Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Joe Ledger vs The Iron Druid

A few years ago I rediscovered the joy of reading and have been making my way through a few books every month. Unfortunately with that I also discovered the pain of falling in love with a series then having to wait months, or even years as the author writes the latest book in the series. In order to pass the time as I wait for the newest book in a series I have decided to reread two of my old favourite series and wanted to share them with you.

The Joe Ledger Series and The Iron Druid Chronicles.

The Joe Ledger Series tells the tale of eponymous hero Joe Ledger as he joins a secret military organization called the Department of Military Science, or DMS for short. The DMS only hires the best of the best and the creator who goes by the code-name Church, gives his people the best toys available. A running joke through the series is how whenever something is requested, Church always seems to have a "friend in the industry." Whether it is the latest in bio-weapon protection or a circus tent to protect a large crime scene, Church is always able to get what they need. The DMS handles the biggest and baddest problems which could occasionally wipe out all life as we know it. The first novel  is about a mad scientist who creates a doomsday plague that turns people into actual zombies… Yup… zombies. Picture Mission Impossible meets Walking Dead.

Probably my favourite part of this whole series are the characters. The main character is nearly insane and struggles with the horrors his work forces him to deal with. His boss is a stoic man who exudes power and capability while simultaneously maintaining a secret identity and hinting at a dark past. Their enemies are unique and deadly while being so over the top evil that you feel great whenever the good guys land their big finishers. But the best part of all is how each character grows and changes throughout the series. The good guys are not invincible badasses, they are hurt and changed by the problems they face and in such a dangerous world some of them even die.

All in all this is a great series for anyone who loves a well written action movie of a book with an interesting cast that has to deal with some of the craziest situations imaginable.

The Iron Druid Chronicles follows Atticus O'Sullivan, a 2100 year old druid who maintains the the outward facade of a college aged occult bookstore owner. Atticus lives in a world of magic and supernatural monsters where all pantheons of gods exist and earth is the crossroads they all share. Atticus is the last druid as previously, gods who feared their ability to enter any pantheon and possibly kill the gods therein, led a crusade against them and all but wiped them out. He managed to survive this long by hiding and changing his identity, bouncing from place to place as people get suspicious of him. The first book in the series starts with Atticus being found by one of his greatest enemies and deciding it is finally time to stop running and decides to fight back.

My favourite part of this whole series is how the author is able to weave all the different pantheons together and explain their interactions. One particularly funny moment is where one goddess of death explains how several of them get together and visit war zones and have a bit of girl's night out together. The author even goes on to explain how they could possibly all exist, talking about how they get their power from the faith of their followers and how everyone hates Thor lately because his ego has become so inflated after the popularity of all the movies about him. One of the more interesting characters of the series is a Russian thunder god named Perun. Perun is a jovial man who's mass is only matched by his body hair and he's so likable that I can't help but root for him no matter what situation he is in!

The Iron Druid Chronicles is a funny series with a sprinkling of epic god battles that is a must read for anyone who enjoys supernatural or godly stories.

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