Review: ‘Hounded’ by Kevin HearnePosted: October 16, 2014
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 finished this last month, but hadn’t quite gotten around to writing a review (I guess I’ve had other things going on lately — dunno!). I’d heard Kevin Hearne’s name on Twitter, and since I love urban fantasy I thought I’d use my monthly Audible credit to download the audiobook of Hounded.
I found it a little hard to get into at first. Some of that was the voice actor; the guy is good but all the previous audiobooks I’ve listened to had smexy British voice actors, so it took me a little while to adjust. Maybe because of that, I was really aware of just how much exposition there is early on in this story. The book is told from Atticus’s point of view, and he likes to interrupt a conversation to provide us a little backstory, or an explanation of druidic magic. It felt a little heavy on the tell rather than the show.
The characters are fun, although Atticus is a little bit of a male Mary Sue (a Mary Stu?) — he’s pretty much perfect. Handsome, powerful, unique, and all the hot goddesses want to sleep with him. He’s also meant to be 2100 years old but, even in his thoughts, sounds like his claimed age of 21.
However, for me he was redeemed by his sense of humour and loyalty to his best friend, Oberon. Oberon is a wolfhound who communicates with Atticus via telepathy. He is very literal, and absolutely hilarious. Far and away my favourite character … although the Morrigan was also pretty awesome. I liked Granuaile too. Actually, I liked most of the characters, despite Atticus’s immaturity at times. (The wedgie scene made me cringe. Dude, you were born BCE — act your age!)
The story follows events in Atticus’s life as Angus Og, the Celtic god of love and Atticus’s lifelong enemy, finds out where he is and starts to send minions after him. It doesn’t help that people who are ostensibly on Atticus’s side tend to complicate his life too. The story was fast-paced and kept me interested, and like I said, it was very funny. Just don’t expect anything deep from this book; it definitely fits into the “read for entertainment” category.