Hounded by Kevin Hearne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Millenia-old druid Atticus O'Sullivan has a powerful magical sword in his possession and a Celtic god wants it in the worst way. But what does that have to do with a coven of witches? And which side are Flidais and the other gods on? Can Atticus escape with his skin, even with a pack of werewolves and a vampire lawyer on his side?
I had my eye open for a new urban fantasy series to try once the Dresden Files began tasting like ashes in my mouth. When the price on the ebook version of this dropped to 99 cents, my choice was made. It turned out to be a pretty good one.
Atticus O'Sullivan is a 2000 year old Druid that looks like a tattooed 21 year old. Once I accepted that was the reason he sounded like a modern man, I had a lot of fun reading this.
Hounded reads like the Dresden Files with a dash of American Gods thrown in. I found Atticus to be a much more likeable lead than Harry Dresden, primarily because he has personality traits above and beyond being a smart ass. Oberon, his Irish wolfhound, further sealed the deal. I liked the way Hearne depicted Atticus' magic and his Druidic abilities set him apart from a lot of other urban fantasy characters.
The supporting cast was equally interesting. The vampire and werewolf lawyer combo was a pretty novel idea and I liked that he didn't overuse them. I also liked Atticus' dealings with the Celtic pantheon and how careful he was when dealing with them and the witches.
The Arizona setting was a nice change of pace. The plot wasn't all that revolutionary but I thought it was well done for what it was. When dealing with the gods, a certain amount of treachery is expected and Hearne delivered the goods. It was a fun story.
I'm not going to pretend it didn't have some things that irked me. Things were wrapped up a little too nicely and even though I was able to push it aside, I didn't like that Atticus talked so much like a 21st century man. I also question the wisdom of running a store that happens to sell occult books. It's not on par with Tony Stark saying Iron Man is his bodyguard or Peter Parker mysteriously getting the best pictures of Spider-Man but it's in the ballpark.
Minor gripes aside, this was a really fun read and well-worth the ninety-nine cents I spent on it. I'll be looking to pick up the rest, hopefully for an affordable price. Four out of five stars.
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