Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Title: Hounded
Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles
Pages: 289
Publisher: Del Rey
Publishing Date: May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Library

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.
Favorite Quote:
Monty Python is like catnip for nerds. Once you get them started quoting it, they are constitutionally incapable of feeling depressed.
My Review:
O.My.Gosh..what a GREAT book! I know I was supposed to be patient and read along 5 chapters at a time for the read along, but I couldn't help it! I just got so wrapped up in the plot and the characters that I just kept telling myself "okay...only one more chapter...maybe just one more...no really one more and I'll stop." until I was on the last page wondering where it all went. Hounded is SO awesome! I can't even begin to put in all the hilarious quotes or put into words just how fabulous it is, but here's an attempt!

The mythology in this book was fantastic. Celtic and Norse mythology is some of my favorite to read, even though it's my least favorite to pronounce...lol...and Hounded takes the gods and deities out of the ancient past and makes them oh-so-21st century. The Morrigan was probably my favorite. She took OUT the measly humans who opposed her and kicked ass single-handedly against pretty much every comer. It's a good thing she's on Atticus's side...or I'd be worried for our little druid friend...Though the Celtic mythos was the main one that was focused on (Atty IS a druid after all)...the other Pantheons weren't left out. There was some Hindu references and definitely Christian ones as well. I really liked how Hearne had his gods "manifest" based on how the current populace thought of them. For example...Jesus rarely materializes on Earth because too many humans think of the image on the cross when they think of Jesus...so when he does materialize, he is in pain and has to deal with the whole crucifixion thing every time he comes down...definitely interesting, though probably not going to win points with the stick-up-their-butts Christians out there (no offense meant...I just mean that it's a story...it should be taken for what it is...fiction...not an affront to God...)
The Morrigan’s ideas of sport and mine varied widely. As a Chooser of the Slain, she tends to enjoy nothing so much as a protracted war. She hangs out with Kali and the Valkyries and they have a death goddesses’ night out on the battlefield.
O.M.G...Atticus O'Sullivan is the hottest Druid I've ever read about! Okay...maybe that isn't saying much because I've never read a book about Druids...but he has to be one of my top male protagonists of all time! He's witty, sarcastic, SUPER-smart (I love me those nerds), is in touch with his feminine side (see below quote), and he's got a weakness for the ladies...bow chicka wow WOW :) lol I've definitely got a new book boyfriend and bookish crush! He makes me swoooonnnnn with his lilting Irish swag and his adorable and snappy cultural references! I'll even overlook the fact that he's a ginger and as such, has no soul...I also loved that he was written by a guy, therefore is more likely to act like an actual guy. I have no qualms against the hulking, swoonworthy muscle men of the paranormal genre, but at times it can get kind of cheesy and unrealistic. You know..."Clyde craved her unlike he had ever desired a woman before...her smooth creamy skin and sumptuous curves called to him like the moon (if this was a werewolf story...) etc, etc"...now that kind of stuff is sure to make the ladies have hot flashes...but do real-life guys talk like that? Um..doubtful...very doubtful. This made Atticus seem so much more than any of the he-men in the genre...simply because he is attainable...and more like that cute guy working in Costco down the street than like...Fabio or something :)
What sealed the deal for me was that the cloak wouldn't come off without a generous donation of my tears. Those used to be almost impossible for me to summon, I admit, until I watched Field of Dreams. When Kevin Costner asks his dad at the end if he'd like to have a catch, I just completely lose my shit.-Atticus O'Sullivan in Hounded
The witches were of an interesting variety. I see very little difference between what Atticus does and what traditional witches do, so I am wondering a little bit at his animosity towards them. Sure there's the predilection for witches to have a mean or black streak...but Atty seems to mistrust witches just on prejudice...makes me wonder if some little witchy cast her spells on him in the past and he's just prejudiced for that reason....I actually was really interested in the coven in this book. Half were black and half were white and they are apparently immortal. Not something I usually see in witches. Of course they aren't the pretty "eternally youthful" vampire type immortal. Nope...under their glamours they look every single year of their long lives...ewww...crusty grandma...but still they were fascinating as witches go. I won't tell you the ending, but let's just say that some of the coven end up living to cast another day...while most of the others are left cooling in a pile of their own entrails...try to tell my future from THAT Ms. Coven Priestess...

The final few scenes were the most EPIC things I have ever read...I have no idea how he did it...but Hearne had me laughing out loud, sweating bullets, and terrified out of my mind for Atticus...all practically in the same paragraph. The fight sequencing was excellent with tons of twists and surprise visits from the other gods and pantheons that you definitely weren't expecting. The absolute best part though...was definitely Oberon's commentary. He called the bad guy an epic douche, quoted South Park and Wizard of Oz, AND managed to make himself sound like a Baptist revival preacher all at once.."Praise the Lord and Testify!!!" I was cracking UP and disturbed anyone who was within a 20 foot radius and had to leave to avoid the death glares I was getting...it was definitely worth it though!
I give Hounded 5 Keys! I absolutely adored it! Atticus is an amazing protagonist and is a refreshing male voice in a genre chock full of kick but female characters. It's about time that someone wrote from a guy's perspective that is just as interesting and well written as the other greats in the paranormal genre. I loved everything about it from the storyline to the mythology involved to the characters...especially the characters. I am DYING to get my hands on the next book in the series! If the next books are just as great, I can already tell that this series will be one of my favorites of the year and definitely headed for the keeper shelf.


  1. These books are gorgeous! I'm so glad you loved Hounded! Atticus and Oberon crack me up to no end as well. I've seen a lot of comments to this series as being sexist, but I never feel this way. It is as you said from a guy point of view, and that's why it's funny and realistic. Fantastic review!

  2. I love this series! Especially all the ridiculous pop culture mentions, like you said. And Oberon is totally my favorite!

  3. Oh...I wanted to join this read-along but just didn't have time! Great review!

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf