Monday, February 25, 2013

Hexed by Kevin Hearne

Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #2)Hexed by Kevin Hearne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The second in the Iron Druid Series featuring Atticus O’Sullivan a 2000+ year old Druid living in modern day Tempe, AZ. This book picks up very shortly after the end of book one. A magical power vacuum has opened up in Atticus’ part of Tempe after the destruction of half of the local coven. As a result, a fearsome and demon-spawning coven of witches is looking to take over. Atticus is forced to help the remaining members of the resident coven drive these invaders out along with some other magical threats in the area such as a fallen angel and a group of Bacchants. His anonymity has also been officially blown thanks to the events of book one.

I enjoyed this one a bit more than the first. I may have just entered into the rhythm of Kevin Hearne’s storytelling but I think the writing was a bit more natural. I found this book a good bit funnier - the humor in the first book seemed forced at times. The character of Atticus also seemed more even and consistent.

The one problem I am still having with these books is fairly minor though I am about to explain at a length disproportionate to its magnitude.  The books seem to be pretty geared for the geeky fanboy.  There's a lot of mentions of star wars, Lord of The Rings, Joss Whedon etc... but Atticus also seems to be surrounded by drop dead gorgeous ladies (and goddesses) most of whom can't wait to rip his clothes off.  Not very compelling for this lady reader/geeky fangirl?  The biggest sticking point I can't seem to get past is Granuaile because I feel like she's such a wasted opportunity for geek-girl worthy but still geek-boy friendly romance.  Granuaile is smart, cool headed, and independent which is all great but she's also meant to be smoking hot, a bartender and she and Atticus' relationship from the beginning is flirty.  He frequently goes drooly over her especially when she answers her apartment door in a skimpy nightie.  So yeah, geek boy wish fulfillment.  And as I mentioned in my review of book one, that's totally legitimate but it keeps me, as a woman who enjoys a little romance, from really being sucked in by the story.  I would have preferred Granuaile to be a ugly duckling sort of beauty - i.e. attractive but less ostentatiously so, who comes in contact with Atticus as a customer in his shop who he takes no special notice of until she comes to him for help with the "witch living in her head" problem.  She asks to be taken on as an apprentice and he notices she's smart so he takes her on.  The attraction would then build slowly as he got to know her more.  I'd also like it if she wasn't quite so competent.  And I'd be cool with her having a big crush on him from the very beginning.  I know this is a common trope and all pretty cliched but there's a reason these tropes are perpetuated - people dig them.  Anyway, if we had that kind of tertiary, slowly building romance building I wouldn't be able to put these down.  As is I can't really enjoy their relationship and there is nothing else in the books dragging me along in anticipation. 

Anyway, sorry for that rather esoteric rant.  I'm guessing the perception of a romance deficit is an issue special to me:)  Overall, this book's a rollicking adventure that never slows down. You will definitely need to read book one first as the storyline presented here is a direct continuation.

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