Shattered (Iron Druid #7) by Kevin Hearne (DelRey, June 17th)-Note: No spoilers for this one, but if you aren’t caught up with the series, you may want to find my reviews for previous novels on the review page. When we join Atticus in Shattered, Owen, his archdruid, has just been freed from the Time Island, and it’s time to teach him the ropes of a very new world. It’s been 2,000 years, so there’s a lot to teach, but Atticus is definitely up for the job. Meanwhile, Granuaile is in Colorado with Oberon and teaching her new houd, Orlaith, to speak when she gets the news from Laksha that her birth father has unearthed a raksoyuj from an ancient vessel and it has possessed him. Unfortunately, the raksoyuj is able to summon demons and make them do its bidding, and this one is spreading a pestilence throughout the region. As a result, people are dying. So, Granuaile is urged to find a way to stop her father before someone else decides to, someone that’s not concerned about leaving her dad alive. So, Granuaile leaves Oberon behind to give Atticus the heads up, and she and Orlaith shift to India to meet with Laksha and decide on their next steps. She soon finds out that she’ll need a divine weapon to combat the raksoyuj without killing her father, and that quest will lead her deep into the Himalayas.
Meanwhile, if you’ll recall, Atticus’s tussle with the manticore in the home of Midhir, left his tattoos a mess, so he needs Owen to fix them. Luckily, that will be easy compared to the job ahead, which is to find out once and for all who is conspiring to kill him. Plus, Loki is still running around, committing various acts of crazy,and Ragnarok is still a looming threat.
So, we’ve got Granuaile in India, trying to save her father from possession and stop the plague that’s killing all those people, and keep in mind, her father thinks she’s dead, since she had to fake her own death in order to become a Druid. After Atticus’s tattoos are fixed, he’s hoping he can enlist Owen in helping him suss out who’s after him, so they can head off the problem, and in the meantime, Owen will get to know Atticus all over again, since he’s been “gone” for 2,000 years, after all.
What follows is the usual awesome that you’d expect from Kevin Hearne, but this time the story is told in three voices: Atticus, Granuaile, and Owen. This isn’t the first time he’s done it, and it took a bit to get used to the perspective shifts, but I quickly did, and even though Atticus remains my favorite narrator, I especially enjoyed Owen’s take on things. He’s cranky and gruff, and absorbing all of the changes that 2,000 years has brought would be stressful for anyone. We’ve come to expect a good amount of funny, from these books, as well, and some of the funniest scenes are between Atticus and Owen (keep an eye out for Atticus instructing Owen on the proper way to interact with a woman.) Granuaile and Atticus don’t really come together until the showstopping conclusion, and although I missed their interaction, Granuaile’s eye opening visit with a family of yeti (yeti!!!), more than made up for it.
There’s a lot (a lot) going on in Shattered, and if you’re new to the series, don’t start here. You really need the background of the previous books in order to keep up. Fans already invested in the series, like me, will most definitely enjoy it. The author introduces us to quite a few Hindu deities this time around with his usual impeccable attention to detail, and it’s a talented author that can keep so many threads in play without a stumble. However, he does it, and it makes for a satisfying read. I mean, come on…YETI!!! Shattered is a terrific entry in the series, and for those itching to find out who’s been after Atticus, you’ll get your answers here, but, of course, it’s never that easy for Atticus, and the conclusion will leave you craving the next book. Can’t wait!