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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1)

Hounded - Kevin Hearne

<So, I'm supposed to ninja past these cops, tread across the broken glass – you remember the broken glass, right? – avoid the buckets o' blood outside the door, and jump silently into that puny car without saying hello to the upholstery?>

 

An excellent summation.  Make it quick.

 

<Not so fast.  Promise you'll get me a date with a French poodle?>

 

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This is one of those rare books that I loved despite not becoming invested in the characters.  Don't get me wrong – I really liked Atticus and Oberon (the dog he can communicate with); I just didn't become emotionally connected to the story in any way, so I was able to sit back and enjoy the store more as an objective observer than an active participant.

 

Rather than build a new world, the author seems to have just taken the enlightened viewpoint that the pantheons of any and all religions/myths/centers-of-worship co-exist; each tending it's own lands or realms.  Atticus O'Sullivan is the last druid, over 2100 years old and trying to hide from one of the gods of Tuatha Dé, but his lawyers – a werewolf and a vampire – are Nordic and hold serious grudges against Thor, who's apparently an ass, and a coven of witches in town get their power from a somewhat obscure trio of Russian goddesses.  All the while the widow MacDonagh from down the street is attending mass (somewhat drunk).  Somehow, Mr. Hearne makes it all work flawlessly, and he scored huge points from me for the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book.

 

Atticus has a dry sense of humor that keeps events and atmosphere well balanced.  There is a fair amount of action that is thankfully fast paced; the author has done his research: the only true sword fight is a short sword fight.  I'm fascinated by the tattoos and how they channel the power from the earth to Atticus and I think my favorite parts of the book were the small moments when he talked about Druid practices.  Oh, and the nod Atticus occasionally gives to science in explaining the effectiveness of a tea or remedy.

 

So in summary, while it's not a book I am going to gush about, I do highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Urban Fantasy - it's an excellent read!  I'm going to be including Hexed in my next book order, although I won't be stalking the postman until it arrives.