I’m so sorry that this is late; I meant to have this chapter sporked a couple of months ago, and never got around to it. I should being doing better, considering that there’s really not much else going on the site.

So I have a thesis, in-progress, that this book’s quality is better than the last one? That’s a low bar, I realize, but it’s something. I’ll talk about it more when we get to the end, but it is mildly more competent in writing style than Hounded was.

Are you ready for Atticus to finally face these Bacchants? No? Well deal with it.

So how do we start this chapter?

People who don’t live in Scottsdale like to sneer derisively and call it “Snotsdale.” People who do live there tend to call everyone else “jealous.” Both groups have a point.

You know, I talk a lot about the impression I think we’re supposed to get from Atticus, and how that falls flat. Right now I’m thinking that he’s supposed to sound like an urban fantasy Michael Weston. From Burn Notice? If you’re not familiar, it’s a television show about a spy who has been fired (“burned”) and goes around helping people in Miami with his intelligence skills and know-how. He narrates the story by giving facts about espionage, about Miami, about how to avoid getting shot, and that kind of thing, all with a snarky tone of voice.

Atticus thinks he’s that clever.

So after a while of explaining that Scottsdale is THE nice upscale neighborhood in the area, he tells us that the night club the Bacchants are hanging out in, Saturn, is there. Before heading there, he and Laksha send home Granny before driving to Target to buy baseball bats. If you’ve forgotten, the Bacchants are immune to iron weapons, so the weapon they come up with is wooden baseball bats. They’re not bad weapons, but they’re not great ones either. A sharpened stake should work just fine too. And Atticus has control of plants and wind–he should be able to use those elemental powers to easily overpower an opponent.

Then again, Hearne probably just wants to have his protagonist beat the snot out of someone with a bat. And I get that urge, I suppose. But it’s still silly.

We’re explicitly told that the cashier gives them a look, because they are buying baseball bats and Atticus is wearing a sword on him, without bothering to use magic to cloak it. He says that security didn’t realize he was carrying a weapon until he was checking out at the cashier, which is stupid–it’s hard to hide a sword strapped to your back. Security escorts him to the store’s exit.

Yeah, real paranoid, this guy. Have you ever been so paranoid you blatantly showed everyone you’re packing a weapon, even when you could easily hide it?

You Keep Using That Word: 11

Atticus and Laksha convince their taxi driver that their martial arts enthusiasts that are in town for a convention? And so they’re going to a club? Even if the taxi driver bought that they were martial artists, and that’s why they have a sword (which is somewhat believable), I don’t think he’d believe the story when they say they want to go to a nightclub with that sword. The only comment it draws is that when the driver drops them off, he tells them they won’t let him inside with a sword, which Atticus waves off.

Also when they tell him they’re martial artists, his reply is this? Not even conveyed in dialogue.

Said he was going to be a ninja once, but things didn’t work out the way he planned.

Look, this is actually more amusing than 90% of the stupid jokes out of named characters’ mouths, and it’s a throwaway line that Hearne clearly didn’t care about. But I wanted to share it with you. No, it’s not laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s amusing.

At the club, Atticus notes that they don’t have a bouncer at the door, and that music is coming from inside. He asks Laksha if she needs to do any weird magic preparations before entering, and she denies it more than once. Atticus doesn’t feel comfortable going in, and the following discussion reveals why Laksha is immune to the Bacchants’ magic: she has complete control of her body. Because of that, she’s immune to their pheromones.

The way Laksha describes it, saying she’s in complete control of her nervous system, hormones, reactions to pheromones and other stimuli, uh… makes me think that Laksha should be acting more like Spock and less like, well, a Hearne character. Not that she’s particularly emotional, but we see scenes in which she finds things uncontrollably hilarious, she’s seemingly very fond of sex, and seems to get a kick out of making people feel uncomfortable. If she is in complete control of her body and nervous system, and she doesn’t feel things unless she wants to, I’d expect that to be very toned down?

[I thought that the last book mentioned that Laksha was in complete control of her body too, but I can’t find a mention of it in my quick glances of the last few sporking chapters.]

Atticus is also pleased to have his suspicions confirmed that the Bacchants use magic through pheromones, but I wonder why this was here? Why would this be his theory he holds earlier in the book if another character just confirms it and we move on? It’s narratively lazy. I suppose Laksha doesn’t technically confirm, she just assumes so, given what she knows of their magic, but I don’t get why it’s not just established from the get-go that pheromones are what they use.

Because Atticus is clearly NOT in control of himself at the best of times, he thinks entering the club might be dangerous. Laksha insists that he at least come inside and look around, and she’ll kick him out if when he loses control.

I will escort you out once you begin touching yourself.”

“What? Hey, don’t let it go that far. That’s not right.”

Look, considering Atticus, it won’t take long to get that far.

They leave the bats outside on Laksha’s advice, because the Bacchants would consider them threatening. Not the sword though. Which doesn’t make sense. Because yes, the sword can’t hurt them, because they’re immune to iron weapons, but it’s still a weapon. They’d recognize it as something someone intends to use to harm someone else.

They go into the club, and we get a description of the inside area and I don’t care to relate it all to you, especially since so little time is spent in it. It’s a fancy nightclub and a bar. I don’t know if this is based off of a real place that Hearne just described for the novel, but I can’t find a record of it as I type this sporking, so maybe it’s just out of his imagination.

So because of the Bacchants’ magic, everyone in the club is one the floor having sex. We don’t get a detailed description, only that it’s going on and that Atticus is trying to fill his head with facts about baseball to crowd out the intrusive thoughts about sex.

Laksha explains that she’s worried her body will be vulnerable as she performs her magic. She plans to go into a sort of meditative state, during which she’ll use magic to kill the Bacchants as agreed. Atticus assumes she’s going to do something like push their souls out of their bodies, but she explains that she’s going to just shut off their hypothalamuses (hypothalami?) one by one.1 Which is crazy and creepy? Atticus doesn’t really react to this, despite constantly saying how sketch witchcraft is.

Her body will have no protection while she does this, and while she’s talking a man bewitched by the Bacchants tries to grope her. Laksha stomps on his foot and hits him in the head, knocking him out.

While observing one of the Bacchants, Atticus gets distracted, and starts making out with someone until Laksha slaps him. Exasperated, Laksha sends him outside because “he’s already useless.”

Which is how I summarize the character in general.

She has him outside the door, and tells him to stay further out so he’s not tempted to walk back in. Atticus gets his baseball bats, feeling awkward about standing in a parking lot holding two baseball bats and holding a sword, reflecting that he looks really suspicious. Which makes me wonder why he brought the sword at all.

And then two police officers roll up. Atticus feels really stupid now, because he looks VERY suspicious.

I should have learned my lesson back at Target, but I’d been too focused on accomplishing the night’s objective to worry about doing it surreptitiously.

I know, right? It’s almost like instead of being paranoid, his default state is that he didn’t think this through at all.

You Keep Using That Word: 12

Atticus tries to say that he’s waiting for a friend. This doesn’t go over well.

“With a sword and a couple of bats? You sure it’s a friend you’re waiting for?”

Random side characters in this chapter have got it going on with random quips, huh?

Atticus uses magic to hide the sword, acting like he never had one to begin with, which doesn’t work very well after the cops have already seen it. They ask him to put down the potential weapons and show identification. Instead of doing that, he magically makes his bats disappear, leading them to demand ID again. And so Atticus turns himself invisible.

What’s messed up is that Atticus KNOWS that they wouldn’t just leave after that, so he’s intentionally screwing with them while saying he “was trying to be one of the good guys here.” That’s not what this looks like, man! I know that cops are not popular these days, for fairly understandable reasons, but he’s basically screwing around with two bystander guys near a dangerous situation, and they have no idea what’s going on. They are armed officers of the law, but they’re not equipped to deal with this situation. They could easily get slaughtered (and spoiler alert, that’s exactly what happens).

If Atticus was anything like a sympathetic character, he’d be doing his best to get these guys out of here. Either by talking them out of this, or by leading them someplace else. Instead, he just… messes with them, and hopes that’s enough. He’s really acting as if he thought this would get them to leave him alone, which is not what a reasonable person would assume.

Also this:

There were times in my past when I probably deserved to be harassed, but this wasn’t one of them.

Let me fix this for you, Atticus:

There were times in my past when I probably deserved to be harassed but this wasn’t one of them.

There we go.

Because he straight-up disappeared, the cops come to the conclusion that the dangerous-looking suspicious man might have gone into the nightclub nearby, and that would be bad, so they want to go in and investigate. You know, the exact opposite of what Atticus was trying to do, but what anyone thinking about the situation would think would be happening.

Deciding this would be bad, Atticus tries to prevent them from it. Using the vaguely-defined “binding” power that Druids have, he binds them together, but in a way that it makes one of them slap the other across the face. The two police officers then start having a slap fight? Because yeah, this is what the story needs now, right?

LAUGH, DAMNIT!: 16

This erupts into fists, and one cop actually pops another in the nose, and they get serious, rolling around on the pavement beating each other and bleeding, and WHAT THE FUDGE IS GOING ON HEARNE?

Given Chapter 16 of the last book I think Hearne assumes that cops are all ready to go homicidal at the drop of a hat? And yeah, sadly, looking at some headlines, it’s a problem we’ve had to deal with, but that doesn’t make it good writing! Especially since Atticus is sitting here giggling to himself while watching! Well, not giggling, but he does comment about how they’re insulting each other after the violence.

…they were content to lie there bleeding, sling various anatomical epithets at each other, and accuse their mothers of sexual adventures with farm animals. Good times.

YOU DID THIS TO THEM!

LAUGH, DAMNIT!: 17

The cops get up and decide they’re going to blame the crazy guy with bats for their injuries. As they get in the car, Atticus hears screams from the club and Laksha exits with a crowd of people, running out of the club while screaming. Atticus, currently magically cloaked, gets her attention, and they talk.

Laksha explains that she killed twelve Bacchants as they agreed. Atticus wonders why everyone is panicking then, and the witch explains that it’s because there are three more homicidal Bacchants in the club killing people.

“Well, why didn’t you kill them too?” I asked.

“Because we agreed on twelve.”

“I’ll be sure not to fetch you any extra apples, then.

Wow, Atticus, it’s almost like you, a man who constantly tells the reader that witches are sketch and untrustworthy, should definitely see it coming when a witch does something sketch and untrustworthy. You would think a really paranoid immortal would think about details in binding agreements like that, and would stop constantly putting trust in people he tells everyone not to trust!

You Keep Using That Word: 13

We get to see a Bacchant walk out of the club, grab some rando woman, and chuck her across the parking lot. Atticus laments that Granny isn’t here to see it, because then she’d understand that the Bacchants aren’t victims. Also a woman just got murdered, but Atticus only kind of cares about that. I mean, he criticizes that Laksha laughs over this, as if this makes her a sociopath, but Atticus was just sort of amused as he watched two cops beating the snot out of each other, and he’s not exactly perturbed by this death either.

Also now that the Bacchants are in murder mode, they don’t release sex pheromones, I guess? Makes it handy. I’m debating whether or not to slip a ‘Make it Easy!’ count in there.

Ah, screw it, I don’t use these counts enough.

Make It Easy!: 10

So he concludes that Laksha has done all she’s gonna, camouflaged Atticus takes out one Bacchant by knocking her down and beating her skull with the bat. He makes a point of wondering who she was before she became a mad servant of Bacchus, if she was a normal young woman, and this would hold more weight if anything else was taken seriously in the story. Look, sometimes Hearne tries to drop heavy ideas on us and act as if he’s taking these characters and ideas seriously, but then he goes to telling dumb jokes like shooting a fallen angel in the butthole, and it makes me think those serious bits were suggested by an editor in the fourth draft as a way to make Atticus more sympathetic.

Second Bacchant senses him coming and blocks his bat swing, breaking the bat. So when she grabs him, he stabs her in the neck with the splinters of the broken bat. Though it’s described as a fatal wound, she takes her time dying and keeps attacking him until he can snap her neck. However, the strength for that move uses the last of his magical energy stored in his amulet, so he can’t heal and his camouflage spell poops out.

The fight scene is alright, I guess, but I’m still a little disappointed that all of the fight scenes in this book take considerably longer than that time Atticus killed Bres, a Fomorian god, just by tripping him and lopping off his head.

The cops can now see Atticus and decide to arrest him. They handcuff him on the ground while people are running around screaming. They realize that the people are running from something inside the club though, and decide to go investigate. Atticus tries to dissuade them, saying “One of them is still in there,” but of course he can’t really explain much other than that they’re better off using batons than guns.

Also one of the officers tries to remove the sword, but it’s bound to Atticus by some magic BS independent of his amulet, so it won’t go more than a few feet away. Or something. It’s confusing the officer.

Atticus asks what kind of bullets they use, hoping they’re copper jackets, but the officer says they’re steel. As iron doesn’t work on the Bacchants (and steel is made from iron and carbon, don’t ya know), this presents a problem. He hears gunshots in the club from the other officer, then the other officer is screaming, and he goes in after his partner, not taking Atticus’s advice to use his baton rather than a gun.

From the sounds of gunshots, that officer doesn’t last much longer. Both police officers are now dead.

Atticus wanders to a patch of ground where he can draw some power to go back into stealth mode and charge his amulet again. He uses more “bonding magic” BS to weaken “the molecular bonds” and make his handcuffs easier to break. What, Druid magic works on molecular bonds, implying they understand the concept of molecules, but the Irish gods (who themselves are souped up Druids) can’t understand how a blender works? What?

The last Bacchant walks out, covered in blood and carrying her thyrsus (which is the staff they use, and the symbol of Bacchus). Atticus tells us he has no weapons on him other than the sword (which won’t work, because Bacchants are immune to iron), but he still can pick up the broken baseball bat pieces, yes?

Though he’s magically cloaked, the Bacchant can smell him (or at least, his magic, she says), so she walks right up to him and asks what he is. Specifically, she asks if he’s one of the Polish witches. He denies that, and she asks if he’s the vampire lawyer, Leif Helgarson, which Atticus thinks is pretty interesting, because it implies that Leif has enough of a reputation that the invading Bacchants have heard of him and consider him a threat.

On her third guess, she decides he must be the Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, which instead of denying (because he’s invisible, remember, she can’t prove jack), he says “Pleased to meet you… But not really” and she decides that her boss, Bacchus, needs to hear about that. Also he’s incredibly surprised that she guessed who he was, but A) it took her three tries and B) Hearne established in the first chapter that he’s a very famous figure in the supernatural world, and most of the gods know where he lives.

It’s almost like he doesn’t realize that being famous in supernatural circles would allow certain antagonistic parties to figure out who he is and where he lives.

He’s really bad at being paranoid.

You Keep Using That Word: 14

The Bacchant books it out of there, and because he’s out of power, no bare earth in the parking lot, and no strength to try to catch up running, the Bacchant just… leaves. She’s gone. If I’m not wrong, that’s the end of that subplot for this book.

Atticus is not thrilled with this development. As he points out, one Bacchant got away, is evidently going to tell a Roman god of his survival and where he lives, and they could come back in force. Several civilians and two cops are dead and a nightclub got wrecked. This could easily be national news, and though he’s really bad at not drawing attention he doesn’t want to be anywhere near a front page story.

Emergency vehicles start rolling up, so after removing his fingerprints from the baseball bat remains, he “jogged wearily south”, finds a shopping center, and calls a taxi. The taxi driver gives him funny looks over the sword and broken handcuffs, but Atticus pays him cash up front and has him drop him off nearby instead of at his home address in case the guy decides to call the cops anyway. He jogs home while magically cloaked.

See? It’s like Hearne learned at least a little bit from the last book. In Hounded Atticus would’ve taken the cab straight home after getting funny looks from the driver, and wouldn’t think to question if it was a bad idea. Growth? Or the writer is getting slightly better?

That being said, he gets home and lies down in the yard to sleep so he can heal with the Earth’s power, without any clothes on, and that’s not… that’s dumb. Like, I get he has healing while he’s in touch with the Earth, and he needs to sleep, and he needs to heal, but again, the supernatural community knows where he lives. They have his home address. And sure, he’s magically cloaked, but one could easily just… firebomb his yard, if so inclined. He’d be screwed.

I contacted the iron elemental who lurked around my shop to come eat away the cuffs on my wrists, and after the rain finally quit, my mind found rest on Lethe’s shore.

Oh yeah, that iron elemental that only exists when it’s convenient. It did something.

Also hey, “Lethe’s shore” is a very dramatic way to talk about sleep? Especially since very often he talks about the Greco-Roman gods as being distinctly not his, a casual reference here makes me think Hearne’s trying to make him sound smart again.

We are over a third of the way through the book, in case you’re wondering. Join us next time, when Attticus has sex with a goddess. Again. Well, a different goddess than the one he slept with in that last book.

[wearily waves finger flag] Yay.

Better Than You: 5
Did Not Do Homework: 10
The Kids These Days: 7
You Keep Using That Word: 14
Make It Easy!: 10
LAUGH, DAMNIT!: 17

1 The hypothalamus is, according to Laksha, the part of the brain that regulates heartbeat. I don’t understand the Wikipedia page enough to confirm whether that’s true, but I THINK so.

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Comment

  1. Stranger on 1 June 2022, 19:23 said:

    I should being doing better, considering that there’s really not much else going on the site.

    You’re single-handedly keeping the site alive, so that’s something to be thankful for, I think. No pressure here.

  2. Jasper on 5 June 2022, 10:29 said:

    I admit that I didn’t find out about this site during it’s more active days, but I’d been looking through the various sporkings here. As an aspiring writer, it had been helpful to see the mistakes of certain authors writing urban fantasy so I won’t make the same often.

    As always since Hounded, Atticus can’t do the “hiding from the supernatural community” part right, uninterestingly OP and horrible a person as usual. At this point, I would like to see Laksha’s POV, given she was dealing with the Bachhants while Atticus predictably begins to think with his dick.

    Also, the hypothalamus is an structure found in the brain which ensures homeostasis. Think of it like keeping everything in a balance, and the hypothalamus does so by regulating hormones and influencing the nervous system.

  3. Faranae on 13 June 2022, 13:17 said:

    That first taxi driver is the most interesting character in the entire book so far!

    Also, I think the handcuff breaking and removal deserves a “Make It Easy!” because it’s another “pulled a power out of his ass” trick.

    Also, why is he on his lawn (let’s ignore that him having a lawn in Arizona is completely appalling for a supposedly pro-Earth character), I thought he had a cellar or a courtyard or something in the previous book?

  4. Juracan on 14 June 2022, 06:07 said:

    You’re single-handedly keeping the site alive, so that’s something to be thankful for, I think. No pressure here.

    Forgive me, but that feels like quite a LOT of pressure.

    I admit that I didn’t find out about this site during it’s more active days, but I’d been looking through the various sporkings here. As an aspiring writer, it had been helpful to see the mistakes of certain authors writing urban fantasy so I won’t make the same often.

    Pro-tip! There are some sporkings and articles from back in the day no longer here (the one that comes to mind is the sporking for “You Slay Me”) you can only find through the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive.

    As always since Hounded, Atticus can’t do the “hiding from the supernatural community” part right, uninterestingly OP and horrible a person as usual. At this point, I would like to see Laksha’s POV, given she was dealing with the Bachhants while Atticus predictably begins to think with his dick.

    Yeah, Atticus is REALLY bad at not being noticed. And Laksha’s POV would be interesting, but the limits of Atticus’s first-person perspective mean that we can’t. That, and Atticus/Hearne would probably tell us that witches are just BAD by nature and so that segment would just be Hearne telling us how gross her magic is. Or something.

    Also, I think the handcuff breaking and removal deserves a “Make It Easy!” because it’s another “pulled a power out of his ass” trick.

    Eh, it IS, but it also isn’t that far out from some of other stuff he’s pulled out of his butt, so I didn’t count it. I think using the whole “Bonds between molecules” thing is what’s new. I don’t know, maybe I should have given points, but I don’t think it’s too egregious that I didn’t.

    Also, why is he on his lawn (let’s ignore that him having a lawn in Arizona is completely appalling for a supposedly pro-Earth character), I thought he had a cellar or a courtyard or something in the previous book?

    He does not, no. I suggested it during the last sporking, because that would make sense. In the last book he does the same thing, where he had to recover, and he did that by spending his night sleeping in his yard. And again, the Plot of the last book was that someone was trying to kill him and was happy to use mortal agents to do so, so it seemed especially stupid. It’s less explicitly stupid here, but it’s still not great.

  5. Faranae on 14 June 2022, 09:45 said:

    Aha, I remembered your better writing instead of Hearne’s… whatever this is. I mean heck, why does he even live in the city, and why doesn’t he, like half of wealthy Scottsdale, have a place in the “country” he can retreat to? I mean, I know the answer, Hearne is from Scottsdale and probably not all that outdoorsy, and so is just writing what he knows.

    The entire “molecular bond” power is one of those “get out of jail free” cards that Hearne doesn’t even use in interesting ways because… wow, do you know what you could do with that kind of power?! And how does it relate to being a Druid? Maybe that’s why I forgot he was established to have that ability. I think I’m just annoyed that Atticus doesn’t have to actually deal with even that minor convenience.

    Hearne keeps setting up obstacles and then immediately removing them, like he’s allergic to actual plot or something. I mean, there’s multiple entire films that center entirely around one or two characters needing to get free of handcuffs while keeping a low profile, and Hearne can’t even muster half a chapter out of the situation…

  6. Juracan on 15 June 2022, 20:14 said:

    Aha, I remembered your better writing instead of Hearne’s… whatever this is. I mean heck, why does he even live in the city, and why doesn’t he, like half of wealthy Scottsdale, have a place in the “country” he can retreat to? I mean, I know the answer, Hearne is from Scottsdale and probably not all that outdoorsy, and so is just writing what he knows.

    I apologize if this is unclear from the sporking, but—Atticus isn’t from Scottsdale. It’s just where the action for the chapter is taking place, where the nightclub is located. It’s unclear if he’s complaining about it or just describing it in the quoted section.

    But we definitely are meant to get the idea that Atticus IS outdoorsy, because he likes to hunt with his dog, but you’d be forgiven if you never got that impression because nothing about his personality or the way he acts, outside of Plot events, indicates that he likes to spend all that much time outside, much less away from civilization.

    The entire “molecular bond” power is one of those “get out of jail free” cards that Hearne doesn’t even use in interesting ways because… wow, do you know what you could do with that kind of power?! And how does it relate to being a Druid? Maybe that’s why I forgot he was established to have that ability. I think I’m just annoyed that Atticus doesn’t have to actually deal with even that minor convenience.

    You didn’t forget, it’s just poorly explained! Basically, the last book tells us that, at the base, Druid powers is about “binding.” And “binding” means whatever the fudge Hearne wants it to mean! So he can make and unmake bonds. Other uses of this power include [checks notes] giving an EMT a wedgie in the last book. Right. Yeah.

    The handcuff thing doesn’t bother me that much, but then again, at this point I’m desensitized to it. Atticus rarely has to deal with consequences, and when he does they’re very sloppily done.

    Hearne keeps setting up obstacles and then immediately removing them, like he’s allergic to actual plot or something. I mean, there’s multiple entire films that center entirely around one or two characters needing to get free of handcuffs while keeping a low profile, and Hearne can’t even muster half a chapter out of the situation…

    It could! But again, that’s involving plotting consequences. This is obviously a sidequest though, meant to setup a Plot Point (Bacchus finding out that Atticus is alive), which means Hearne banged this out and said, “Consequences? Obstacles? Nah, I’ll deal with that later.” There’s nothing technically wrong with setting up later Plot Points like this, but he does it in a really obvious way in which he injects an otherwise pointless subplot into THIS story that doesn’t have much to do with the actual Plot of the novel—which, if you’ve forgotten (because I definitely did), is about Atticus teaming up with the local witch coven to fight evil German witches.

  7. Faranae on 16 June 2022, 09:15 said:

    I absolutely forgot what the main plot of this novel was. Only the sudden resolution of this side plot reminded me that it was a side plot.

    I hope you’ll forgive me for mixing up Tempe with Scottsdale, the middle class suburb of Phoenix instead of the wealthy suburb, which are only separated by a river as they are on the same side of the city. I’ve been to Phoenix, and to both these suburbs, and even when I was there I mixed them up. Suburbia is one of the most lifeless forms of civilization ever invented and the entire notion of a druid living there is anathema. It would, in theory, be refreshing to have urban/contemporary fantasy set somewhere other than Chicago or New York City, but somehow Hearne settled on not even Phoenix, but the Phoenix ‘burbs.

    Then again, Hearne also put Atticus in North America on the principle that it was somehow nearly godless despite then deciding that every god exists, even toast Jesus. (Please tell me toast Jesus isn’t real in the series…)

  8. Jasper on 16 June 2022, 11:53 said:

    @Juracan

    “You didn’t forget, it’s just poorly explained! Basically, the last book tells us that, at the base, Druid powers is about “binding.” And “binding” means whatever the fudge Hearne wants it to mean! So he can make and unmake bonds. Other uses of this power include [checks notes] giving an EMT a wedgie in the last book. Right. Yeah.”

    While I don’t mind playing a bit loosely with abilities when it’s a vague term (and in a supposed “All Myths Are True” story), it’s just that when druid powers amount to literally anything under the sun whenever Hearne wants to pull it out of his ass, it gets old to see Atticus “resolve” any conflict without issues whatsoever.

    Seeing this is all the more reason I need to plan out my characters’ limitations and basis of magic (used by humans) in my own urban fantasy story. I’m going to try to run with the All Myths Are True route too, and well, it’s going to be fun given I’m setting it in Singapore. Seen too many of such stories where it’s somehow all in the US.

  9. Juracan on 17 June 2022, 19:02 said:

    Then again, Hearne also put Atticus in North America on the principle that it was somehow nearly godless despite then deciding that every god exists, even toast Jesus. (Please tell me toast Jesus isn’t real in the series…)

    As far as I know, Toast!Jesus isn’t real in the series, but I can’t confirm that it won’t come up. I’m scared what will happen if I tried Googling it.

    While I don’t mind playing a bit loosely with abilities when it’s a vague term (and in a supposed “All Myths Are True” story), it’s just that when druid powers amount to literally anything under the sun whenever Hearne wants to pull it out of his ass, it gets old to see Atticus “resolve” any conflict without issues whatsoever.

    Yeaaaaaah. It would be better if he said that some Druids are better at some kinds of bindings than others, or something like that, but in the last book it’s implied that Atticus is meant to be an ace at basically every kind of Druid magic, and that it all comes down to binding, even though he also says that he can control winds, plants, and shapeshift.

    What’s frustrating about the shapeshifting power is that the way he describes it makes it sound like he possesses an animal to control it, “binding his spirit to an animal form” or something, but in reality it’s just… normal shapeshifting.

    Also he can travel between worlds, as established in this book? Not sure how that fits under ‘binding.’

    I’m going to try to run with the All Myths Are True route too, and well, it’s going to be fun given I’m setting it in Singapore. Seen too many of such stories where it’s somehow all in the US.

    Hey, you do you man. One thing I think is actually kind of interesting, if squandered, about this series, is that it’s NOT set in a major US city that everyone’s familiar with. Most urban fantasy is set in NYC, and if it’s not, it’s in Boston or Chicago or New Orleans. If it’s not in the US, usually it’s just London or Paris or something. I admire that he went with something a bit different. Too bad the story attached isn’t very good.

    [Supposedly Jim Butcher originally set Dresden Files in somewhere else, but his editors asked him to make it a famous city to appeal to a wider readership.]