This is a spoiler-free review.
Hounded (Iron Druid #1) by Kevin Hearne
Genre: Urban fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis: 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 haven’t read a lot of urban fantasy, which is something I aim to remedy this year. So when I saw Hounded on Bookdepository for around €6, I added it to my cart immediately. I didn’t plan on reading it immediately when it arrived, as it normally takes me quite a while to get to new purchases (oops). But I just felt like reading it so bad, so I picked it up the same day!
I have loved mythology ever since I can remember. It has always fascinated me, and it’s the reason I decided to take Latin when I was 12. Afterwards, I discovered the Percy Jackson series and it rekindled all my love for Greek mythology. Then it turned to Roman. Over the years, my fascination with myths and legends hasn’t waned. However, I’m ashamed to say I know fairly little about any mythology aside from Greek/Roman. That includes Irish mythology. I recognize certain names, such as the Morrigan. But that’s it.
This book was not only tons of fun, it was a great introduction into Irish mythology. I didn’t realize how much I’d learned about the myths and gods until I started looking into it. Kevin Hearne manages to put so much information about the deities and customs in the book without it ever feeling like an information dump. Instead, it felt fun, quick and action-packed.
I haven’t had much time to read lately but I couldn’t put this book down! I had to finish it, because I was enjoying it so much. This book was definitely filled with action. Atticus always manages to get in trouble, so the action never stops. This made the book feel very fast-paced, and turned it into a quick read for me -as it’s also not that long.
I didn’t just love the plot, I loved the characters too. Atticus is hilarious to me. He definitely has my kind of humor. I also found it intriguing to see him use certain expressions at times, to then be reminded no one in this time uses it anymore. It must be so confusing, having 21 centuries worth of idioms and sayings in your head! He also had fun anecdotes about historic events, as he has lived 21 centuries and seen A LOT.
However, my favorite character of all was Oberon. Who’s that, you ask? Well, Oberon is Atticus’ Irish wolfhound. Yes, a dog. Atticus communicates with him through their minds, and has taught Oberon the English language. First of all, this dog is genius. And hilarious. And very focused on French poodles, Genghis Khan and sausage.
The introduction of the deities was interesting too. I could get to know each of them better slowly. My favorite so far is the Morrigan. Or maybe Brighid? I’m not sure. Like I said, I learned a lot about Irish mythology, without ever realizing how much the author was teaching me. For example, about Fragarach, the sword mentioned in the description. I never knew it was actually part of the mythology.
I highly enjoyed this urban fantasy novel, and I’d definitely recommend it. I’m looking forward to continuing the series and seeing what will happen to Atticus and Oberon next.