Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: Hounded

Kevin Hearne
Urban Fantasy
Iron Druid Chronicles/Book 1
Del Rey/May 3, 2011

From the back cover ~

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 sexy 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.

It took me a bit longer than I would have liked to get into this book but once I did, I found I really enjoyed it. There are plenty of life and death situations for Atticus but there is always this hint of humor either right on the edge or right in your face. At times it had a Buffy-esque feel to it. Atticus may be in a fierce battle for his life but still manages a few one liners. It's as if the author wanted me to take the story seriously but not too seriously.

The setting for Hounded takes place in my neck of the woods which I don't read too often. So when Atticus would mention where he was going and what direction he would take, I just had to reference my mental map of Tempe. LOL It was fun to see these character in places that I have been.

Atticus (love that name!) O'Sullivan is in a heap of trouble and so is his Irish Wolfhound Oberon. It starts with an attack, then a visit from a goddess and a heap of Fae thrown into the mix. But Atticus keeps his cool for the most part. He defeats his attackers, manages the clean up then heads off to work. He's playing the part of a young 20 something guy but given his real age and experiences, it's not surprising that he doesn't panic but instead makes plans on how to face the next threat. And Oberon isn't just his dog but his good friend. Atticus and Oberon can "talk" to each other in their heads. They have some interesting conversations with Oberon giving his unique observations on people and events. The more I got to know Atticus, the more I liked him. He gives off this earthy vibe which makes sense since he is bound to the earth by his magic.

There are several secondary characters to keep track of along with plots and sub-plots. The gods, goddess and Fae love to manipulate people and events to their liking. I didn't find it difficult to keep track of the characters but there were times when the narration became a little too heavy, making me look forward to the next fight scene. And there was always a next fight scene! Hearne does a wonderful job choreographing the fights.

The ending left plenty of room for expanding the world and the characters. There are a few secondary characters that I'm looking forward to reading more about in the next two releases. Mr. Hearne has written an absorbing novel filled with magic, sword fights and amusing dialogue that will leave the reader wanting more.

Rating: B

Books in this series ~



  1. I bought this one blind - I was taken in by the impressive front cover and by the fact that it's a male POV urban fantasy (so rare!)

    But I have heard mixed-reviews: "It took me a bit longer than I would have liked to get into this book but once I did, I found I really enjoyed it." - being the general consensus.

    I'm a bit wary that there's no romance and it's just action ... but your review has really intrigued me. It's definitely going to bump the book up my TBR pile!

  2. Danielle ~ I do like these covers too. It actually looks like Atticus.

    I think part of the slow start is being the first book, there is a lot to set up before the story can really get moving.

    No real romance but Atticus isn't a monk either. LOL

  3. Well, you know I love that male POV in UF and I don't mind that there's no real romance either. So the fact that you gave it a B is a good thing for me. :) I like that the setting is different and that the Celtic gods are involved.

  4. Hils ~ I think you would like this one. Atticus is an easy character to like. He's intelligent and it's reflected in his POV.

  5. Woohooo, we gave it the same grade :) I'm glad LOL. Phew.

    I think you're dead on about the narration being too heavy at times. I think that overall, there was just so much going on. I'm glad in the end you enjoyed it!

    And I agree with you, the model actually looks like Atticus and that's really a plus in my opinion :)

  6. Nath ~ great minds! There is a lot going on & it seemed like the author was trying to get it all. I'm expecting the next book to be smoother.

  7. What surprised me most though is how thin the book was. I thought it'd be much thicker.