Since I was so torn after reading Shattered by Kevin Hearne, I thought I'd do a follow up review on the first book in The Iron Druid Chronicles, Hounded. If you're wondering why I read the seventh book first, it was the only one the bookstore had at the time and for my own writer research on how books in the middle of a series are handled.
Atticus O'Sullivan is over two-thousand years old and the only Druid left on earth. He's settled in Houston, Texas and owns an occult bookstore. He has been hunted for centuries by Aenghus Og of the Tuatha De Danann because he stole a magic sword. In Hounded, the god has located Atticus...and he wants the sword back. Atticus ends up being a pawn in the games of gods and goddess and will need all his power to stay alive.
I would say that I enjoyed Hounded more than Shattered, mostly because it was written from one point-of-view. I don't have a problem with multiple points-of-view; I do have an issue with using different tense when points-of-view change as was done in Shattered. I also found that Hearne inserted himself less in this book than Shattered. There were still a few times when a pop culture reference came up that seemed a little out of character but it wasn't as glaring as in Shattered.
I am a sucker for anything with mythology in it, especially Celtic. Hearne seems to have done his homework, which makes his characters vivid and the world believable. I enjoy is Atticus's tone and wit. He's sarcastic and saucy, which for me are a good combination. Though I have a hard time believing the level of immaturity the creeps in at times. I loved his lawyer, Hal Hauk--another snarky attitude. Atticus's elderly friend, Mrs. MacDonagh is quite funny, especially when the werewolves were doing her yard work.
The overall story kept me reading. There is action, suspense, drama. Hearne keeps up a good pace.
Again, this series could be my favourite if it wasn't for a few things.
I get Atticus's relationship with his dog, Oberon. It's great that they can communicate telepathically, but Oberon's character isn't my favourite. Most time I find it annoying. I mentioned in my last blog that I've seen reviews by people who really enjoy Oberon, just not me.
The male fantasy of goddesses throwing themselves at Atticus gets old. I understand that Atticus is a good looking man, but find it a bit of a stretch that the Celtic goddesses are all hot and bothered over him.
There were things I let slide so that overall I would enjoy Hounded...then I hit the epilogue. I should have stopped reading after the last chapter because the epilogue tainted the whole book for me. I'm going to tell you why so if you don't want a minor spoiler, quit reading here knowing that I would recommend this book for those who like a snarky, witty Druid, mythology, and urban fantasy and can get past the weaker parts of a book.
Still with me?
After the story ends, Atticus takes time go hunting with Oberon. They have fun and return home to a surprise Atticus set up for his BFF...several french poodles...all in heat. That's how the book ends. To me, that was gross and unnecessary. Leaving the book like that left me with a negative impression, especially since I worked to ignore aspects I didn't like.
I love the world and characters that Hearne has developed. Some of the finer details are not to my liking. It's not enough to deter me from the series, though it is enough to keep it from being a favourite.