I had privately changed ‘This, too, shall pass’ into ‘You, too, shall die’.
SERIES: The Iron Druid Chronicles (Book #1)
LENGTH: 315 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, Fiction
PUBLISHER: Del Rey Books
RELEASE DATE: 3 May 2011
The first novel in the New York Times bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles–the hilarious, action-packed tales of a two-thousand-year-old Druid pursued by ancient gods in the modern world
Atticus O’Sullivan is the last of the ancient druids. He has been on the run for more than two thousand years and he’s tired of it. The Irish gods who want to kill him are after an enchanted sword he stole in a first-century battle, and when they find him managing an occult bookshop in Tempe, Arizona, Atticus doesn’t want to uproot his life again. He just wants everything to end one way or another, but preferably the way in which he can continue to enjoy fish and chips.
He does have some small hope of survival: The Morrigan, the Irish Chooser of the Slain, is on his side, and so is Brighid, First Among the Fae. His lawyer is literally a bloodsucking vampire, and he has a loyal Irish wolfhound with opinions about poodles.
But he’s facing down some mighty enemies: Aenghus Óg, a vengeful Irish god, plus a coven of witches and even the local police. On top of all that, Aenghus has a direct line to the firepower of hell. Atticus will need all the luck of the Irish and more if he’s going to stay alive.
So, I really, really love the Dresden Files. Or, at least, the ones that I’ve read so far. And I was in the mood for another kick-ass and sassy urban fantasy series. So when I heard about the Iron Druid Chronicles, I was like: This seems right up my alley!
But, uh, it really wasn’t. Unfortunately.
I really wanted to like Hounded. I wanted to like it so much. But I didn’t, and I couldn’t. This book just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t right up my alley.
Let’s just get into it…
I’d have to ask Oberon to leave him a present on his front doorstep. He’d do it camouflaged too, so that even if Mr. Semerdjian was watching – and he probably would be – it would appear to be undeniable, physical evidence that, sometimes, shit just happens.
• The dog ▼
I really enjoyed Atticus’s (the main character) dog, Oberon. He’s just so funny and loyal. I really like dogs as a rule, however, so this isn’t a surprise at all to me. I do wish his dialogue wasn’t quite as… intelligent I guess, for lack of a better word. Like, he used some words from the English language that I’ve rarely seen in most books – and he’s a dog! Not even a magic dog! Manchee from Chaos Walking is how to write dog dialogue in my opinion.
• The way the different gods and magic interact ▼
This is a bit of a long way to word this point, I know, but I couldn’t think of another way to do it without getting the point I wanted across. I like how Hounded incorporates different religions and pantheons and magic, and then blends it together seamlessly. It really all feels very natural, like all of these different religions and magic are just coexisting somehow, all on planet Earth.
Like, it just works. Even though this novel focuses primarily on Irish gods and druidic magic and witches, other gods and supernatural beings appear too. For example, Jesus and Mary from Catholism are just casually band dropped, like yeah they’re here too. And vampires and werewolves also make several (moderately important) appearances throughout the book.
• (Some of) the narration ▼
Admittedly, though I had a bunch of issues with Atticus as a character, I really did enjoy some of his narration. It’s a little bit witty, and I also found it somewhat funny to read. I’ve definitely read better, but the way the book was written wasn’t the worst in the first person narrative department. This was at least sometimes entertaining.
• (Almost all of) the characters ▼
I didn’t like any of the characters in Hounded. Like, at all. (Save one.) It was hard to find any of them to be likeable, especially when we don’t really get to know too many of them.
Atticus O’Sullivan is our main character, and I didn’t much care for him. He’s too overpowered for my tastes and not in a good way. Because there is a way to write a likeable OP character – Atticus just isn’t done right. He’s also not a very interesting character to me, for whatever reason. Probably because he isn’t very interested in the stuff happening around him for a good portion of the book, even though it’s threatening his existence.
I also found it kind of annoying that he has sex with several goddesses throughout the novel. Like, I didn’t really understand why they were all so horny. Atticus my look 21, but he’s over two millenia old. He’s therefore had plenty of time to master his libido. And the goddesses weren’t really interesting either – they were basically non-characters, which was probably what annoyed me the most about the sex thing. Oh, and none of the other characters were really compelling or interesting either.
When he said to give him the sword, I don’t think he meant for you to stick it in his guts.
• The storytelling ▼
This was probably my biggest gripe. The storyline, and the flow of the novel in general, really sucked. To me, at least. This book started off kind of slow, and the pacing never got any better. Atticus himself didn’t even seem to be interested in the book’s story until at least a third of the way through either, and that’s not a good thing.
Not to mention the constant interruptions to the flow of the plot. It seemed like every time a new character was introduced, Atticus or the character themselves had to regale us with their entire background. I hated it. I hated it, hated it, hated it so much. It was extremely irritating. I didn’t care about these characters enough yet! At least let me get to know them first, before you dump their history all over my eyes in the worst expository way possible! (I have very strong feelings about this if you couldn’t tell, lol.)
I believe that this first book – and series thereafter – have a ton of potential. In fact, if I would somehow, someday decide to continue the Iron Druid Chronicles in the future, I might enjoy future installments more.
But I don’t think that this series is for me, and I’m honestly not at all interested in continuing beyond book one. So this is probably where Atticus O’Sullivan’s adventures are gonna end for me.
I think that some of the people that enjoy the Dresden Files and other popular urban fantasy books might enjoy Hounded. But since I didn’t even care for it myself, I can’t really say anything else.
Have you read any of the Iron Druid books? What did you think of them? Did you enjoy them more than I did?
Thanks so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!
See ya ~Mar