Cover Image: Paper & Blood

Paper & Blood

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Member Reviews

Paper & Blood is the second book of Kevin Hearne's new series, featuring an unlikely action hero - a 60+year old Scot. Set in the universe of his previous urban fantasy series (starring the Iron Druid and every mythological pantheon you ever heard of), the stories are light in tone, filled with quirky characters, snappy dialogue, exotic locations, and a fast-moving plot. Al, our hero, is still a good man to have around in a fight, despite his age - but he is more thoughtful and less headstrong than the typical action hero, and he manages to dispense a fair amount of wisdom along the way.

It's a pleasant read - the story is self-contained, but there is a long-range arc to the series that gets advanced nicely, leaving you ready for the next entry.
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After reading the 1st book I was delighted by the humor and found family component in this fun fantasy series. The 1st book is an introduction to this world and characters but this 2nd book is a true adventure. I am now in love with the characters and overall plot and would recommend it to any fantasy lover.

Once again I am elated with Al, our elderly and wise leader, who has to embark on a journey to Australia this time. It is so rare to have a lead in a series like this that still has him be an active participant. This book introduces us to more characters, most notably the Iron Druid that was mentioned before and who is the main character in Hearne's previous series. I have not read those books so this character was a complete unknown to me except what was mentioned already but it this did not deter my enjoyment or understanding. I imagine if I was a previous reader I would pick up on some references from the other story.

The star for me this round was Buck, our wildly inappropriate hobgoblin. His foul mouth and delightful observations will cause you to laugh out loud. Honorable mention goes to Gladys Who Has Seen Some Shite, her inclusion this round has to be read to fully appreciate. Of course Nadia will always be a star in any book she ever appears in. The dialogue this time has me wondering how fabulous the audiobook of this must have been.

I cannot wait to continue this series as more questions arise as to who cursed Al and why. If you are an urban fantasy lover you should check out this action packed story that is jam packed with humor. Hearne has built a fantastic world full of vibrant characters and an intriguing plot. Finally to add to the charm, the covers for this series are wonderful and worth adding to any bookshelf.
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There’s just something about magic and Faerie stories that get me every time. This is the second novel in the series, Ink and Sigil. We get more Al and Buck Foi adventures. And let me tell you, this adventure was great! 

We get more info on lots of characters that were present in the first novel. We also end up with more questions! The novel doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, which is good, but important questions have yet to be answered.  This means that I will definitely be looking for book 3! 

Any time an author reaches into mythology and makes it fit their unique author mold, my heart goes pitter patter. The novel dove into many mythological creatures all while keeping the flow of the novel running smoothly. It does help that Al and Buck’s chemistry are amazing and witty. With the benefit of added in characters, the commentary was funny and made for a great read. 

The description of the areas the MC was in were great as well. Hearne wrote this during the pandemic and wasn’t allowed to go site scouting but you would have never known if you didn’t read the acknowledgements! 

I received an ARC from netgalley for review.
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This second book of the Ink & Sigil series continues the story of Sigil Agent Al MacBharrais. He’s joined by hobgoblin Buck Foi, his accountant Nadia, receptionist Gladys Who Has Seen Some Shite (and who may not be who she seems), and of course his perplexing curses. Hearne’s expert use of realism, witty wordplay, and specially blended mythologies make Paper & Blood a fun read.

Called by Apprentice Chen Ya-ping after her Master and a second agent disappeared, Al and Buck travel down under to Melbourne and help solve the mystery. With the help of friends known and new, they don’t have to do it alone. Once in Australia, Buck creates a legendary wizard van to help the trio get to where two Agents, Shua-ha Lin and Wu Mei-Ling, were last seen in the Blue Mountains. There they are joined by the Iron Druid as well as Oberon and Starbuck who come up from Tasmania and are an integral part of this tale. Both Gladys and Nadia can’t stay away either. Working together, everyone tries to limit the body count and free Australia of a creature not seen in a very long time. 

This story is one more part of a greater tale. I’m thankful Hearne found ways to complete the manuscript in the middle of a global pandemic. My tiny quibbles about the flow of several interludes and overall arc development are ones I can easily look past. The timing also makes one short conversation between Al and Ya-ping even more powerful. 

This special combination of characters and story characteristics create an enjoyable follow up to the first book, Ink & Sigil.
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I thought the first book in this series was good, and this one is even more enjoyable as Buck Foi and Al MacBharrais head to Australia to search for a missing fellow sigil agent. It's a hilarious, captivating murder mystery adventure that kept me fully engrossed and I read the whole thing in a single sitting. The Ink and Sigil series is really fun. Highly recommended!
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Al is a Scotsman to Atticus' Irishman, but they both have one fun thing in common: they revel with delight in their magic.  Part of a secret organization that interacts with gods, legends, and odd creatures from both myth and the overactive imagination of former HS teacher Kevin Hearne, if you want a FUN read, Kevin Hearne is almost always a great bet!
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First of all, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me this arc in exchange for an honest review!
Now lets get into it.
Overall: 4/5 stars
characters: 4/5 stars
setting: 5/5 stars
writing: 4/5 stars 
I requested this book not knowing it was the second in a series. I sped read the first and would also give it a solid 4/5 stars. I would kind of describe this book as a Scottish Sherlock Holmes with Magic. Something that really stood out to me while reading Paper and Blood was how Kevin Hearne wrote the character dialogue using Scottish speak. It rally gave me a better sense of how the characters were talking and it let me picture them in my head much better.
One of the central plots of this book is that Al (the main character) is trying to figure out who put the two curses on him. I liked that the characters were relatable. They seemed like real people rather than made up characters. 
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to someone who likes mysteries and magic. One thing to keep in mind though is that at some parts it gets a bit slow. Other than that though it was a pretty good book!
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This is such a marvelous series! Hearn has done a fantastic job taking a spin-off from his primary series featuring The Iron Druid and turning it into a full-blown Standalone-if-you-want-it-to series... I've never read The Iron Druid books - I tried with the first one but found it slow going after the delight of Ink and Sigil, but I'm definitely going to have to revisit the world at some point because there is simply too much that I want to know to fill in the gaps in Al"s world of sigil agents!

As always, I found the characterization wonderful here. The blend of mythology from various cultures with truly outstanding original world building is incredibly enjoyable to read. As with the previous book, I did find there to be a few more extended battle scenes than I personally care for, but I've come to realize that's a part of the fantasy element at play here - as in the work of Tolkien - and it is a thing that I can skim if I need to. 

There are a lot of new questions introduced here, and I'm delighted to see that the world continues to flush itself out while raising new questions and teasing out revelations about existing ones... I already cannot wait for the next book!
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The hero of Ink & Sigil, Al MacBharrais, returns in another encounter with gods, demons, chimeras, demigods, the Fae, hobgoblins, and many other creatures of the magical pantheon. He travels to Australia with his wise-cracking potty mouthed assistant to answer a distress call from one of his fellow Stigil Agent’s assistants and receives assistance from the Iron Druid to counter a plot by a very powerful entity to welsh on a promise. Many innocent lives are lost but the evildoers are vanquished in the end. 
This is at times hilarious and at others truly somber but well worth the read.
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This is an excellent continuation of the series which intersects with Hearne's Iron Druid series. Readers learn more about the Iron Druid and supporting characters than the main character, MacBharrais. The setting also takes readers to Australia.
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I have really come to enjoy the work of Kevin Hearne. The stories always have fun and interesting characters involved in precarious situations. We follow Al and a hobgoblin named Buck, on an adventure to Australia to come to the aid of a fellow Sigil agent. Lots of fun and adventure follow. I enjoyed this book as I have all of the books I have read by Kevin Hearne. Highly recommended!
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I really liked book 1, but this one not so much. The prominent characters were interesting and fun, The Iron Druid makes an appearance, story was good as was the side characters getting to shine. What I disliked to the point of less stars was the "campfire stories".  They did not progress the storyline, absolutely looked like they were added as filler to make the book longer. By the time I got to Oberon's disjointed story, I was done. I'm over the sausage repartee. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC from Netgalley.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Sadly I must admit the review will be delayed. I was so excited to see Keven Herne and anything to do with Iron Druid that I requested this book before even reading the summary. The book is the second in a series. I tried reading it but clearly it is going to be intense and I missed a lot by skipping the first book. So I have to go out and read Ink and Sigil before I tackle this one.  Looking forward to it!
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I read the first one, not really expecting to like it. But I ended up enjoying it immensely. This one is even better! It's well-written, creative and HILARIOUS. I love the crazy group of people, their names and they way they interact with one another.
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This book is second in a series, it can be a standalone but would make more sense with more depth if read after the first book [which I haven't read yet] in series. I would also recommend the original series Iron Druid this is a parallel off shoot of.  Kevin has come up with a light fun enjoyable easy to read & smile book once again & would recommend it. The is intrigue, mystery, magic & drama to keep you going. Centered around one of the Sigel masters that draws up contracts with the Fae & hunts down malefic forces & dispenses them it's fun. I will add, I allow, as should others, especially in fantasy jantra, the authors the ability to create their own worlds & stories without the weird ass claims or questions. Maybe if really needed add some positive reinforcement & words. I might not agree or like the way Deities are portrayed but that i all part of the fantasy theme & would probably be a more bent if they were trying to hold true to form & screwing up worse. This was an unexpected surprise to see in my NetGalley inbox. I have been behind on reviewing because everything has been in overdrive & it is hard for me to sit down & read when I feel like I am being pelted by soft & hard balls from every direction. Kevin is one of the exception authors like a few others that I can dive into. I will say with ID books the main protagonist while amusing was/is a flawed butthole that has made some epic bad decisions along the way. That said, this is a fun romp
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Much like the first book in this series, I really had a struggle to fully connect with the characters and storylines in this book. There are some really interesting fantasy storylines which were very cool though, and the writing is fun. But for me it was just hard to get into the story because the characters, Atticus and Oberon, were so much more prominent in this book. But there was something I just couldn't put my finger on that made it hard to connect again.
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I was excited to see that I had been approved to receive an ARC and be given the opportunity to read the second book in Kevin Hearne's new series. Being a huge fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles, I was thrilled to see a mention of Atticus (and Oberon) in the first book. I enjoyed the beginnings of the world building in this new series and thought that the entire concept of the sigils and sigil magic was interesting and unique. 

I'm not sure though, why I had such a problem with this book. Yes, there is even more of Atticus and Oberon and even Starbuck  (though Atticus is now going by Connor). To me that was one of the best things about this book, but even Atticus seemed "off" and not the character that I have come to know and adore. His interactions with his dogs were also different as they were "told" to us instead of letting us experience it. I'm not sure if that will make any sense to readers who have not witnessed their wonderful relationship - and love of sausage.....

The thought that ran through my mind as I was reading this was that it reminded me of a very long Monty Python skit. The attempt at humor was over the top, at times childish and seemed forced, and not in any way natural.  I still liked the characters - Al seems like a nice MC, Buck can be funny, Nadia seemed consistent with the first book. Then there was Gladys Who Has Seen Some Shite  - that was also a bit over the top. 

Without going into spoilers, there wasn't really any progression on the main story arc (or at least I'm assuming it is the main story arc) of finding out who placed the curses on Al. This book takes us on a different journey after Al finds out that a couple of other Sigil Agents have gone missing. He and Buck take off for Australia to see if they can find them. 

I usually read a book in a day and this book took me 3 days. I kept putting it down and moving on to something else, that is never a good sign. It was really a challenge for me to finish it. And, that really surprised me because I was really expecting to like it...a lot. 

So, it could have been me - maybe this book just hit me at the wrong time, it's possible. It wasn't awful and I DID finish it so there is that. Everyone can have an off book, so I'm going to chalk this up as an experience and see what I think after the third book.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC. The opinions expressed are completely my own.
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<i>Paper & Blood</i> is the second book in Kevin Hearne's new Ink & Sigil series. If you're a fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles, then this book is definitely going to be one to put your list. I would also highly recommend reading the first book before jumping into this one just to get a bit more information on the world-building Hearne has continued to do in this book.

So, this book starts when Al receives a phone call from one of the other Sigil Agent's proteges letting him know that two different Sigil Agents have disappeared in the outback of Australia. From here, Al runs off to Australia with Buck Foi (his trusted hobgoblin assistant) to investigate the matter. And here's what things start to get interesting (especially for Iron Druid fans) because Atticus O’Sullivan (now going by Connor) is also on the case. And as always when the Iron Druid gets involved, things will not be easy-not that things would be easy for Al either.

As a whole, you get to see all of the different characters created in the first Ink & Sigil book on a new caper - this time in Australia. And there are definitely a few surprises that pop-up now and then. As the old saying goes, you can't keep a good God or Goddess dead.

Overall, I found the book fun and the pacing was good, which is one of the Hallmarks of a good Hearne book in my opinion. Is the book perfect? Not necessarily. There are a couple of odd short stories that occur in the middle of the book that awkward. Can you argue that the short stories are relevant to the plot? Somewhat. But the short stories could have been put in a Hearne short story collection just as easily and taken completely out of the book. It just seemed awkward for me to have the plot moving along at a click and then suddenly it's let's sit around in a circle and share stories. I will say that one is from Oberon and the other is from Buck, so they're even more jarring because suddenly the point-of-view in the novel also shifts because of these two stories. 

I did enjoy the book and read it pretty quickly, so with the exception of the two short stories in the middle of the novel, I thought the book moved along really well. 

For clarity purposes, I was provided with an advanced reading copy of this book prior to publication for the purposes of review. Although I am continuously grateful for the opportunity to read Hearne ARCs from the publisher, the review is completely my own.
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When I first heard of the Iron Druid chronicles I thought to my myself "this is dumb". I then forgot about the series for 5 years or so. I do not remember why, but I randomly picked up the first book in the series on a whim one day. I read it in one sitting. The series was read in the next month. To say that I'm a Atticus fanboy is an understatement. So I'm not the most impartial reader but ATTICUS IS IN THIS BOOK! He's a pretty big character as well! It sucks that they kill him off though... Like jeesh. No I'm kidding...right? I have to be kidding.. Only one way to know for SURE.. READ THIS BOOK! Seriously though, you already know if you are a fan of Kevin Hearne or not, this is the second book in a new series. If you are you will love this. 5 out of 5.
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This was a great second book in Hearne's new Ink and Sigil series.  Aloysius “Al” MacBharrais and Buck Foi go to Australia search for a missing sigil agent.  Along the way they pickup help from Nadia the Battle Seer and the Iron Druid himself.  The story develops nicely and we learn more about the curses weighing in Al.  The stories within the stories told by Buck and Oberon did fill a little out of place and took me out of the very action packed conclusion of the book.  That being said, I love Buck and Oberon as characters and it's always nice to "hear" from a different voice.  All in all a great read.
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