Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles 1
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
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.
Hounded was a lot of fun to read. I was literally laughing out loud at some of the scenes. The book is in first person with the main character, Atticus, narrating, and his sense of humor and how he perceives the world after two thousand years is lighthearted, but in such a way that it doesn't take away from any serious moments in the story.
The world isn't entirely unique in that I have read other stories with similar world building, but I did enjoy Hearne's take on it. The gods walk the earth, which means Mary or The Morrigan could stop by for tea at any moment. Atticus is an ancient Druid whose purpose in life was to serve and advise the gods of the Celtic/Irish pantheon while helping to protect the earth. He is on the run because he commandeered a magical sword and the sidhe Atticus stole it from wants it back so he can finish conquering the world. I liked the premise and I thought it was very engaging.
I didn't like the way women were portrayed in the book. Atticus has a problem that every beautiful woman he encounters has him immediately fall into lust. He has to wear a charm to protect him from women that enhance their allure with spells because it's too easy for him to fall into their trap. This means that any woman that approaches him for sex is immediately brought to his bedroom. For some reason, the female gods in his pantheon are particularly eager to have him, to the point that he gets approached in the middle of a battlefield, which I thought was very odd and off-putting.
This also means that there isn't room for any romance in the story, which I was okay with. The plot was about fighting the sidhe that was after him. Adding in romance would have detracted from that, however I thought Hearne could have handled the sex with a little more delicacy.
I also didn't enjoy how arrogant Atticus was. For example, a witch walks into his shop and his first reaction is that witches are bad and not to be trusted. Despite that, he agrees to a deal with her and his reasoning is that he's powerful enough to handle whatever evil she can dish out. That level of arrogance is repeated throughout the book. I also thought it was odd that Atticus was then surprised when the witch double crossed him, since he had blatantly stated that she would do exactly that. Luckily, those plot holes were minor enough that they didn't detract from the rest of the book.
I do recommend this book. Overall, it was well written and engaging. I enjoyed reading it a lot and immediately went to see about getting the next one in the series. The world building, while not unique, was well done and the main character's narration was funny and well detailed. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.