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Havoc Rising is the first novel in the Metis Files featuring Steve, aka, Diomedes Tydides an immortal assigned to protect mankind. He reports directly to Athena the Goddess of wisdom and war. If you know your Greek mythology, you'll recognize Diomedes from the Trojan war. Today, he lives among humans and owns a fishing business, that is when he isn't working for Athena.
When a suicide bomber attacks the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and an ancient artifact known as the Cup of Jamshid is stolen, Athena sends Steve to New York to retrieve the cup. The tale that unfolds was filled with mythological creatures, intense action scenes, and snarky banter.
I loved all the references to mythology, mostly Greek, but we do see others including Celtic and Arabian. It appears each book in the series will feature a mission. The reader/listener will enjoy intense battle scenes, humor, magic, and tidbits on history, mythology and more.
The story is delivered from Steve's POV as we fought for the cup. If you love paranormal creatures, Loen's story will delight you with Fae, Jinn, Witches, and Titans. Leon vividly brought the creatures and scenes to life with detailed descriptions that flowed effortlessly as the action unfolded. You could hear the creatures slither, feel their hackles rise and smell the decay.
There is a hint of romance when Steve meets Sarah, a detective investigating the museum bombing. This is a small side thread, but Sarah does factor into the story, and I hope we see more of her.
Loen weaved the worldbuilding throughout the tale which kept the story fast-paced. After binging the Iron Druid Chronicles, I couldn't help but draw a comparison between Steve and Atticus. Fans of the chronicles will feel at home while reading the Metis Files. Steve is funny, easily annoyed and at times anxious to get back to quietly fishing. The stories and friendships he has made were fascinating and highly entertaining. I liked Steve but loved him when he began assembling a team. The back and forth banter between him and two ancient Fae had me laughing aloud. While he claims to like working alone, he was prime when surrounded by a team.
Dillon Siedentopf narrated and my thoughts regarding his performance are decidedly mixed. During action scenes, he brought Steve and the others to life, but in-between, his tone was dry, flat and filled with audible swallowing sounds. Ugh. However, I played with the audio speed and found 1.30X worked perfectly. I am not sure if I will continue on Audio, although it is my preferred method for urban fantasy.