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.
Title: HoundedAuthor: Kevin HearneGenre: Urban FantasyPages: 304Publication Date: May 3, 2011
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.
Hounded is the first in the Iron Druid Chronicles and I must say that I was supremely excited to meet Atticus O’Sullivan. He’s a modern-day druid that is Celtic, cocky, cute and can reference Netflix while speaking telepathically with his Irish wolfhound Oberon...now this is a character I can curl up with any day. Add in a Celtic god of death who keeps conveniently forgetting to put her clothes on, a magical sword, some werewolves, and a body jumping Hindu witch, who are all conveniently fighting a traitorous Celtic god of love. Sounds nifty, right?
However, I feel like it got off to a bumpy start. The reader is taken along a road full of potholes in the flow of the book. I kept getting jarred out of the story by too much information. Research is a key element of any book, but it doesn’t all have to be piled on too thick too fast.
Intertwining a character’s old-world thought process with a new-world vocab is great in theory. But Hearne’s initial execution left me underwhelmed and feeling a little itchy for something smoother. Even his interaction’s mind-to-mind with his hound seemed to drop like a wet plop into the middle of a solid paragraph in the first few chapters.
Eventually, Hearne made up for his choppy sentences and shaky dialogue with some pretty humorous and descriptive writing about mid-way through the book. I started to remember the reasons why I initially picked up Hounded and began to relax and let Atticus start to charm me. I am not a fan of the heat or the sun, but Hearne’s descriptions of the Arizona landscape were beautifully rendered enough to have me considering adding it to my bucket list of destinations. While I did get into a little tizzy earlier in my bluster about too much information, I did still appreciate the author’s dedication to his story.
Hounded gets 3 quills from me. I am hoping that in the second book, Hexed, Atticus can completely captivate this Irish girl into gobbling up the rest of his tale. Come on, you are a Druid after all.