by Kevin Hearn, is about a centuries old Celtic druid who looks like a twenty-one-year-old ginger bassist and battles with the gods of various religions for some reason. It is a continuing series, but I picked up the first book.
WHY I PICKED IT UP
I was torn between loving the use of actual folktales—like the dismemberment of Coyote—and detesting the appalling puns—like “Norse by Southwest”—in the jacket blurbs.
WHERE/WHY I STOPPED
I stopped a few pages into chapter two, while our first-person-narrator expatiated on the merits of disemboweling animals as a means to read fortunes, ala ancient druidic ritual. This soliloquy interrupted a meandering dialogue between himself and a “Morrigan” in the form of a crow about which gods of what hate whom.
I stopped because Hearn is trying too hard to build this world, and forcing the exposition through dialogue (or plain narration). We get it. He hangs with gods. ‘Nuff said.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER, IF ANYTHING
I have to say, the first chapter begins really well; the voice is distinct, likeable, tells a cohesive story about his background information, and never lingers so long on one subject it becomes tedious. However, once the faeries attack, the blow-by-blow description of their fight is boring and adds little. I skipped it before continuing.
Hearn might have improved his work by altering the plot to include a foil character to whom information could be gently provided. Alternatively, he could cut the exposition short of hammering it home and just “GET ON WITH IT,” in the words of a troupe of British comedians.
RECOMMENDATION: DON’T READ
This is another one which was close to call, and resulted in some lengthy deliberation… In the end I put it down, but I may look for some of the author’s other works. I see potential here.