The first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles.

Publication year: 2011
Format: Audio
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Running Time: 8 hrs and 07 minutes

Atticus O’Sullivan manages an occult bookshop and herb shop in Arizona. He’s around two thousand years old and the last druid alive so he’s made quite a lot of enemies and friends over the years. So, when five fairies attack him, and the Morrigan shows up to warn him that he’s in grave danger, Atticus isn’t really surprised. Aenghus Óg, the Celtic god of love, has found Atticus.

Hounded is a very fun book. It has a plethora of old gods and spirits, magic, and a funny sidekick who is actually funny. There are lots of reference to pop culture, modern fantasy books and movies and songs.

I really enjoyed Oberon, Atticus’ Irish wolfhound. Atticus speaks with him mind to mind and Oberon feels very much like a dog: talking about sausages and wanting to mate. When Atticus tells Oberon about his time with Ghengis Khan, Oberon really likes it and starts to refer to “what would Ghengis Khan do”. Funny!

Atticus has a a lot of supernatural contacts both in town and elsewhere. He has a deal with the Morrigan so that she doesn’t take his soul. Of course, she isn’t the only death god around… I rather liked her portrayal here; she’s bloodthirsty and kills humans when they annoy her. Atticus has two lawyers: one of them is a vampire (and a viking) and the other is a werewolf. And Atticus’ next door neighbor is quite a tough old lady.

That said, the book has some faults, too. Despite his supposed age, Atticus doesn’t actually come across as old or wise. He feels very much like a modern man who is just as self-absorbed as any teenager. For someone who has managed to stay alive for two thousand years, he doesn’t seem to have learned much. I found it a bit baffling that so many goddesses are attracted to him. Also, Atticus is so powerful that there’s isn’t any real tension in the book.

The first six chapters are available for free here: http://www.scribd.com/RHPG/d/52589128-HOUNDED-by-Kevin-Hearne-Excerpt

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