Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)Hounded by Kevin Hearne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Atticus O’Sullivan is a 2000 year old druid living a quiet life in modern day Tempe, Arizona. He’s enjoying being settled down with a home and business of his own and his great big Irish Wolfhound, Oberon as his closest companion. This quiet life is not destined to last however as a 1000 year old feud with the Celtic god of love is about to come to a head…

Sounds like a ton of fun doesn’t it? And it is for the most part! It’s urban fantasy in the tradition of The Dresden Files and if you like Jim Butcher’s series you are also likely to enjoy this. Atticus isn’t a magical private eye like Dresden but he does seem to be someone who can deal with any magical kerfuffles that ruffle Tempe’s mundane modernity. Also shared with the Dresden Files series is the book’s very masculine slant. I mean that in the way that romances are stories with a feminine slant – it’s female wish fulfillment. The same can be said of this novel but for men and there’s nothing at all wrong with that, but it did keep me, as a female reader, a little bit aloof from the character of Atticus.

But don’t get me wrong. Atticus is a great character who was a lot of fun to spend time with. He is able to communicate with his dog which adds a lot of charm (though I could have done without the corny, cartoonish obsession with French poodles) and makes me very envious. It’s also great how Hearne liberally sprinkles this adventure story with Celtic folklore and I like the world he creates where the various pantheons of Gods are all out there, hanging out and occasionally interacting with mortals ala Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Although the gods here are a little less house-trained. He also throws in vampires and werewolves and succubi and witches which could have seemed a little unfocused but blends pretty well into the story. I especially like his take on werewolves and how they operate.

Overall, pretty good fun. I look forward to the next two installments in the series!

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