Rummanah Aasi
 I'm relatively new to the urban fantasy genre. Thanks to friend recommendations I've found great reads. I first heard about Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicle series from Missie over at The Unread Reader. It's kinda hard to not pick books that are featured in her My Book Boyfriend meme. When she featured Atticus O'Sullivan, I knew I had to go out and find this book. Thanks for the recommendation, Missie!

Description (from Amazon): 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.

Review: When I picked up Hounded, I read a few books that didn't work well for me and I needed a change. Hounded hit the spot with its witty characters, a great blend of mythologies and the modern world along with a sharp sense of humor. Before reading this book, I've only read urban fantasy series such as the Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson series which are driven by a strong female character. Hounded is the first male driven urban fantasy series that I've read.
  Atticus O'Sullivan is a 2100-year old Druid, supposedly the last of his kind. He is disguised as a good looking 21 year old Irish guy. He lives in Tempe, Arizona, and runs a New Age herbal and book store. Atticus is on the run from the Celtic god of love who wants a mystical sword that Atticus took from him in a battle centuries ago. The god also wants Atticus dead. Periodically, as the god has located Atticus, he sends his minions after him to kill him. In Hounded, the god of love wants to kill him personally. 
   In the scope of the urban fantasy genre, many of the common tropes exist. The Tuatha De Danann, werewolves, vampires, witches, ghouls, gods, goddesses, demons, etc., are present in the story but they are not common knowledge to the general human population. Though the book focuses on the Celtic mythology, which I'm not well versed in at all, Hearne gives the reader enough contextual clues to understand the mythological figures and to not make the reader feel lost. Elements from other mythologies such as Native American, Slavic, Nordic and Indian mythologies are included in the book too, which made the book rich and even more interesting.
  I thought all the characters are fleshed-out and interesting, and most of all, the highlight of this book is its sense of humor. The plot has some nice twists and turns. There is enough action in the book to keep the reader's attention. I never felt bored while reading the book. Things that seem impossible things are given enough logical explanations so that I didn't have to suspend too much disbelief to take me out of the story.  
  Atticus is a delightful hero who is paranoid, smart, snarky, yet has a warm heart. He is rough around the edges, but you can easily see why he has been alive for many centuries. I loved how well he tries to adjust to live with today's world. His commentary of why today's people do the things they do were extremely amusing. As he looks back on his past, you can tell he has definitely retained life lessons that has helped him along the way. His loyalty to his Irish wolfhound, Oberon, is heartwarming and brought a smile to my face several times. Oberon and Atticus are able to communicate mentally and their conversations are hysterical. Here is one of my favorite snippets: 

Oberon: Well, give her back her check and send her packing! We don't need to play her witch's games. They always want to get you and your little dog, too!

Atticus: "I knew I should have never let you watch the Wizard of Oz."

Oberon: Toto didn't deserve that type of trauma. He was so tiny.

In addition to Atticus and Oberon, one of my favorite secondary character is the Widow MacDonaugh, an elderly woman that is Atticus's neighbor and a friend. MacDonaugh has survived the sectarian conflicts in Northern Ireland. She is incredibly funny and not your stereotypical old lady who is completely oblivious to what's going on. She actually picks up things quite quickly and in her own unique way accepts Atticus's quirks and explanations. I would love to have her as my grandmother.
   This is one of those books that I wish I could hear on audiobook. I would love to hear the Irish accent and the proper way to pronounce the various ethnic names in the book. Thankfully, there is a glossary included in the first book that I found to be useful and referred to a lot in the beginning. Hounded is one of the books that you want to read to the end once you start it.  I know that I will definitely be getting the next two books in the series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language and violence in the book. There are also allusions to sex. Recommended for mature teens and up only.

If you like this book try: Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles #2) by Kevin Hearne or Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher
9 Responses
  1. Not my usual fare, but you've enticed me. I've put it on the list (although I'm sure it will sit there for a while...) Thanks!

  2. *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

    I'm so happy, Rummanah! UF is not my preferred cup of fiction so I was amazingly surprised by how much I loved this book!

    Wasn't the Widow just awesome. And just so you know Oberon has a twitter account. :)

    It's totally worth listening to on Audiobook to catch how everything is pronounced, like Atticus's real name. That one is a whopper. LOL

  3. Jenny Says:

    Really amazing review Rummanah, I've heard so many good things about this series! Atticus seems like an amazing hero, and I certainly love me some snark so I think he and I would be a good fit. I wouldn't mind listening to this one on audio and hearing an Irish accent either:)

  4. Jennifer Says:

    I'm so glad you liked this one! I really enjoyed it also. Atticus is awesome and he's paranoia is almost charming. I can't wait to read more in the series.

  5. Don't sue me, but I haven't read a single urban fantasy. I hate trying to wade my way through a new genre, but this sounds (per your review) like a great place to start! Fantastic review :)

  6. Annette: It was a simply fun read. I hope you enjoy it.

    Missie: He does? Sweet! I'll have to check it out. And yeah, the names in this book are a whopper. LOL

    Jenny: I think you'll love him. Hard to not like a gorgeous, smart, snarky, Irishman. LOL!

    Jen: I completely agree. I can't wait to see what other crazy events will happen.

    Melissa: I haven't read any UF until last year. Be sure to check out the Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews. It's a favorite of mine.

  7. Lauren M Says:

    Nice! I hadn't heard of this series before, but it sounds fantastic! I love that the book has a sense of humor; usually UF is a bit darker. The mythology sounds really interesting, too! Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Rummanah! :)

  8. Small Review Says:

    I love this series! I totally owe Missie for introducing me to it too. I thought the second book was even funnier than the first. The Widow is awesome! I would love a dog like Oberon. He's so cute. And Atticus is so cool.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    whoah this weblog is great i like reading your posts.

    Stay up the good work! You know, many people are hunting around for this info, you can aid them greatly.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails