Review: The Chronicles of Dan Lee O’Brien, by David Jordan

Book: The Chronicles of Dan Lee O’Brien
Author: David Jordan
Pages: 252
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Fiction
Published:  2016, Paragon Publishing
Rating: ★★★1/2

These stories put Irish mythology into a modern context by following the adventures of anti-hero, Dan Lee O’Brien, a pipe smoking, trench coat wearing, bike riding magician and investigator of the supernatural. An older, more laid back John Constantine, Dan Lee is the man for all things strange and Otherworldly.

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

So something I really don’t enjoy: when people compare X book to Y book, like when a new children’s fantasy book debuts and someone calls it ‘the next Harry Potter‘ or when someone reads a dystopian YA and claims it to be a copycat of The Hunger Games.

But that said, nothing is ever created or consumed in a vacuum, and so I wasn’t surprised when this book reminded me of a few others I’ve read, in the best ways.

It’s like James Joyce’s The Dubliners meets Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. The simple yet clever (short) stories in this book all have one thing in common: Dan Lee O’Brien; a complex anti-hero who constantly finds himself drawn into magical and mythological situations.

He guides the plot, making subtle but powerful insights that made the stories stick in my mind for days afterward, very similarly to how a Steinbeck story will stay with you days, weeks, or even years after you’ve read it.

The creativity in this book is also admirable, and it’s clear that Jordan put a lot of effort into building this strange and wonderful world, weaving magic and mythology together in a way that seems seamless. *nervous laughter at unintentional wordplay*

I also really loved the concept of modernizing mythology, which I think is why it reminded me of American Gods!

One thing that I found a bit lacking was the writing, though. It was more tell than show, and there were times when it felt like the characters were directly explaining things that could have been revealed more subtly through the prose.

That said, overall this book is an entertaining, engaging read that will probably teach you a thing or two about Irish mythology, with stories that you’ll find yourself falling into like Alice into Wonderland.

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I'm Emma Kath. Welcome to my blog! This is where I post my original book reviews, litstyle (lifestyle for the lit-nerd), and other bookish things. A little about me: I'm Canadian, and currently a student majoring in English lit and cultural studies. I'm an introvert (INFJ, if you believe in that sort of thing), sarcastic to the bone, I love art and history, and hope to one day travel around a bit. Until then, I'll be reading, writing, and trying to spread a little kindness around the internet. If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact me!

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