REVIEW: Hounded by Kevin Hearne
by Kevin Hearne
The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book One
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.
MY THOUGHTS: 4.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Atticus O’Sullivan may look like a 22 year old college guy, but he’s actually an over 2000 year old Druid. This means he gleans power from the Earth, and though he can use some magic, he’s far from the baddest thing out in the world. Take for example, Aenghus Og…who’s pretty mad at Atticus for taking the legendary sword Fragarach during a battle centuries before.
Aenghus Og uses his power as a god to wield a witch coven against Atticus…and muck up the quiet life he’s tried so hard to live by making the police investigate him. But Atticus has some supernatural help as well! Not only does he have a werewolf lawyer and his pack at his disposal, he communes with many vicious entities–the Morrigan, who takes the dead, and Flidais, goddess of the hunt who doesn’t want Aenghus to come to power either. Atticus is being hounded by Aenghus’ minions, and it’s time for things to come to an end.
So, other than reading some fae books, this was my first foray into the world of ancient Irish lore. And I have to admit, at first I found it more than a little intimidating…I mean, the novel starts of with a pronunciation guide! And I needed it–there were so many confusing, foreign names contained. But as I kept reading, I was able to learn the difference between terms, and I really got into the book.
I really liked Atticus. He’s a friendly guy who’s just trying to live his life and keep his head down. He’s hiding out in Arizona because he knows Aenghus has been looking for him for ages…and eventually, he finds him. Atticus will not be intimidated, though. I love his wit, and his thought and speech patterns are kind of funny–he uses modern slang and it somehow comes out wrong, like he’s trying too hard. But he’s over 2 millenia old, so what does one expect?
Even though he’s a warrior when he needs to be, Atticus has a soft spot in his heart for his Irish wolfhound, Oberon. They can communicate through a mental link, and often have some hilarious banter. Atticus is also kind and helpful to his elderly Irish neighbor, Mrs. MacDonagh. I love a man with a sensitive side.
I felt it took a little too long for Atticus and Aenghus to meet–it doesn’t happen until the last 30 pages of the book–but I was never bored. Since Aenghus sends so many other creatures after Atticus, he’s always got something to fight.
I truly loved being introduced to this world, and Atticus is a unique, likable main character. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for him.