Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hounded (I'll hound you Atticus O'Sullivan - review)

4/5 Stars

I have a confession: I always get confused when classifying books as urban fantasy or paranormal. I know what people SAY the differences are. The thing is, I don't quite believe them. I think these genres share more common ground than differences. I see where a lot of people say "paranormal romance" rather than just "paranormal." But a lot of my favorite books toe the line (Hex Hall and Hold Me Closer, Necromancer for example).

Whatever genre you want to call those two books (they're popularly shelved as both on goodreads) that's also where Hounded by Kevin Hearne belongs. If you know my reading habits at all, you can already guess that I loved this book. You don't get a Hex Hall reference lightly in Cassi-land.

It's got humor, spunk and a sexy-as-hell 2,100 year old Druid named Atticus as a main character. It's everything that I like about Hex Hall and Necromancer, but a little more grown up. Atticus has the wisdom of a man who's lived a long life with a modern sense of humor. The book has a good mix pop culture blended with history and archaic phrasing that befits an ancient druid making his way in the modern world.

Hounded has one of the most interesting blends of mythology I've ever seen. It's a mish-mash of EVERYTHING. Normally that's not done. Authors pick a mythology and stick with it. But why not? This book is not trying to be a brilliant treatise on how to live life. It's FUN and a little bit frothy, but well done. I'm getting tired of books that take themselves too seriously. Lately it seems like authors have been hearing my complaints (Okay I know that's not how it works! I don't have illusions of grandeur) and there's a new class of books that are a little bit urban fantasy, a little bit paranormal and a whole lot of fun.

Want a taste of the excellent voice in this novel? And it's irreverence & use of all religions?
Mary will appear more often, though, and she can do some pretty awesome stuff if she feels like it. Mostly she sits around looking beatific and full of grace. Keeps calling me 'child,' even though I'm older than she is."
Aside from having a kick-ass Druid as the main character, he has one of the best sidekicks ever. I'm a sucker for a talking pet. Oberon, his pet wolfhound, is pure comedy. Oberon and Atticus have a mental connection that allows for some pretty hilarious commentary. Atticus's devotion to his dog might be his most swoonworthy trait. Then again I am a dog person.
< She's kind of like a Mary Poppins just before she turns to the dark side > Oberon said. He was still behind the counter, but he had a good look at her as she exited. < Let go of your anger, Malina! There's still good in you! The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully! >
There is no romance in this book. I know, right? That's also not normally done, especially not with a main character as sexy as Atticus (did I mention he's posing as a 21 year old Irish man?). But it's a nice change. I expect they'll be some romance as the series advances but it was nice to have a book with no romantic entanglements and no love triangles.

This book is different in a good way. It's gender-neutral, with sword fighting, magic, almost every paranormal creature imaginable and did I mention the AMAZING dog?


Wendy Darling said...

Wow, everyone raves about this series! Glad to hear you liked it, too. I definitely have to read it one of these days.

veela-valoom said...

It's just a lot of fun. And even though I'm a girl sometimes it's REALLY nice to read a funny, well-written, male POV.

It's worth reading. Especially if you kinda get in a reading rut (I was when I started it). It'll perk you back up!