Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson @KevinHearne ‏ @DelilahSDawson @uckylukeekul @DelReyBooks @PRHAudio

Posted July 26, 2018 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 21 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson @KevinHearne ‏ @DelilahSDawson @uckylukeekul @DelReyBooks @PRHAudioKill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: Tales of Pell #1
Published by Del Rey Books on July 24, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Length: 12 hours, 38 minutes
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed

Anne: I saw blurbs which sounded cool, so I requested Kill the Farm Boy. I have read some of Kevin Hearne and wanted to try Delilah Dawson, so it was an opportunity.  Melanie told me she was getting the audio, so we are doing a joint review. More accurately, Melanie has made several points and I’m agreeing with her.

Melanie:  I’m a huge Kevin Hearne fan, so I had no problems grabbing up this first book in his new, Tales of Pell series   I haven’t read Delilah S. Dawson before, but she has been on my radar to try for some time (I really need more time to read all the books on my radar, said every booklover in the world). I was even more excited when it was announced Luke Daniels was going to do the narration.

Anne:  I had a tough time getting going, until I became more interested in the characters.  The vocabulary is ingenious and with many witty puns; it is a wordsmith delight.

Melanie: So Kill the Farm Boy hits pretty much every fantasy trope and a ton of fairytale mentions, too. If you’re a fan of dad jokes, this is a book you will love. There are so many dad jokes. And puns. More puns that you can imagine. Some are pretty groan worthy, if you like that sorta thing, then look no further.

Basically, here’s our ragtag group:

  • Poltro, the rogue. She has a huge fear of chickens, but isn’t scared of anything else. She’s also a bit of clutz.
  • Argabella, is a bard. When we come across her, she’s living in a castle where everyone else is asleep. She’s a bard because that is what her father wanted. She wants to be an accountant. Oh, and she’s half bunny.
  • Fia is a warrior. She’s huge, like seven foot tall. She’s also a vegetarian, but has a sword that craves blood. She just wants to raise roses. Oh, and she wears a chainmail bikini.
  • Toby is a really bad wizard. He calls himself a “Dark Lord”, but the title doesn’t really fit him (that’s the point). Most of his powers come from shooting bread from his fingers. He has quite the obsession with cheeses.
  • Gustave is a goat, who is given the ability to talk early in the story. He has quite an obsession with his poo (there is much talk of spreading pellets) and old boots for him to eat.


Other characters:

  • Grinda, the sand witch (yes, you read that right).
  • Staph, the pixie with one blue sock.
  • Worstley, the farm boy, also known as”Pooboy” and his brother, Bestly.
  • The dreaded necromancer, Steve.
  • Also, trolls, elves, giants, talking animals (in addition to Gustave) and more.


Anne: There were so many different characters and odd bits from various fairy tales. As per usual, the men were all about power and ego.  The woman were more about protecting those they loved.  So while I didn’t ever really connect to any of them, I liked the women more.  They were all a bit ridiculous.

Melanie:  The marketing says it is similar to Terry Prachett (which I’ve never read) and The Princess Bride (which I haven’t read, but LOVED the movie) story. I will say because I wasn’t very familiar with either of these books, I didn’t know what I was getting into. This book is full of satire, which is something I’m just not a huge fan of. It is a little over the top. I think Monty Python or Mel Brooks comparisons could’ve been used in the marketing.

Anne:  I’m also not familiar with Terry Pratchett, and have seen The Princess Bride once. My initial reaction was it seems like Monty Python. And I don’t like Monty Python.  I did enjoy the clever wording and actually found some funny parts, as I assimilated the characters. Humor makes everything better.

” Assassins Anonymous. They teach you how to follow the One Step for Not Murdering Someone.”

“What’s the one step?” Gustave asked.

“You don’t murder them.”

“Huh. Sounds like a solid program with a refreshing lack of nuance.”

“Is Poltro okay?” she asked.

“If you mean, is Poltro asleep and probably as stupid as ever, then I would say definitely yes.”


Melanie:  I liked this book, but didn’t love it. I think some of the jokes and puns were just a little too much for me. I think some jokes ran on a little too long (I have this same issue with Family Guy. I hate that stupid rooster). I think I also hyped myself to love it so much, that I might have been a bit disappointed (something I’m familiar with here too). I start reading, expecting it to blow my mind and when it doesn’t, I feel a little let down. I shouldn’t.

This is a fun book. I enjoyed it. I came to love the characters fairly quickly (some faster than others, but I did enjoy the entire team by the end). I really want to see where they go from here. I will probably read the next book, more for the characters than some of the silly puns and stuff. I know there are a lot of people who really love that stuff. For me, this story was more over the top than I would like, but like I said, the characters are worth it. I know I’m being a bit wishy washy here, but that’s kinda how I feel.

Anne:  I believe the narration would have helped me. I probably won’t go on to read No Country for Gnomes, unless it is on audio. I’m likely to leave it to Melanie. I did like it, even with the style, so I’m glad to have read it.


To anyone who has listened to Luke Daniels narrate any book, you know he is a rock star. He really nails the narration. There are a ton of talking animals, there is part-bunny woman who sings, there are trolls and pixies and more. So many different characters and he nailed them all. He really brought out all the emotions of each character. You could really feel Gustave’s love of boots and Toby’s love for cheeses. Luke Daniels really brings this story to life.

Listen to a clip:

About Luke Daniels

Luke Daniels has narrated over 250 audiobooks, has been the grateful recipient of thirteen AudioFile Earphones Awards, and has earned three Audie nominations. His background is in classical theater and film. Luke has performed at repertory theaters around the country, but now he resides in the Midwest with his pack.

About Delilah S. Dawson

Delilah S. Dawson writes whimsical and dark Fantasy for adults and teens. Her Blud series for Pocket includes Wicked as They Come, Wicked After Midnight, and Wicked as She Wants, winner of the RT Book Reviews Steampunk Book of the Year and May Seal of Excellence for 2013. Her YA debut, Servants of the Storm, is a Southern Gothic Horror set in Savannah, GA, and HIT is about teen assassins in a bank-owned America. Her Geekrotica series under pseudonym Ava Lovelace includes The Lumberfox and The Superfox with The Dapperfox on the way. Look for Wake of Vultures from Orbit Books in October 2015, written as Lila Bowen.

Delilah teaches writing classes at LitReactor and wrote the Island of Mesmer world for Storium.

Delilah lives with her husband, two small children, a horse, a dog, and two cats in Atlanta.

About Kevin Hearne

Kevin Hearne lives with his wife, daughter, and doggies in Canada. Kevin hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a pretty nifty idea. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling series the Iron Druid Chronicles, the Seven Kennings trilogy that begins with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS, and co-author of the Tales of Pell with Delilah S. Dawson.

About Melanie at Books of My Heart & Hot Listens

I’m Melanie, and I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. I will read contemporary romance on occasion, but not often. I will occasionally throw in a biography, usually autobiographies of people that I find interesting. Listening to autobiographies that are narrated by the author have been great in my experience.

I started listening to audiobooks when a new book in a series was coming out and I wanted to get a refresher, but didn’t have time to read all the books (I think it was Anita Blake). I fell in love. I stayed with strictly re-reading books that I’d already read for a long time. I eventually tried an audiobook for something that I hadn’t read first and was hooked there too. Now, I listen to audio for both re-reads and first time. I have some series that I’ve given up reading and only listen. I try to get any many books/audiobooks from the library to help save on my budget. Books on CD and the newer digital downloads from the library really allow me to listen more. I then purchase my favorites (because who can wait in line for your favorite book??) and less mainstream books from Audible or some other online retailer.

Rating Breakdown
One StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
One StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2018 New Release Challenge

Posted July 26, 2018 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 21 Comments

21 responses to “Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson

  1. robin

    I also saw this and almost got it because I liked Delilah S. Dawson’s Blud series. But yeah I wasn’t sure if I’d like a parody of Princess Bride. I think that I’d have to be in the right mood and want to read something utterly ridiculous when I picked this up. But I do love Luke Daniels, he is in my top 10 for narrators for sure.

  2. Melliane

    I ws curious about this one because of the authors but after reading some reviews I think it’s maybe not for me but well

  3. Jen

    As someone who read about 25 of Terry Pratchett’s Disc World books and his amazing book with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, I will completely agree with the comparison to Terry Pratchett. I didn’t know they put it in the marketing, but YES! It’s not the typical Kevin Hearne. It’s fantasy and silly, using word play and puns.

    I read the book, but I also listened to a handful of chapters in the middle. For me, this is one I liked better in print format. I feel the nuances of the language get lost in the verbal retelling. And although I LOVE Luke Daniels, I feel like the huge array of silly voices detracted from the storytelling.

    I will certainly continue on. But I do enjoy a good satire!

  4. Not so sure about this one after reading your review. I am very interested just because of Kevin Hearne and Luke Daniels but I am not a fan of Monty Python type humor even though I do like the movie The Princess Bride. I will probably try to get a copy of this from the library to give it a try.

    Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books recently posted: Books from the Backlog #18
    • OK I changed up the comment from Jetpack to WordPress and it is supposed to say comment awaiting moderation. The comment function is driving me crazy.

      I would definitely try it, as well as any other books from the library, when it is a new author or new style. I only go auto-buy with Ilona Andrews type reads. I wanted to try this and I’m glad I did.

  5. Jennifer

    I have this one on audio too. My husband owns almost all of Terry Pratchett’s books. I’ve not tried him yet but I’ve been tempted.

  6. I really had fun with this, but must admit I am a huge Monty Python fan and we quote it often in my home. In fact, one word can set our whole family off at the dinner table and the next thing you know we have quoted a whole scene. I have since seen ads on Facebook comparing it to Monty Python, which for once was a good call. I admit to rolling my eyes a few times especially in Morning Wood. Ha! Great review guys.

    Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer recently posted: Bayou Born by Hailey Edwards
    • Melanie

      I’m a huge Monty Python (movies, not so much of Flying Circus, though a few of the skits are really great.) fan too, but I’m really picky on stuff like that. It takes me a while to get into it. There are scenes in MP that I think run on too long too. But there are many parts I love. I think that is how this worked out for me.

      Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

  7. I’ve had this book on my radar because I really enjoy Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series. I like puns, too (side note: if you like puns, you should check out Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon and subsequent books in the series.) However, this sounds like it may go a little over the top for me, and I might do better to dive into Terry Pratchett first—or possibly instead. Good review!

    Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard recently posted: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley (audio review)
    • Melanie

      I’ve not read Terry Pratchett, so I can’t compare the two. I have had several people tell me they are similar. I’m a huge fan of Iron Druid series too. This book is a lot different, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.