Urban Fantasy comes in many forms and generally has the same cast of characters: Werewolves, Vampires, Witches and such. Many times the “rules” for these characters are different but overall it all comes down to: Old creatures of the night living among us mere mortals and either everyone is out of the closet or not.
In Kevin Hearne’s Hounded, the Fae and other creatures of the night are still hiding in plain sight. Our main character, Atticus O’Sullivan is a two thousand year old Druid living in Tempe, AZ enjoying his life as a bookstore owner when his life is thrown upside down when some old Gods demand he hand over a fabled sword of great power. When I say old Gods I mean the old Irish kind, the ones that make audio book presenters either cringe or grin at the fact they did just slip over their tongues.
My tip toeing through urban fantasy has not really come across many Druids and beyond playing one in World of Warcraft it was refreshing not be: A) Werewolf, B) Warlock C) Vampire D) Skinwalker. Atticus abilities are rather normal and nothing that makes him all powerful since he can still get shot. Atticus comes off as a generally likeable fellow and throws in enough pop culture references to make the audience laugh. This is helped along by Atticus’s telepathic banter with Oberon his irish wolf hound, the Irish Widow across the street, several gods who may or may not be on his side, the vampire/werewolf lawyers under retainer or the coven of witches who all want one thing: The blasted sword.
Hounded is a thick and fun adventurous read, the cast is kept in a manageable amount and all the plot lines are tied up nicely at 292 pages.
The only flaw in the ARC copy I had was one misplacement of a comma and a description of action was italicized by accident.
Hounded arrives 4/26/11 and the second and third books in this series will be arriving 5/24/11 and 6/28/11 respectively.