Blast from the Past

In yesterday‘s review of Fated I mentioned other novels with a similar setting and feel. And because I haven‘t posted those review here before (well, ok, pretty sure I talked about Peter Grant plenty), I give you another Blast from the Past…

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1) — read and reviewed in 2013
by Kevin Hearne

I struggled a bit in the first third of the book. For an over 2000 years old druid this guy seems to be pretty silly and not very smart or wise. The talking dog is a tad annoying, too. It sometimes sounds very smart and at other times it’s pretty much like I would expect a dog to be. 
In the beginning you also get swamped with every supernatural being you can think of and you’re pummeled with a ton of complicated, celtic names. The werewolves could do with being fleshed out a bit more. And a tad of world building would not go amiss. Thor? Really?
I was prepared to be royally disappointed and give up. But I stuck with it and the action picked up eventually. The fight scenes are well written. The bad guys are pretty stupid, though. And the author is not as funny as he thinks he is, Maybe he is trying too hard. Or I am too old to be that easily amused. Take your pick. But I ended up reading pretty much two thirds of the book in one sitting and I enjoyed myself. Go figure. I might even get the next book of the series.

PS: I threw in the towel after book 7 of the series…

Rivers of London (Rivers of London, #1) — read and reviewed in 2012 and 2018
by Ben Aaronovitch

First re-read, July 2018:

My first re-read, six years later and having read and liked all the other available full-length novel. I liked it a lot better than the first time around, although it still felt a bit slow in the middle. I didn‘t remember much of the plot and it was interesting to see, how much this world has developed with the consecutive books.

I guess the perceived slowness was probably due to Aaronovitch spending time on world building and introducing various characters, which are relevant in later books. The plot suffered a bit for it. It was worth reading this again, though. And if this is your first read and you are maybe not totally sold yet, please give the next book a chance.

April 2012, original review:

Modern day London, a copper takes a witness statement, not realising that he is interviewing a ghost. He ends up working for the last wizard of England in a special police unit dealing with the supernatural.

I read the first 70 pages in one sitting. Fresh, witty, great plot, I laughed a lot and had fun. Murder, sleuthing, magic, talking to ghosts. And then those rivers started showing up and the story wandered off into the distance aimlessly. The plot lost its way and I lost interest. I kept putting the book down for days on end, to read something more interesting. Finally I forced myself to finish it with a fair bit of skimming.

What shame. I really wanted to like this book. There was too much going on that had nothing to do with the actual plot. I wish the author had just stuck to the murder mystery and concentrated on developing the three central characters of of Peter Grant, Inspector Nightingale and Lesley. Instead he sidetracked into the story of Mother Thames, her daughters and the Old Man. Which was a nice plot bunny by itself, but had nothing to do with the murder mystery. In the end it was boring and frustrating, because it was so scattered.

PS: Re-reading the first book spawned into a re-read of the entire series and this is currently one of my favourite UF novels written by a male author. Currently waiting for book #9, due to be published in April 2022! Instabuy / pre-ordered!

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) — read and reviewed in 2008
by Jim Butcher

Love the Endless Purse, I want one! What an excellent read. Liked it right from the start, Harry is a guy who likes his sarcasm and has a sense of humour. Harry Potter has grown up and moved to Chicago. Thoroughly enjoyable, good suspense story, well fleshed out characters, and the tension just keeps on rising.

PS: I threw in the towel after book #5. There was zero character development and Harry was just too immature for my taste.

18 thoughts on “Blast from the Past

    1. Sometimes I like crime novels, but I have to be in the mood for it. I struggled with Peter Grant as well at first, with that mix of police procedural and fantasy. The deal breaker with the Dresden Files for me really that Harry was so immature and didn‘t seem to develop in any meaningful way.

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  1. “Rivers of London” looks really interesting. I’m going to look into it. I’ve read the other two and enjoyed them both, although I didn’t finish either series in the end. (I stopped on the second Dresden Files book – just lost interest. With the Iron Druid Chronicles I read up to the end of “Trapped” but couldn’t face any more of what seemed like a slowly declining series. I might go back a finish it one day, since an unfinished series feels like a hangnail in my mind! LOL)

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      1. I just put it in my audible library!!! (Although I’m part-way through Larkwood’s “The Unspoken Name” right now, so I won’t start it just yet! Thanks for the info!! 😁😁😁

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  2. Rivers of London is one that I really want to read. I did manage to finish the Iron Druid Chronicles, though I only read the last book or two because I wanted to see how it ended. I wasn’t enjoying the series nearly as much as I had at the start. I also gave up on Dresden, though I think you made it a book farther than I did. Harry was just not a character I enjoyed reading about.

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      1. I already own the first ebook, though I’ve been putting it off long enough (for an unknown reason… not sure why I haven’t started it yet) that maybe the audiobook would be the perfect way for me to actually get into the series!

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      1. The Iron Druid series is finished. 9 books + assorted short stories. I listened to all of them, but a huge part of that is I really enjoyed Luke Daniels’ narration. If I’d been reading them for myself, I think I would have quit well before the series concluded.

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      2. I just checked, I stopped after #7, so there are only two more novels to go, if I ignore the short stories. Getting the audio is maybe not the best option though, the ebooks are a lot cheaper. I‘ll see. I added #8 to my TBR for now…


      3. #3 and #6 were (for me) the worst in the series, so that might help. I thought #8 felt a little like filler before the End of the World, but it wasn’t the worst of the series for sure. And I did appreciate how #9 brought in a whole bunch of favorite characters to close out the series. If you continue, I hope you’re able to enjoy it—or at least to get some closure!

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