Book Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

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Am I above immature trickery? No. It keeps me young.

Synopsis:

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 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. (Source: Goodreads)


 Hounded is the first book in Kevin Hearne’s Irish mythology urban fantasy and if I were to assume things about the rest of the series based on this one book, they would definitely be good. This book was interesting, contained likable characters, great action, comedy and much more.

The biggest seller of this series for me is its premise. The series revolves around Irish/Celtic mythology and features a 2100 year old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, living in modern day Arizona. While things may look peaceful for Atticus, he’s actually on the run from the Celtic god of love, Aengus Óg. Unfortunately, a series of events play out that leave Atticus unable to run and with no other choice but to face the love god head on. How tough can that be?

Even though the series’ main theme is Irish mythology, it incorporates various other myths such as vampires, werewolves, and witches and mentions various other cultures’ pantheons such as the famous Nordic thunder god, Thor and Christianity’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This really stood out to me because series based on mythology appear to erase or ignore other pantheons rather than incorporate them as coexisting with the main one. Hearne demonstrates this mix clearly in the series through Atticus’ deal with the Irish death god, The Morrigan, where she has yet to collect his soul, hence his much longer lifespan than the average Druid. However, Atticus still worries about dying in battle and having his soul collected by another pantheon’s death god.

Continuing with the idea of diverse pantheons, we encounter a number of characters who are creatures from various folklores. Atticus’ lawyers, for example, are a werewolf-vampire duo who are available to him around the clock as a play on their individual supernatural traits. We also encounter different witches whose magic is influenced by European, American, and Hindu culture and Hearne is sure to highlight the slight similarities and differences in their craft. There was just so much detail in the little things that I felt thoroughly immersed in what was going on.

While reading this book I never felt bored. If I wasn’t interested in the actual plot being driven forward I was amused with the characters’ interactions with one another. In my Goodreads updates I mentioned Oberon, Atticus’ Irish wolfhound, a couple times because he was just hilarious. I very much love dogs because of their simple one-track minds and Hearne was able to capture that well in Oberon’s dialogue.

Hounded was a great start to a very promising urban fantasy series. There was great action, interesting mythological interaction, extremely likable characters, and many laughs amid a pretty dire situation. I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the rest of the novels and rejoining Atticus, Oberon and the others for more adventures.

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