Friday, August 3, 2012


Hounded by Kevin Hearne
The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1

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.

by Kevin Hearne
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin Hearne
Published by Del Rey

My Review

Mr. Hearne, you had me after the first paragraph.

If I may…

There are may perks to living for twenty-one centuries, and foremost among them is bearing witness to the rare birth of genius.  It invariably goes like this:  Someone shrugs off the weight of his cultural traditions, ignores the baleful stares of authority, and does something his countrymen think to be completely batshit insane.  Of those, Galileo was my personal favorite.  Van Gogh comes in second, but he really was batshit insane.

After that kind of opening, how can you help but to read on?

Atticus O’Sullivan is the aforementioned twenty-one hundred year old druid currently living in Tempe, Arizona and running an occult/new age shop.  He has a long-standing feud with an Irish god named Aenghus Óg and has decided it’s time to stop running and settle things.  Which means Atticus will have to kill Aenghus.  Not an easy thing to do, killing a god, but Atticus has one or two gods on his side and more than a few tricks up his sleeve.  And an awesome dog named Oberon to provide commentary when things get interesting.

This urban fantasy is filled with great dialogue and a hero with a great sense of humor.  You’d have to have one, I suppose, if you pre-date Christianity.  Atticus is fun, but he’s also serious about his own survival and he does what it takes to make sure he keeps on living.  Along the way to his showdown with Aenghus, he’ll do battle with a local coven of witches, the minions of Aenghus, a beautiful barmaid that is currently channeling the spirit of an Indian witch, and, oh yeah, his grouch of a neighbor.  And when the Tempe police come calling, he just siccs his werewolf lawyer on him.  But that’s during the daylight hours.  After dark, he can call on the werewolf’s law partner, a vampire.  Yep, he’s got a blood-sucking vampire for a lawyer.  How can you not love this guy?

A word about the narrator of the audio book version.  Luke Daniels is hands-down fabulous.  Okay, okay, that’s more than one word.  Seriously, he’s fabulous.  His pronunciation of the Irish slides right off his tongue like English and his command of accents and voices is unforgettable.  When switching between Atticus’s American accent and, for example, the witches’ Polish or the werewolf’s Icelandic, he doesn’t miss a beat.  The voice for each character is distinctive and unique and you, as the listener, have no difficulty knowing who is speaking just by the voice Daniels’ uses.  I knew I’d have no choice but to listen to the remaining stories in this series (rather than, you know, reading the books) simply because of the narrator.   I even purchased another author’s series just because Daniels narrated them.  He’s that good.

And so is this story.  If you like urban fantasy, you’ll love this story.

I give this story FIVE STARS.

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