Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Published May 3rd 2011 by Del Rey
As a highly female-dominated genre, urban fantasy has very little male protagonists. The archetype male main character is Harry from the Dresden Files, and it’s almost impossible not to have the Jim Butcher books in mind when reading Hounded. Compared to the dark and grumpy Dresden books, The Iron Druid Chronicles promise light-heartedness, humour, and action.
Atticus tells people he’s 21 – which is technically not a lie, since he is 21 centuries old. He is the last Druid, and he is hiding from his immortal enemy. Atticus has a sword that the Celtic god of love wants back, and Atticus won’t be able to hide from him forever.
Where Storm Front was serious and grim, Hounded is just plain old fun. All gods and goddesses walk the earth (yes, all of them) and they all have different alliances and feuds. Atticus is caught in the middle and forced to fight, but he does so with good humour and style. Nothing fazes him much, so when some lower fey come to kill him, he kicks their butts.
The world Mr Hearne has created is intriguing. In a true Supernatural romp fashion all gods exist – from Thor to The Morrigan, they are all somewhere. They are powerful, more powerful than mortals, but not truly immortal. Atticus, an Irish Druid himself, mainly deals with Celtic gods and goddesses. I’m quite fuzzy on my Celtic lore so I just kinda went with it, and it was a very enjoyable experience. I’m hoping to see more of the pantheon in the next few books; the possibilities are practically endless with the open world of Hounded.
Atticus draws power from the earth, which means that he spends a lot of time going around bare-footed or sleeping underneath trees to replenish his strength. The magic system isn’t very intricate but it holds its purpose well and it makes for pretty fun action scenes.
Hounded is filled with quirky side characters like Atticus’ talking dog Oberon, his vampire and werewolf lawyers, the sexy barmaid Granuaile with a secret, and the old Brit-hating and scotch-loving Irish widow. Together with a witty narration and fast pace, Hounded was a pleasure to read.
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old–when in actuality, he’s twenty-one “centuries” old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power–plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish–to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
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