Jan's Reviews > Hounded

Hounded by Kevin Hearne
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M 50x66
's review
Jan 02, 2012

really liked it
Read on January 02, 2012

I listened to the first three books of the Iron Druid Chronicles within a few days so I'll review all three of then in one swoop here.

Atticus O’Sullivan, protagonist of the series, is in many ways a reincarnation of Harry Dresden. While he isn't labeled as a Wizard, but as a Druid, the premise is the same: Magically gifted human living in modern times and fighting all sorts of underworld evils that us muggles don't know anything about. Vampires, werewolves, gods, you name it.

Just like Harry Dresden, Atticus gets beat up a whole lot but somehow pulls through at the end to defeat much more powerful entities and protect his friends. Just like Mr. Dresden, he gets pulled deeper and deeper into magical battles the more he tries to help others stay out of it. Even the frequent Star Wars and other nerdy references of the Dresden Files somehow found their way into Hearne's work as well.

Denying the influence of Jim Butcher's work on the Iron Druid Chronicles would be pointless, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. As a big fan of the Dresden Files, I can't complain about more well-written fodder in the same style, and Hearne's work is certainly executed well. He also focuses a lot on lore surrounding gods, especially the Celtic ones, which is refreshing to read.

Where Harry Dresden tends to get beat up a lot until he comes up with the one big spell or trick that will deal with his enemies once and for all, Atticus takes a much more hands on approach. Sword in hand, he'll often cause one bloodbath after another, Kratos style - complete with eradicated pantheons at his feet. In general, the Iron Druid Chronicles are a lot more action-oriented than the Dresden files and therefore leave character development behind a bit.

In some ways, this might be seen as an (over-)reaction to that other style of urban fantasy books so popular these days. Where Twilight and its ilk contain all soppy romance, Hearne's work is full of blood and action. I feel Butcher is walking the line a bit more delicately and provides better books in the end.

Nevertheless, the Iron Druid Chronicles make for good reading and it's certainly refreshing to see more fantasy of this type hitting the market.
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