From a light Australian romance to a humourous and super interesting first in a chronicles book about an extremely (try 2,100 years) long lived Druid in modern day USA. This book is full of wonderful characters, action, humour, paranormal, magic, did I mention humour, because I really LOVED that part of this book.
Hounded by Kevin Hearne is the first in The Iron Druid Chronicles and most certainly will NOT be the last one I read in this series. From the main character (and our narrator and view point the whole story through) the Druid Atticus O’Sullivan (at least that is the name he goes by now) to his dog Oberon (who is beyond a hoot and a half) to his werewolf and vampire legal team… oh I could just go on and on… a human widow (Irish and long lived) who made me laugh from the first meeting on… gods that you are not sure if you should love or hate… OH and everyone hates Thor… I mean EVERYONE! (not the same as movie Thor, apparently the different versions/incarnations of the gods etc exist in different places… belief/power/etc determines that)
All for the want of a sword… that is that everyone has a different opinion as to whether or not Atticus should keep hold of the one he has. With old adversaries blending with new and those on his side at times even questionable, Atticus is constantly sharing a bit of his past here, a thought there, a joke always and his love for his pet Oberon… eternal.
I don’t know that I can sing the praises of this story loudly enough. There is lively discussion about various deities… a lovely bit of a history lesson, characters that seem so real you feel like you just need to get to the place and meet them for yourself. Granted, there is some sexuality (goddesses are traditionally quite naked it seems and so many of the pantheons are full of sex and gore), definitely a bit of gore (for really a Celtic Druid with an insanely important sword… duh), but so much humour and such a well told story! I cannot wait to get my hands on the second one!
What is more humourous than a logical, calm ACCOUNTANT vampire? The first chapter had me hooked with Fredrick Frankford Fletcher’s dry delivery, matter of fact story telling. Living his life with slight changes to deal with the need to avoid the usual – sunlight, silver and garlic, Fred has found a way to make even being a vampire humdrum… until he decides to throw caution to the wind and (cautiously and well planned) head to his 10 year high school reunion. I love this line:
And there it was. My unlife was so boring that even the woman who hunted monsters saw me as harmless.
In fact, Krystal the hunter of ‘parahumans’ (those who we consider monsters) shows up to inject some action into his solitary life. Leave it to an old high school friend to reconnect with a bang.
Fred the non-confrontational accountant vampire is stronger and quicker and much less clumsy but still avoids arguments, difficult situations and saying no. He is the most mild mannered “badass” of them all and you can’t help but love him for it. Black napkins to avoid stains and a complete ineptitude at feeding off of living victims, Fred is a blood bank sort of man.
Ghouls, werewolves, vampires, high school reunions, weresteeds, undead assistants, Vegas, LARPing… have I sold you yet? Because if I haven’t, well… you are simply going to miss out! This is a collection of interconnected stories really all centered around Fred from his point of view. So if you enjoy some supernatural dry humour, this is the book for you! And if you don’t, give it a try, it may grow on you!
I am not sure what it is with grabbing the second book in a series but I seem to have turned it into somewhat of a talent! I have delved into this world before with the Parasol Protectorate series. Gail Carriger has a real talent to create an enthralling steampunk world full of vampires, werewolves and spys. Curtsies & Conspiracies does not disappoint in any way. From the Finishing School series this is “Book the Second”, I actually came across this book from a rather entertaining website: Finishing School (HERE) where you learn “The Fine Art of Finishing Others”. Which of course means I completely did not make the connection between the adult series and this young adult one until the book came in from the library.
We follow Sophronia as she goes about her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies where all things ladylike including spying and seat planning are taught from a dirigible! A school trip is more than simply visiting London… after all the entire school is afloat! There is conspiracy and intrigue, petticoats and suspiciously mechanical purses topped with fine lace.
What I love about the characters is that all the tiers of society are represented… the gentile ladies, the sooties in the boiler room (Soap), even those connected to the suspicious and unknown Picklemen. There are classes and clandestine meetings, adventure and balls and tea, flirtation with death as well as noble boys. There are characters connected to the adult series and the same basic conflicts of the main group. I love that I did not feel like I was reading a story that was really only for young adults. It was easy to lose yourself in the plot and enjoy the adventure.
So follow Sophronia as she uses her training to navigate London, relations with vampires and werewolves and the beginnings of young love!