Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles #1)
by Kevin Hearne
Paperback, 289 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Del Rey
Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository
The first novel in the original, six-book Iron Druid Chronicles--introducing a cool, new, funny urban fantasy hero
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.
Atticus O'Sullivan is not your average 21-year-old-looking Irish boy. Aside from he runs a bookstore with a wide selection of ancient occult and religion books with an apothecary on the side, Atticus is also the last living Druid on earth. Oh, and he's also 2100 years old.
Hounded is one of the reasons why I love fantasy so much. This is where faeries, vampires, werewolves, demons and witches co-exist. Where Jesus and Mary are real (Atticus met them and thought they were nice people). Where Thor is an arrogant bastard and everyone wants to kill him. This is where all mythologies are real; Celtic, Norse, Greek... name it, they're all real! I didn't know about Druids before I read this book. (Yes, I'm guilty of not reading the summary first before buying it.) Thought they were an original concept by the author, so it was a nice surprise to know that Druids were part of the Celtic mythology. Add to that nice surprise is that the Druid in this book was such a fun, likable and admirable character.
Despite his age, Atticus acts like a normal 21 year old boy. He likes to flirt with redheaded bartenders and spooky goddesses. He also speaks the modern vernacular with ease, which is funny when you compare him to the other characters that are less than half his age and still speaks like the ancient. He reminded me of Master Roshi from Dragonball Z. Good thing Atticus looks like a 21-year-old because if not, that would be very amusing - but not a very nice sight.
Another fun character in the book was Oberon, Atticus' Irish wolfhound. I love books with protags who have adorable pets, so Hounded immediately earned a plus star for that. Atticus doesn't treat Oberon as merely a pet dog, rather, he treats him like one would treat a best friend. Oberon sometimes thought like a 5-year-old kid and Atticus indulges him a lot. He told him stories about people from the past and Oberon always felt the need of imitating them. Like when Atticus told him about Gengis Khan and after, Oberon wanted him to be called as Oberon Khan, demanding a horde of French poodles like Gengis Khan had a horde of women.
Hounded is an action-packed novel with lots of magic, fangs, claws and swords involved. I have to say that the action scenes really challenged my imagination. The only drawback of this book for me was the fact that Atticus always gets his way. He always beats his enemies. With some difficulty, yes, but he always wins in the end. But nonetheless, Hounded was an honest to goodness enjoyable read. Even without romance, the friendship between Oberon and Atticus and the breathtaking fight scenes, as well as the magic of this book kept me glued and entertained from the beginning till end.
Rating: 4/5 stars