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Book Review – Hounded by Kevin Hearne July 8, 2011

Posted by Realitybypass in Book Review.
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I was excited for this book when I saw the initial story description and having finished it I find myself seeing it as a hit and miss kind of offering. There are some great ideas which I liked very much, but also some thing that made me cringe and want to slap the narrator and occasionally the author. 😛

On a positive note I do like the pacing of the book and the wit. The widow McDunna was a complete crack up, and I like the use of the Irish mythos in a way that wasn’t over done, even if it was a bit simplistic. The explanation of why Atticus is in Arizona and what he’s chosen to do with his life makes sense to me, as does his desire to play keep away from a God that wants his head. The relationship with Oberon is good, though I do find some of the things Oberon says to be so far out of a dog’s realm of understanding that it throws me out of the story. I think if there had been more information making Oberon a specific familiar with thoughts outside of doggie comprehension that it would have made better sense, but he’s just a dog who has been affected by being around Atticus. For me that doesn’t make the jump to understanding traumatized Toto or citrus air fresheners.

I do not like how Atticus thinks and acts like an oversexed frat boy. Sex doesn’t bother me. Sex with at least two goddesses and being lusted after by others…well…kinda par for the course for the genre. Many of the heroes and heroines of UF are attractive to all sorts of folks, even if the hero/ine themselves are described as being plain or otherwise not overly attractive. So it’s a little Gary Stu, but dealable with. I despise the interactions with the EMTs and the portrayal of the same. If you are 2100 years old and as smart as Atticus is supposed to be using power you don’t have to give an EMT a wedgie twice is just plain stupid and arrogant. And I can see setting up problems with authority, again very typical, but when you get into medical folk, in particular EMTs, you’re dealing with people who work stupid hours responding to people when their lives have gone to crap. Very rarely do you find an EMT who is a jerk and even more rarely do they sit there and bicker details versus HELPING the person involved. It’s not their job to determine the legitimacy of a wound, it’s their job to save lives and treat the hurt. People who are into a job for the power over other people don’t become paramedics, EMTs or other emergency personnel. It’s fine to keep up with the times and be hip, I don’t have a problem with that. But there is a difference between acting young and keeping up appearances and thinking like a teenager. 2100 years worth of experience should, in theory, also bring with it a bit of wisdom and tolerance, Atticus shows neither.

I’ve seen a lot of comparisons with Jim Butcher, and I’d say Herne has some of the same flow, but it’s definitely Butcher lite. I’m willing to give him a couple of books to hit his stride, I’m not so turned off that I won’t pick up another one, but it could go either way for me right now. I want to see that up with the times Druid with power and a nifty sword and a soft spot for an Irish widow, but I want to see him tempered by the years he’s lived and to show wisdom through humor. Otherwise what’s the point of him being a 2100 year old Druid instead of a newbie, except that he gets to make esoteric historical references?

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Age: 15+

Content:  Abundant fantasy style sword and sorcery fights, werewolf maulings, etc.  Some sexual content, mostly FTB and nekkid goddesses, mild drinking

Overall: 2.5/5



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