Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #2
Published by Del Rey on June 7th 2011
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Length: 8 hrs 52 min
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Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.
With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.
Spoiler warning: This story builds off of Book 1 so there are things that will be discussed.
NOTE: I picked up the audiobook on sale and don’t have print copy so I am at a loss for some spelling of names in this review.
Atticus is dealing with the fallout from the battle with Aenghus Óg. First there is the matter of the energy the Celtic God drew from the land, killing the land for miles around, and then there is the demons that escaped the hell pit he opened up and decided to make a run for it rather than fight.
Coyote, the Native American Trickster God, has come to Atticus to clean up the mess that was created because of him, including killing a fallen angel who is now snacking on teens at a local high school.
The local witches want sign a truce with Atticus, but Atticus doesn’t have much trust in witches. They do let him know that the Roman God Bacchus is sending his followers, the Bacchans, to Tempe, AZ, and ask for his help getting them out since followers of Bacchus create orgies, unrest and spread disease. Atticus is hoping to finally settle into Tempe for awhile and decides to help them. Atticus approaches the Hindu witch formerly residing in the body his new apprentice Granuaile, Laksha Kulasekaran. Laksha agrees but her price is a Golden Apple from Asgard (of Old Norse folklore) that will give her long life in her new body. Atticus agrees and puts that on his to-do list. But getting rid of the Bacchans doesn’t go as smoothly as they all hoped and they might be returning to Las Vegas for reinforcements. Fighting a horde of Bacchans, something else to add to his to-do list.
But before Atticus can go to Asgard to grab a Golden Apple for Laksha, he first has to deal with the German Witches who has suddenly shown up in Town. These are witches Atticus dealt with once before during WWII and which seem to be holding a grudge against the Tempe witches.
As if that isn’t enough for one Druid to handle, a Priest and a Rabbi walk into Atticus’s bookstore asking a lot a weird questions and are pretty insistent about getting a look at Atticus’s rare book collection.
And did I mention that Atticus’s weird neighbor who keeps calling the cops on him has a grenade launcher in his garage? Or that Atticus’s vampire lawyer Leif won’t speak to Atticus unless he agrees to help Leif get to Asgard to kill Thor. (Apparently Thor is a great big asshat in this series and everyone hates him.)
This is a crazy story which just never stopped. What I liked best is that we don’t just deal with Roman Gods, Greek Gods, Norse Gods, Celtic Gods, etc., Atticus gets the Virgin Mary to come down to earth to bless some arrows so that he can fight the fallen angel, and he tells her to let Jesus know that Atticus will take him out for a beer next time he comes around…and he does (but that’s Book 3). There is nothing taboo here and the story just balances so well, such as if you are fighting demons from the Christian’s hell realm, you need the help of a Christian God.
I can’t stop and I am currently on Book 4. I am going to hate catching up on this series.
I was thrilled to have an apprentice to teach and to share the night with filled me with hope so When Lief greeted me formally from my front porch as I came home from work, I was perhaps more exuberant in my response than I should have been.
“Leif, you spooky bastard. How the hell are ya’?” I grinned widely as I braked my bike to a stop. He raised his eyebrows and peered at me down his long Nordic nose and I realized he was probably unused to such cavalier address.
“I am not a bastard,” he replied archly. “Spooky I will grant you, and while I am well,” the corner of his mouth quirked upward a fraction. “I confess no so jocund as yourself.”
“Jocund?” I raised my brows. Leif had asked me in the past to call him on behaviors that broadcast how much older he was than he looked. Apparently he didn’t want to be corrected right then. He exhaled noisily to express his exasperation. I thought it amusing that he employed that since he had no need to breathe.
“Fine,” he said. “No so jovial then.”
“No one uses those words anymore, Leif, except for old farts like us.” I leaned my bike against the porch rails and mounted the three steps to take a seat next to him. “You really should spend some decent time learning how to blend in. Make it a project. Popular culture is mutating at a much faster rate these days. It’s not like the middle ages when you had the church and the aristocracy keeping everything nice and stagnant.”
“Very well. Since you are the verbal acrobat who walks the tightrope of the zeitgeist, educate me. How should I have responded?”
“First, get rid of well. Nobody uses that anymore either. Now they always says ‘I’m good’.”
Leif frowned. “But that is grammatically improper.”
“These people don’t care about proper. You can tell them they are trying to use an adjective as an adverb and they’ll just stare at you like you’re a toad.”
“Their educational system has suffered serious setback, I see.”
“Tell me about it. So what you should have said was ‘I’m not stoked like you, Atticus, but I’m chill.'”
“I’m chill? That means I am well or good as you say?”
“But that’s nonsense,” Leif protested.
“It’s modern vernacular.” I shrugged. “Date yourself it you want but if you keep using nineteenth century diction, people will start to think you’re a spooky bastard.”
“They already think that.”
“You mean because you only come out at night and you suck their blood?” I said in a tiny innocent voice.
“Precisely.” Leif said, unaffected by my teasing.
“No, Leif.” I shook my head in all seriousness. “They don’t figure that out until much later. If they ever figure it out at all. These people think you’re spooky because of the way you talk and the way you behave. They can tell you don’t belong. Believe me, it’s not because you have skin like two percent milk. Lot’s of people of scared of skin cancer here in the valley of the sun. It’s once you start talking that people get creeped out. They know you’re old then.”
“But I am old, Atticus.”
“And I’ve got at least a thousand years on you, or have you forgotten?”
He sighed. The weary, ancient vampire who had no need for respiration. “No, I have not forgotten.”
“Fine. Don’t complain to me about being old. I hang out with these college kids and they have no clue that I am not one of them. They think my money comes from an inheritance or a trust fund, and they want to have a drink with me.”
“I find the college children delightful. I would like to have a drink with them too.”
“No, Leif. You want to drink of them and they can sense that subconsciously because you radiate this predatory aura.”
His affectation of a hen-pecked husband sloughed away and he looked at me sharply. “You told me they can’t sense my aura as you do.”
“No, they can’t consciously sense it, but they pick up on your otherness. Mostly because you don’t respond like you should, or act like man of your cosmetic age.”
“How old do I look?”
“Umm…” I appraised him looking for wrinkles. “You look like you’re in your late 30’s.”
“I look that old. I was turned in my late 20s.”
“Times were tougher back then.” I shrugged again.
“I suppose. I have come to talk to you about those times, if you are free for the span of an hour or so?”
“Right.” I replied, rolling my eyes. “Just let me go get my hour glass and my freakin’ smoking jacket. Listen to yourself, Leif. Do you want to blend in or not? The span of an hour? Who says shit like that anymore?”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“No one is so formal. You can just say ‘if you’re free’ and end it there. Though it would have been better to say ‘if you ain’t doin’ nothin’.”
“But I enjoyed the animistic meter of ‘for the span of an hour’ followed by the I am…”
“Gods below! You compose your sentences in blank verse? No wonder you can’t carry on a half hour’s conversation with a sorority girl. They are used to talking with frat boys, not Shakespearean scholars.”