Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: Hounded

9533378Title: Hounded
Author: Kevin Hearne
Genre: Urban fantasy, adult fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
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.

I usually don't read urban fantasy, but this book was recommended to me by so many people that I decided to give it a shot. It was so much fun! The audiobook narrator did a phenomenal job, and I really enjoyed the accents and the voices. As you can probably tell by the status updates, I really want a dog like Oberon!

When I first heard the premise of Hounded, I immediately thought of Neil Gaiman's American Gods - all the gods from all of the world's mythology are real, and they walk the earth and have petty fights and hold grudges for hundreds of years and take lovers and all the rest of that good stuff. But these two books could not be any more different - while American Gods was dark and disturbing (but brilliant!), Hounded is just pure entertainment. It's hilarious, and it's so much fun to see the main character trying to get himself out of one tricky situation only to land himself into a bigger one.

I loved the incorporation of the various types of mythology and folklore into daily life. The main character, Atticus, is a druid who is 21 centuries old but looks like he's 21 years old. All that time has given him plenty of practice with dealing with capricious gods, goddesses, and magical beings, and he's been keeping his head low to protect himself (and the mythic sword in his possession). Now that a god has decided to pull out all the stops to get the sword he believes is rightfully his, Atticus has to stop running and finally put up a fight - but not without help. Among the colorful cast of characters are a Celtic goddess of death, a lawyer who's actually a vampire, a talking dog, and a bartender who's possessed by a Hindu witch.

Atticus was really witty and sarcastic, and I loved his conversations with Oberon. He was also pretty quick-thinking and resourceful, and it was interesting to see how he thought (and often fought) his way out of sticky situations. It's not all about who has the most muscle - it's about outwitting the enemy, and I enjoyed that.

One thing that bugged me was how every female in this book wanted to sleep with Atticus - and some of those females were goddesses who had lived longer than he had. You would imagine that powerful goddesses of ancient lore would have better things to do than all swarm around this one (amazing) guy, but I guess not. My raging inner feminist was a little ticked off by that, but the book had some redeeming qualities. That bar maid turns out to be a lot smarter and more determined than she seems at first, and the witch Malina was an interesting character as well. I kind of wish at least one of those bad-ass werewolves was a woman (maybe one was? did I not catch that?) but most of the women were pretty awesome even if they did all swoon in front of Atticus.

I highly recommend the audio version of this book if you can, because the narrator was truly amazing. I don't think I would have found this book half as entertaining without the audio rendition. Pick this book up if you're looking for light-hearted fun!


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4 comments:

  1. I'm glad you reviewed this, as it's been on my "maybe" list on Amazon for quite some time, and I wasn't sure if it would be for me. I liked American Gods, but it wasn't necessarily my cup of coffee (main character having no personality... just no....). Also, I never trust the Amazon reviewers, their opinions are sometimes wacky or influenced, so it was nice to read such a clarified review. Great post!
    ~Litha

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  2. Thanks! The main character is amazing - snarky, witty, and really bad-ass. Enjoy :)

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  3. Michelle {Book Hangovers}June 30, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    I was recommended this series by a Barnes and Noble employee yesterday. It sounded interesting but the I saw the covers to all the books. I was not impressed with them, at all! Thank goodness I found you review. I'll let the cover design pass and give em a try. Plus, I see that Patrick Rothfuss digs them..so that's a definite plus in my book :)

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  4. These are a lot of fun - I'd recommend them for when you just need a fast and funny read :)

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