25 May 2013

Review: Hounded

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've spoken a few times about my struggles with urban fantasy, and this series was recommended to me more than once as an option. The book is far from perfect, but it's still a really fun, engaging ride on a whole.

The book follows Atticus, a 2000 year old druid who lives in Arizona. He works in a bookstore, has a dog he can communicate telepathically with, and things are quiet until he learns that an old god wants his super-powerful sword.

The major flaw is the setup on a whole. For whatever reason, the first quarter of this book feels like nothing but setting and backstory, which may be your dream but instead feels more like an information dump than anything else. It nearly made me put this aside, but I'm glad I didn't, as once the story gets rolling, you get the feeling as to how funny a character Atticus is, how great his interactions with the folks around him, and how the world he inhabits really works. It's a pretty fun time.

What's interesting, though, is the "urban fantasy" moniker I've seen attached to this. Perhaps because the book is somewhat pulpy and not too serious, it gets that designation, but, in a lot of ways, it's a more traditional fantasy that simply sits in a modern setting - it's not "urban fantasy" the way, say, Mieville or Gaiman can tend to be.

Overall, a solid read. I'll definitely be seeking out the next volume, sooner rather than later.

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