoking with each book.  Because I like Owen way more than I thought I would originally. Because Oberon and Orlaith are irresistible and I just want to rub their bellies!

Does anyone else remember the short-lived but wonderful TV show called Daybreak, starring the oh-so-beautiful Taye Diggs? It was a serious thriller version of Groundhog Day. The antagonist in that show would whisk Diggs’s character away at the end of a particularly disastrous event and say, in a wise and arrogant tone, “Action, consequence.” The idea is that Diggs, and the viewer, get to see what consequence his actions have because he’s replaying his day over and over again, acting differently to get different results.

The Iron Druid Chronicles is not Groundhog Day, but the phrase, “Action, consequence,” runs through my mind often as I read this series. In the beginning, Atticus had just himself to worry about, and a small number of friends. Once action after another increases his circle of close companions, but also increases the complexity of his life and the seriousness of the consequences coming at him.  The message that we are all connected and our actions have consequences on everyone grows stronger with each novel, even as the entertainment value stays strong.

badge5v4Why I recommend it: This is one damn good book in a damn good series.  If you like audiobooks, Luke Daniel’s narration is really the best way to experience these characters. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, deeply meaningful, and a whopping good time!

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try Jim Butcher‘s work, the Scion RPG, or high level DND play including Planescape.

Tricked by Kevin Hearne

Atticus is on the run with his apprentice after the events of Hammered. However, Atticus is about to learn the hard way that not everyone that he has come to trust is deserving of that trust.

trickedTitle:  Tricked
Author:  Kevin Hearne
SeriesThe Iron Druid Chronicles Book 04
Publish Date:  January 1, 2012
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionDruid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert.

But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shapeshifters called skinwalkers. Just when the Druid thinks he’s got a handle on all the duplicity, betrayal comes from an unlikely source. If Atticus survives this time, he vows he won’t be fooled again. Famous last words.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Percy_Procrastinator_100Percy Procrastinator says…

Things I didn’t like: The best I can do this time around is say that I don’t like how Coyote treats Atticus, and Granuaile by extension, in getting Atticus to do things that really seem to be things that Coyote can, should, and is supposed to do. I was also surprised but bummed at how Atticus has to leave his old life behind, in more ways than one, and the lessons from that. The other thing I don’t like is that more time hasn’t passed between books. I think only a few months have passed from book one and I would like to see more time pass, for many reasons. That’s a minor quibble, though, and may be taken care of in later books.

Things I liked: Again, the way that Hearne has defined the magic of the world captivates me. I really like how he has defined druidic magic and what Atticus can do with it. I’m also happy that there aren’t any flashbacks, as those tropes have gotten old with me. Those same flashbacks could make Atticus depressed because he would have been even more powerful a hundred years ago before “unnatural” things and he could manipulate so much more. So I like how Atticus has to work around that and figure out what he can do. I enjoyed seeing the two mythologies mix together and the differences between them. I also liked the interaction between him and Granuaile, even as she admitted some things she should have said a while ago.

badge5v4This book kept it moving and was a page turner for me. I didn’t like reading how good of a Trickster Coyote is and though I put him in things I didn’t like, he is definitely true to what he is. In that, Coyote is written well, but annoying. Again, Atticus is shown that he has a lot to learn but also knows a lot. It’s a very good mix, again between the mythologies. And finding out some background on him was also interesting. I’m ready for the next one!

Stand Out Award Badge2Our reviews in this series…

I’ve added my reviews for Trapped, Hunted, and Shattered to Ivana’s reviews of the audios, so be sure to check those out, too!

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try Jim Butcher‘s work, the Scion RPG, or high level DND play including Planescape.

Hammered by Kevin Hearne

Atticus grew up in a time when your word was all you had. He plans to make good on his word to kill Thor, the god of thunder, even when everything and everyone is telling him he shouldn’t.

HammeredTitle:  Hammered
Author:  Kevin Hearne
SeriesThe Iron Druid Chronicles Book 03
Publish Date:  July 5, 2011
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionThor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Percy_Procrastinator_100Percy Procrastinator says…

Things I didn’t like: Again, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like with this book.

Things I liked: All of it. It started out with some good action and background all at the same time. Then trouble started and kept going, right up until the end. I liked being introduced to other mythologies, whether purely the work of the author and based in real world or just real world. I liked how bigger things are happening and there is a sense of them but the story is focused on the adventure at hand.

badge5v4Kevin Hearne has done it again. Written a book that fully pulled me into it and I could not wait to read more. All of his character are fun to learn about. And even for being an old and experienced character, I like how Atticus realizes he still has a lot to learn. I’m also happy for the sub plot of the apprentice, because it’s a great way to give the reader more information on either Atticus or druidic magic without it coming off as too preachy. It all works for me.

Stand Out Award Badge2Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try Jim Butcher‘s work, the Scion RPG, or high level DND play including Planescape.

A Fantasy Medley 3 by Yanni Kunzia (ed.)

Kunzia’s third collection of fantasy novellas, published by Subterranean Press, is just as beautiful as the first two.  These collections are well worth picking up.

Fantasy Medley 3Title:  A Fantasy Medley 3
Author:  Yanni Kunzia (ed.)
Publish Date:  December 31, 2015
Genre:  Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionIn “Goddess at the Crossroads,” Kevin Hearne shares a thrillingly memorable episode from the past of his popular Iron Druid Chronicles hero Atticus O’Sullivan, revealing how one night’s dark encounter with the cult of Hecate served as inspiration for Shakespeare’s witches in the Scottish play.

With “Ashes,” Laura Bickle revisits Detroit arson investigator and powerful spirit medium Anya Kalinczyk as she, her five-foot-long salamander familiar Sparky, and Hades’ Charon pursue a destructive fire elemental named the Nain Rouge through the city’s festival in his dubious honor.

“The Death of Aiguillon” finds Aliette de Bodard exploring an episode sixty years prior to the start of her latest novel, The House of Shattered Wings, in which the survivors of an ongoing magical conflict in Paris eke out a grim existence, and one woman’s wish for a better life is granted at a terrible price.

And in “One Hundred Ablutions,” Jacqueline Carey, author of the much-beloved Kushiel’s Legacy series, tells the tale of Dala—a young woman chosen by her people’s overlords to be an exalted slave among slaves—and of the twining in her life of ritual, rebellion, and redemption.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

A Fantasy Medley 3 contains two urban fantasy novellas and two fantasy novellas.  I’m familiar with the worlds in which the two urban fantasy novellas are written: Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles and Laura Bickle’s Anya Kalinczyk series.

Kevin Hearne gives us a tale from Atticus’s past, an adventure he had with William Shakespeare, his favorite bard.  This novella is a fun read and adds just a little flavor to Atticus’s past.  Having lived for 2000 years, I’m sure Atticus has many, many fun tales to share.

I was very excited to read the Anya Kalinczyk story, since we haven’t seen an Anya story since 2010.  “Ashes” takes Anya’s story in a wildly different direction than I was expecting, which makes me wonder if there aren’t some thoughts about new novels in the author’s mind.  I hope so!

I have not read any books by Aliette de Bodard or Jacqueline Carey, but after reading the two stories in this collection, I have added them both to my TBR list.

“The Death of Aiguillon” byAliette de Bodard is a lovely tale about the choice humans make between security and freedom, an appropriate topic in today’s world.  “One Hundred Ablutions” by Jacqueline Carey is also about freedom and the cost that is paid to win freedom from oppressors.  “One Hundred Ablutions” is a beautiful and self-contained tale and really piqued my interest in reading more from Jacqueline Carey.

badge4v4My only complaint is that A Fantasy Medley 3 and its predecessors are not available in ebook format. The print books are beautiful collector’s editions, and I appreciate that; but in my house, storage space is at a premium, which is why I prefer buying ebooks over print books, even beautiful ones.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try A Fantasy Medley 1 and 2, or books by any of the authors whose stories you enjoyed.