End Date: November 24th
Author: M.D. Massey
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 322 (paperback)
Selected By: BillMo
“Name’s Colin McCool. Folks call me the Junkyard Druid. I hate that name.
“Despite my last name, I’m not ‘cool’ like the other hunters in town. I don’t run an occult bookstore, I’ve never owned a Harley, and I didn’t inherit a family fortune passed down through generations of hunters before me.
“And I kind of have this curse on me that’s messed up my life.
“So, things have gone to hell since I was cursed. I live in a junkyard, my mentor Finn is a heroin addict, I’ve got the Cold Iron Circle breathing down my neck, and the local Fae Queen Maeve is blackmailing me into doing her dirty work.
“Now I’m in way over my head trying to retrieve Maeve’s stolen magic rock, all while helping my friend Belladonna solve a series of murder that may or may not involve the local werewolves.
“And did I mention that my girlfriend is a ghost?
“If I can just get the Faery Queen’s tathlum back, and help Belladonna solve the murders…
“Then I just might live long enough to finish my first year of college.”
One might ask themselves, “Why only 2 teacups? Is this not fantasy? Is this not a Druid? Is there not magic involved? Then why is this book not worth more than 2 teacups it seems to have all the ingredients of something AMAZING.”
Well, I will answer these questions for you since you inquired so politely. Have you ever had the pleasure of buying a fake designer bag? That’s what I would compare this book to. I was thinking this looked like a Louis Vuitton but then when I got it home I realized the print on the bag and the stitching was all wrong. I felt like this was a rip off of The Dresden Files and let me tell you I LOVE The Dresden Files. There were just too many similarities for me to overlook. Here are just a few things that seemed too close for my liking:
- He’s a bit of a chauvinist. Funny…..in every Dresden book I’ve read Harry points this out about himself. He prides himself on old school manners regarding women and children and how they should be treated with care.
- The second site….Hmmmm Harry uses a second sight to see the true nature of things while Colin McCool uses it to identify magic…..sounds similar, yeah?!
- You start out with a mystery needing solved but find yourself having to sift through another mystery only to have the two tie together…….yep this sounds the same.
- He’s a very monogamous individual and so is our friendly neighborhood wizard Dresden. Neither to be enticed by a one night stand.
I could forgive one or maybe two of these but it just got too much for me to endure.
“Now, we eat you, make you into poo!”
I liked that Belladonna was a badass but for some reason she couldn’t grow on me so that I could actually say that I liked her. She was constantly hitting on Colin throughout the book and if this was just a normal flirtation that they were both in to then I think maybe I would have liked her better. Who wouldn’t like someone that could stand up for themselves and take on the bad guys? *****SPOILER ALERT*****→ I think the reason I had trouble liking her is that Colin complained about her at the beginning of the book and was trying to avoid her, but then later in the story he says he’s in to her just he wants a relationship with her not something casual. ←*****END SPOILER***** I was as confused and a pinball in a pinball machine. He just kept bouncing all over the place with bells ringing everywhere.
Colin also had a part fae friend named Sabine who supposedly was very shy but at least two times she gets feisty with people. For someone who is mousy and uses a charm to have people not see her she was awfully bold a couple of times. There seemed to be a lot of contradictions in this story.
“If I want your opinion, I will tell you what it is. Is that understood?”
Also, with the writing style I don’t know if it was choppy, if I just had a bad taste in my mouth because of the likeness to Dresden, or if I was trying comparing it to Dresden too much. I felt like it seemed very forced and it was okay but I’m not going to read any more about Colin McCool. Maybe the author’s other series about zombies might be okay. I don’t know we’ll see if I’m interested at a later date.
This might be a bit of a spoiler alert but he is a cursed Druid, a very Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type. My favorite part about the whole book is when you finally get to see him under the curse. I could get behind that, it sounded really cool. I don’t know maybe I’ll give the second book a try just to see what it’s like. If I do I’ll keep you posted. As of right now I’m in no hurry so it may be a minute.
BillMo’s Favorite Character(s): My favorite character was Hemi even though you didn’t see him much. He seemed like a fun loving individual that enjoyed a good brawl. I think that maybe if we followed someone like this character I would have liked it better.
BillMo read the Amazon Kindle edition of this selection.
Well, what can I say. I don’t think this merits an absolute zero cups, but it’s generous to give it one. My first issue is that it is billed as “A New Adult Urban Fantasy Novel”. Clearly that description is missing a word, “YOUNG”. Honestly, my eleven-year-old goddaughter would have found this rather unfortunate. I couldn’t relate to the EMO protagonist. The antagonist was so laughable, it was painful. I’m not talking tears of joy, straight tears as if I had gone into labor without an epidural.
The only good in this novel for me was Samson and Sonny of the local werewolf pack. Unfortunately, we have one scene with them. Wolf politics was briefly explored and not very well for me. However, the fact that Samson was able to pull on his pack magic and his role as an alpha to calm Colin’s beast. And unfortunately, that was the last of the good for me.
I hope the author takes a moment or ten and read the Mercy Thompson series. Patricia Briggs understands how to write female character. Even Robert Jackson Bennett and Justin Cronin write strong and realistic female characters. Each female character we encountered in this novel was so comically (and I don’t mean funny ha-ha) that I rolled my eyes every time was one of them was present. To the self-conscious half-fae beauty with her “see me not” glamour to the ridiculously over the top sex kitten. Are you serious? The scene with Belladonna at the werewolf club house was so asinine, I wanted to punch someone.
Colin, I’m sure we should have felt sorry for him for his unfortunate condition and losing the love of his very short-lived life. I couldn’t find any empathy in me for him. There was nothing relatable, desirable or even tolerable about Colin. He wants to do better in life and forsake his calling. Good luck with that. I got sick of hearing that he was Druid Trained. Oh yeah? Show me what that means versus rambling on about it.
Honestly, I really can’t go any further. Supporting character of Finn, was pretty useless for me. Hemi and Luther were just ok. I’m sure they were both meant for us to be emotionally binding to Colin and to move the story along. Not so much. It is rare that I cannot even express more in detail. It’s just not worth my effort to say, I just didn’t like it.
Lady Esbe’s Favorite Character(s): Samson and Sonny.
Lady Esbe read the Amazon Kindle edition of this selection.
Caveat: Elle did not complete November’s selection.
Let’s not mince words: this book sucked the big one, but, as Esbe pointed out, it didn’t suck enough to flat out abhor. I mean… all in all, I actually made it 70% through this selection before I gave up – but when I’d had enough, I had absolutely had enough.
It wasn’t just the poor editing – which was, let’s face it, very poor, indeed; there were noticeable typos scattered throughout the digital version. And it wasn’t just the fact that, despite the author’s assertions to the contrary, I saw nothing in this novel that would indicate it should be marketed as anything other than Young Adult; the protagonist is in his late teens / early twenties, and over and above the supernatural shenanigans occurring around him, the issues with which he must deal are those of people in their late teens / early twenties – for example, the getting and losing of one’s first love, dealing with the burden of a parental figure whom he finds is now more dependent on him than he is on them, and trying to balance his educational obligations with his druidic duties.
And it wasn’t just the nonsensical and often contradictory statements made by the protagonist. For example, he waxes ecstatic about how one of the characters attends therapy to deal with a trauma allegedly akin to the loss of his own lady love – a trauma which turns out, paragraphs later, to be that she has self-esteem issues due to her early – and large – breast development, which our hero proceeds to relate to his own traumatic bullying due to manboobs he had as a wee lad. He then proceeds to go on a brief tangent about how he thinks it’s just plain wrong to use women based on their physical characteristics – all literally seconds before using this same female character’s marked beauty as a means of passive-aggressively spurning the advances of another.
It was all of those things. All of them. Combined with the simple fact that everything within these pages has been done before – done to death, in fact, and done by authors with more writing skill and creativity than M.D. Massey. In fact, until BillMo clarified that Colin McCool was actually a supporting character from some other more established series, I assumed this was Massey’s first novel (and even then, not a very well-written one). Kevin Hearne’s Atticus O’Sullivan fills the druid urban fantasy niche quite well, Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden pretty much rules the roost when it comes to old-fashioned fellas solving crimes which occasionally involve the Fae and their queens, no one can really hold a candle to the werewolves who inhabit Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson universe, and Kim Harrison’s takes on vampires in the Hallows series are some of the best in urban fantasy.
Not this, though. This is just regurgitated plots and characters from all of those other, better books, mushed up into baby food and then spat into our faces by an individual who finds it necessary to point out that the fact that we’ve already eaten this meal once before is all a mere coincidence.
In summary, I did not care for this novel, and I will not be reading anything else by this author. I think almost-three-quarters of one was enough for one lifetime.
Elle Tea’s Favorite Character(s): No one.
Elle Tea read the Amazon Kindle edition of this selection.