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Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne
Urban Fantasy, Mythology
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (320 pages, DEL REY)
Ebook $7.99
Audiobook $19.99

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.

Author Site: www.kevinhearne.com

The New "It" Series of Urban Fantasy (5 stars)

What do you get when you mix in all of the world's mythologies, pantheons and superstitions with modern snark and rich pop culture influences? One of the best urban fantasy books I've read in... uhm... ever.

Atticus O'Sullivan might look like a barely-legal-to-buy-booze college kid but thanks to his druid's knowledge of herb lore the guy's pushing into the millenia-old catagory. With his trusty Irish Wolfhound sidekick, Oberon, and a whole lot of running he's managed to stay out of the way of trouble for a while but his past is catching up with him. An angry Celtic god wants his sword back and might just be ready to stop sending in lackeys who aren't getting results. If only that were the half of it.

With gods and goddesses from all over choosing sides and doing their best to muddle the whole thing up Atticus will need help from his friends and a hell of a lot of it. Angry witches, Viking werewolves and frisky old Irish ladies mix this plot into a laugh-out-loud adventure worthy of the highest praise.

I love a butt kicking chick as much as any urban fantasy fan can but I loves me a guy character who can solidly stand-up with them on the shelves. Unfortunately they aren't so easy to find. If you've been looking for a great urban fantasy series with a male lead look no further. Atticus is a druid, old as dirt but blessed with a youthful face and a spirit that matches. Outwardly he might appear a little cowardly but he's crazy like a fox.

The world building for this series is absolutely fierce. I've been wishing for an urban fantasy author to get bold enough to try setting a world up where the many pantheons of the past and present could blend effectively and work. Hearne has made this a world you'll find rich and well thought. A Viking vampire who as a beef with Thor? Sign me up!

While Atticus and the world building are essential and delightful I couldn't help but be charmed by the vibrant secondary characters but specifically Oberon. I am not a dog lover, don't even like dogs because the whole dog loyalty and personality doesn't suit my own. Somehow Oberon just managed to wiggle his chatty little tail into my heart and make me almost wish I was a dog person. Providing that hilarious comic relief every well-written UF series needs he is likely to charm most readers the way other "sidekick" characters (ie. Jenks from Kim Harrison's Hollows series) have.

Overall I honestly can't review this one well enough. There was nothing I didn't like about it. I've tried to think of anything to complain about and all I could come up with is that my husband found Oberon to be too chatty and distracting at parts... see I made him read it as soon as I finished it, I loved it that much. Ha! I'd recommend this for mythological urban fantasy fans, fans of Celtic lore and especially for dudes who are wishing for more male characters they can relate to in the genre. I am so thrilled Hexed and Hammered are being published so close to Hounded because I'm shaking with excitement to dive into this world again. So what are you doing still reading this review? Go buy Hounded already!

Other Reviews:
So Many Books, So Little Time
Urban Fantasy Investigations

Notes: Received ARC via Amazon Vine.


Ian-Christian Jones said...

I pre-ordered this book on your suggestion a week ago, but after reading your review of it, I have to say I'm really excited to read it. GAH! Why did you do this to me? haha, I was hoping you'd wait to review this until I could actually read it!

Unknown said...

Great review! Now I'm even happier about it being my WOW this week! Thanks for stopping by!

Carmel @ Rabid Reads
Here's my WOW.

Rhianna said...

hehe! Guess what's even more awesomesauce? Kevin has agreed to let me interview him! I've gotta sit down and think up some questions worthy of being answered.

You will love it Ian, of that I am sure. But don't worry it comes out on Tuesday so it's almost there! ;) You have to tell me what ya think though. I demand your enthusiasms and opinionations ASAP!


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