Junkyard Druid by M. D. Massey is the first installment of a long (twelve book!!!) series centered squarely in the first person perspective of the story’s protagonist, Colin McCool. Colin is a direct descendent of Fionn McCumhaill of ancient Irish legend, but lives in modern day Austin, Texas rather than the Old World.
Thanks to choices his mentor (a two thousand year old Druid named Finnegas) made, Colin has been cursed by an ancient witch seeking revenge. The curse’s first manifestation resulted in the tragic death of his “One True Love” by his own hand, and now Colin is officially retired from monster hunting while he deals with his guilt, shame, and PTSD. Of course, Fate—and a meddling Fae queen—have other ideas about how he should be spending his time.
Massey’s world-building borrows heavily from Irish mythology and folklore, though he also touches here and there on other traditions and beliefs—one of Colin’s new friends is a Maori warrior, as a for instance. The author also presents these figures in all their horror and ugliness—brutal, treacherous, and very dangerous—even if the package is presented with a pretty wrapper. Disney fans beware.
The plot of the story was fairly straightforward, with very few surprises, but it was well constructed. I didn’t notice any glaring inconsistencies or plot holes. Massey wrapped up the conflict while leaving a few threads dangling for the next book, and possibly a few spin-off stories.
Massey’s characterization, like his plot, was solid. His characters were mostly likeable (unless it was clear he or she wasn’t meant to be liked) without being too cloyingly perfect. My one beef would be Colin’s tragically lost “One True Love” relationship with his girlfriend, Jesse, though that could be excused as a “first love” teenage romance situation—intense, maybe a little too sweet, and all too brief.
In all, Junkyard Druid was a solid piece of storytelling and an enjoyable reading experience. Not great literature perhaps, but the story was entertaining, didn’t falter or drag, and remained logically consistent according to its creator’s own rules. I look forward to witnessing Colin’s future misfortunes—er, adventures.
Title: Junkyard Druid
Author: M. D. Massey
Publisher: Modern Digital Publishing
Format: Amazon Kindle