by Kevin Hearne
Released: May 3rd 2011
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #1
“…this wasn’t the best introduction into the series and although I would read book two, I am not in any rush.”
~ Under the Covers
Atticus O’Sullivan is looking really good for his age. He may be 21 centuries old, but he due to a little magic he looks 21. However, his long life span may soon be coming to a violent end unless he thinks fast and fights hard. An angry Celtic god wants his sword back from Atticus and he has no qualms about killing Atticus and everyone he loves to get it.
I have been wanting to start this series for a while, it’s one of those books I’ve had on my radar but never picked up. And finally, due to two happy events coinciding; me rolling on Leather Lane for romanceopoly and Hounded being on sale, I picked it up. The Leather Lane challenge in romanceopoly is to read (or continue to read) a completed UF series. The ninth and final book in the Iron Druid Chronicles came out in April 2018, so I was fully prepared to fall in love with Hounded and then spend the rest of the week reading the entire series. That didn’t happen, unfortunately it wasn’t the love after the first book experience I was hoping for.
Firstly, I want to talk about what I did enjoy about this book before I explore the reasons for my ambivalence. Hearne has created a fast paced and exciting story, laced with humour and male braggadocio. My latter point you would think would be a reason to dislike it. But, instead I found it amusing, Atticus is an attractive and funny guy, can he help it that all the female Celtic gods keep wanting to jump his bones? And that he is happy to oblige? He may have the emotional depth of a puddle, but I did enjoy his character. The only time I thought he showcased anything genuine was in his interactions with his trusty canine companion Oberon.
Ah Oberon, without Oberon this book wouldn’t have worked. Although Oberon is a hound, through magical means Atticus has and he can speak – mind to mind – and these conversations were the highlight of this entire book. Not only did they add some fantastic banter and Oberon’s hilarious doggy view of events, but, as I said above, it really was the only time Atticus seemed like a real person.
Now, for the main reasons I don’t think I’ll be in a rush to continue this series. This book has the Superman problem. Atticus is too powerful. His magic comes at almost no cost and so all the ‘obstacles’ he encounters don’t really seem too much like obstacles. It doesn’t make for a very tense or exciting read. Nor does it leave much room for personal growth. Everything comes easily; he’s too perfect. I want him to struggle, maybe suffer a little; to be in true peril. The stakes need to upped.
Maybe this is a case of first book syndrome and the second book in this series will flesh out both Atticus and the world around him. However, this wasn’t the best introduction into the series and although I would read book two, I am not in any rush.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?