It’s no secret how much I love fantasy as a genre. Lord of the Rings, The Inheritance Cycle, and the Summoner Trilogy are some of my favorite fantasy series. They are the cream of the crop when it comes to the genre, in my opinion. But my favorite subgenre of fantasy is urban fantasy. I LOVE urban fantasy so much. It tickles my brain in the best way possible. The idea of monsters, gods, and people with cool powers out in the real world is just a shot of serotonin to the brain for me. Of course, it might be that I’m a Percy Jackson kid that cements my love for urban fantasy, but who knows? (Percy Jackson is better than Harry Potter, and it’s not even close.) So, of course, for the book of the month, I chose Hounded. And if it’s not obvious enough, it’s an urban fantasy book.
Hounded: The Review
Hounded is the first book by Kevin Hearne that I’ve read, but I can tell you this much, it won’t be the last one. I loved the world he created in this book and am excited to read the rest of the series. However, some of the one-star reviews on Goodreads are fun to read. But what makes this urban fantasy world stand out from some of the best? It’s because it’s not about angels and demons, vampires, Greek mythology, or monster hunting.
Hounded is a breath of fresh air, even though it was released in 2011 because it explores a mythology that’s not outdone or outplayed. If I have to read another book or watch a movie about vampires and werewolves, so help me, God, my head might explode. Celtic mythology is a subject I knew nothing about except for the cereal commercials featuring Lucky the leprechaun. I had no idea who the Morrigan was or the faeries/fae. So to get a deep dive into new lore of heroes and villains, monsters and gods was a lot of fun.
Atticus, the main character, is a two-thousand-year-old druid who developed his magic to fend off any sort of faeries that wanted him dead. Mainly one in particular, but I’ll get to that later. Atticus, even though he is this insanely old immortal druid being, acts, at times, like the twenty-one-year-old his body is frozen to look like forever. And while some readers might find that annoying, I find it relatable. Let’s be real. If you were alive for a couple of thousand years, you would do funny dumb stuff, too; otherwise, you would get bored with life. Atticus’ juvenile sense of humor is the key characteristic that differentiates him from the Fae he fights. Instead of becoming a cynical and jaded person over time eternal, he has kept a piece of his humanity, however dumb and juvenile it may be at times.
Oberon, the Irish Wolfhound, may very well be the best thing about this book. Disney law dictates that every main character needs a cute but sarcastically funny sidekick animal. Oberon is that sidekick. What I love about the character is that Oberon acts like a dog. He only speaks to Atticus because Atticus is a druid and uses magic. But we still see Oberon succumb to his dog’s impulses from time to time. Oberon is obsessed with French poodles and Genghis Khan, which I find hilarious. But outside of being a dog, Oberon shows a depth in a character that most side characters can only dream of in their own stories. The remorse he feels after the hunting accident makes sense in the story’s context and in his being a dog. My dog knows when she did something wrong, so Oberon would feel bad after being forced to kill someone.
7 out of 10 Guinness Beers
Is this book perfect? No, most books rarely are, but if you are in a book slump or between reads, this is the perfect book for you. It’s an easy read with awesome lore to explore without learning about new cities and continents. If you like the Dresden Files, then you will like this book. The two have similar archetypes but are different enough that you aren’t comparing them harshly to each other. Atticus and Oberon make for a great comedic duo. And like I said before, I am excited to keep reading the rest of the series, which is nine books long and a few short stories scattered between them. So there is no lack of reading if you get hooked.
And if you want to read more fantasy, you should read The Beginning After the End.