dinsdag 31 mei 2011

Kevin Hearne – Hounded



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 neighbours 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.

I read the review of this book on one of the blogs I follow, and knew I had to read it. So I got the book, read it, loved it, and halfway through I bought it on paper, and pre-ordered the next two books in the series. And now I have to write a review, when I want nothing more than to throw myself into Kiss of Snow! But I did love the book, so I will try my best.

Atticus O’Sullivan is the last of the druids, and ancient, although he looks no older than 21. He lives in a nice house, with a big herb garden, and his Irish Wolfshound called Oberon. He can mindspeak with the dog, and their conversations are often very funny. Can you imagine, a huge dog like this one, who has a thing for French Poodles?
The book is told by Atticus himself (which is not his real name, but that one is totally unpronounceable to me, so I won’t bother you with it). Atticus owns a mystical book- and herbshop in a little shop near Phoenix, where he sells a lot of stuff to people dabbling in the occult. His real business is being done by the Internet nowadays.
Which is also his downfall, as one the connections of Aenghus Óg, his greatest enemy and a Celtic God, has found him using the internet. First the Morrigan herself comes to warn him about it. It was with her blessing when he took the sword Fragarach from the battlefield in Ireland over 2000 years ago. And she defended him against Aenghus Óg, who wants it for himself. She is intrigued by the necklace he has made during the last 700 years, made of cold iron and attached to his aura, to protect him from a lot of magic. And she demands he teach her how to make one herself. She likes learning something new, as she is truly immortal, the Goddess of Death, a new thing is a great thing.
She does advise Atticus to flee, as Bres will come after him, as well as some Firebolg. But Atticus is tired of running, he likes where he is living in Arizona, with few easy access places for the Fae to arrive unexpected, so he decides to wait it out this time. He has grown more powerful over the centuries, and with the help of his friends, he is sure he can handle everyone the God will throw at him.

Then another Goddess is waiting at his house when he arrives home that night: Flidais, who kind of works for the Goddess Brigid, who is also the Queen of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She also warns him of his discovery by Aenghus Óg. But then they spend the next few hours more pleasantly together, before they go hunting wild sheep, something this Goddess of the Hunt has never hunted before. To accompany Oberon, Atticus turns himself into a hound, so they can hunt together, driving the game towards Flidais. But something is wrong, Atticus is not feeling quite like himself anymore, Flidais is controlling his actions and most of his thoughts. And when they are caught in the act by a Park Ranger, Oberon kills him at the order of Flidais. But something was off, how could that man sneak up on them? And how come he is wearing an earring with magical proportions? Then the sirens are wailing nearby already, and Atticus knows this is Aenghus’ doing. They try to hide to body, and flee away invisibly in Flidais’ chariot. She has never heard of DNA before, and doesn’t understand that Oberon’s life is now in danger. And she cannot help with that problem. So now Atticus has to hid Oberon from the law, by making him invisible. He is sure his meddlesome neighbour will sicc the police on them as soon as he can.

While he is helping his elder neighbour, the Irish widow MacDonagh, who likes her whiskey a lot, his first enemy finds him. Luckily, he is carrying his concealed sword with him … so when the Fae tries to blind him with his glamour and attack him sneakily, Atticus beats him to it.

What follows is a lot of action and some fun, and really just too much to mention. Lots of paranormal beings make their appearance her, some good, lots of big baddies.

I loved the book, it is told in a sober, but humoristic tone. Atticus is an ancient Druid yes, but he does not take himself too serious. He still loves what his magic can do. He has lots of powers, including healing. He sells his potions as teas under creative names and he is still Irish in his heart, although he has travelled the world extensively. I particularly enjoyed the part where he met Brigid, the Queen, as she is his secret crush all his life.
Unknowingly, a bunch of Gods and Goddesses are pulling his strings, to make sure Atticus does what they want him to do. There is betrayal, but also good friends. Like the old Widow, and his daytime werewolf lawyer and his Pack, and his nighttime Vampire lawyer. Although it is frowned upon to be friends with a Vampire, Atticus really likes him.
I am curious what will happen in the next book, if the girl is coming back to be his apprentice after all, and what will happen with the new Witches Coven.
Really a lot of characters in this book, but it is never confusing. Not really romance here either, although there is nudity and some kisses, and a short scene with Flidais. Action, magic, humor and battle scenes, and of course some history thrown in to explain the background. A great debut novel. I can’t find the blog where I read about this book, but I am glad I did, I enjoyed it a lot.

9 stars.

4 opmerkingen:

  1. I have only heard praise. I did read the short story he has for free on Goodreads but so hard to tell what I feel from a short story

  2. I'm looking forward to reading this. Like Blodeuedd above, I've only heard praise for this series.

  3. Yeah! So glad you enjoyed this one, and I can't believe you held yourself back from KISS OF SNOW to write this. That's way more will power than I would have had. :)

    There is a lot going on in HOUNDED but it never gets confusing.

    Loved the comment about the widow enjoying her whiskey a lot.

  4. I sure do recommend this book Blodeuedd and Vicky. And thanks again Jennifer, it was your review that sold me.