In his debut novel and the first novel of his Iron Druid Chronicles series, Hounded, Kevin Hearne introduces the reader to a 2000 year old Druid who has had to fight every day to live for those 2000 years and now he is fighting during our time:
Atticus O'Sullivan, is last of the Druids and he has decided to reside in Arizona running an occult bookshop and spending his time between the pub and hunting with his Irish wolfhound Oberon (who Atticus has a special ability to talk to). However, the peace in Atticus' life is about to be interrupted when an angry Celtic God has tracked him down and his minions have failed to relive Atticus of a sword that he believes is rightfully his. Nothing is ever simple with Gods who have centuries to plan and build alliances. Atticus is going to need all his power and hope that his allies will stick with him to help him survive, but one can never fully trust Gods and they never battle on their world but ours, so the bloodshed is about to begin.
I loved loved loved this book, I do not think I can express enough how much I enjoyed this book. It had all the elements that I am looking for in an Urban Fantasy series. I have never read a book about a Druid before, so even before I picked the book up I was intrigued about the concept and Hearne did not let me down. I love just reading something new, it is extremely refreshing as the Urban Fantasy can (and has become) an over saturated genre where every book follows the same guidelines.
I really liked Atticus from his ability with druid magic and the sword to helping out an old Irish lady with mowing her lawn, there is hard to find fault in Atticus' character. I also find the druid aspect extremely interesting. I do not think that I have encountered a Druid in any of the other books that I have read in the UF/PN/F books that I have read. I did know that Druid "magic" or "powers" do come from the Earth and Hearne stays true to this concept as well as the use of runes. It was really interesting seeing them expressed in this book, just a really cool concept that I really enjoyed.
I know some people who have complained that Atticus is 2000 years old but acts like a teenager, but I actually think this is more realistic than you think. Just think of all the other Gods portrayed in this book and even in myth that even though they can "live" forever, they still get mad about fickle things and act like children or teenagers to resolve them, instead of talking about it like adults. Plus Atticus is trying to blend into the age of the day, so lets just go with he is doing a good job at it.
Not having a background in mystical Gods from around the world and from different places in time, following all the different Gods that Hearne introduces can be confusing at time, but I was able to work through who was alined with who and why and why some Gods had disputes with others. However, I will say I learned about a few Gods that I have never heard about before.
I liked the comic relief that Oberon provided and really who doesn't love a dog that can speak (well kind of), and he does became an integral part of the story. I like the team aspect that Oberon and Atticus have that it is much more owner and dog.
Interesting concept, something unique and some very cool action scenes what more could a reader ask for. Love it all. Cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. It took me way too long to start this series, if you have this book on your TBR shelf you should pick it up and start reading it....like now :)
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