I’ve just finished reading Kevin Hearne‘s ‘Tricked‘ and ‘Trapped‘, the 4th and 5th in the Iron Druid series. By now anyone who reads my posts knows I delight in Jim Butcher‘s Dresden series and the Iron Druid series has all the same things that I love about Mr Butcher’s Dresden.
The essential of each series is a loveable, rascally character who, although blessed with fantastic magical ability, seem to somehow get themselves wrapped up in some deadly business though not fully thinking through consequences of their decisions. For both Dresden and Atticus, they are trying to do the right thing by everyone and to keep their word. Each promise turns out to be more complicated than first appears leading to more drama, fights with magic, getting tired, running out of magic, just, and finally, nearly dead but successful. Phew. Oh, and they both have wonderful dogs and apprentices (and they both have a ‘thing’ for said apprentice.
Yet although there are many similarities between the series, the actual type of magic used, the mythology behind the magic is quite different. Dresden is involved with the world of faerie, can throw fire and spells, Atticus is a Druid who is tied to GAIA, the earth. Dresden is in his 40s by the last few books while Atticus is over 2000 years old. All this keeps each series interesting and fresh.
Then of course there is the writing style. Fast paced, always something happening with little islands of calm for a deep breath before the ride starts again. Both Butcher and Hearne do this extremely well. The manage to introduce information and characters quickly and with succinct descriptions. The action scenes are well written (although I prefer them to be a bit shorter sometimes but I bet most guys who read it love it).
Both author’s write in the 1st person point of view but for Atticus we get humour from his mental exchanges with his irish wolfhound Oberon. Sometimes it’s really laugh out loud stuff. If you are reading with other people around they look at you strangely for suddenly cackling like a fool at some of Oberon’s comments which seem to occur at the most inappropriate times.
Of course, now I’m all caught up with each series and it’s a bit hard to find something as pacey and entertaining. I’m sure they are around so I’m on the hunt.
Both Butcher and Hearne have managed to write page-turners. Everyone I know who reads one want to go on to the next quickly. I stopped with Dresden at around the 9th book, but picked the series up again after about a month because I just had to know what happened to Harry. Same for Atticus. I’m awaiting delivery of the most recent in the series…. somewhat impatiently.
A final word. Both of these novelists have introduced strong female characters as apprentices. I rather like that.
Now I want to know if anyone is writing similar novels with a woman as the lead. There are some paranormal and steam punk novels with women leads but a lot of them are ‘attached’ to men in some way. I want to know about novels where the woman stands out and is quirky like Harry and Atticus.
Happy to hear anyone’s suggestions.