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Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles) Signed Limited Edition Hardcover Hardcover – January 1, 2018
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One thing that I thought was a strength of the previous book was that the main character, Atticus, was generally likable despite having a different sense of morality than a contemporary American would have (because of his upbringing in a very different time and place). There's a little evidence of that here (especially when he's out to save his own hide), although there are a couple of elements that seem designed specifically to elicit sympathy for Atticus (for example, the story about his activities during WWII, although there was at least a slim connection to the events of the present-day story there, as well). I guess we learn more about Atticus here, although I wouldn't say he develops any greater depth. I have found that with first-person POV series in general, not all books contribute equally to character development, though. Some volumes add more than others. So I'm not feeling cheated here.
I do think Atticus is a little bit less of a male Mary Sue here. He can't do everything on his own; he has to ask for help. And when he asks for help, he has to obtain it from people he'd rather not deal with, or to make compromises he finds a little distasteful. Plus, he has to clean up some messes stemming from his actions in the previous book.
As with the previous volume, most of the magic is based on Celtic mythology. However, other mythologies and theologies make appearances here as well. Atticus must rely on the prayers of a Catholic friend at one point, and we meet some followers of Bacchus/Dionysus. We also encounter a version of the trickster Coyote, and one of the characters has a personal problem with Thor. I rather like all of these disparate elements coming together in one place. One theme in the book is that belief plays a part in making the gods/goddesses what they are. And so only in a country like America, where there are people from all these different cultures living together, would these different mythologies and religions clash. So I think the setting was very appropriately chosen.
This book doesn't really stand on its own. You need to read the previous volume, wherein you are introduced to many characters, and there are a couple of things in this book that will probably get addressed again at later volumes in the series (Atticus makes promises to the witch Laksha and also to one of his attorneys regarding certain quests he's undertaking for them or helping them to undertake, and these aren't resolved; also, one of Bacchus's followers escapes and the implication is that she may be back again). There is a main conflict that is resolved by the end of the book, however -- a new coven of witches is trying to encroach on the territory where Atticus is living, bringing with them all sorts of bad news and events. I don't get too upset about this because I would not call the ending a cliffhanger and I expect some type of series arc to carry through any multi-volume series (there are a handful more volumes out that I haven't read yet).
I seem to remember trying to drop everything to read this, so the pace near the end must have been quite good -- and I definitely wanted to know what happened. In the end, I did enjoy reading this -- more than I enjoyed book one. It wasn't perfect, but it was fun to read and I'm looking forward to the next volume.
The first book dis appointed me because everything came to Atticus; someone would conveniently tell him what he needed to know so he never had to be proactive. Thankfully, that is not the case here. The book is very fast paced since there are so many fires for Atticus to put out. This means he has to plan, negotiate and work out how to tackle each crisis. There was a lot of planning involved, with Malina’s coven and Leif, plus the return of Laksha. There’s also a lto of humor here, specifically from Atticus’ knowledge and appreciation of pop culture. I love that he’s trying to teach Leif how not to sound like a stuffy vampire!
I did have a couple of issues with the book. The Morrigan and Brighid both make appearances that go on too long and serve no purpose to the current plot. And, a noticeable amount of the book is taken up with setting up the next book, which will no doubt deal with Thor (and everyone wanting him dead). I don’t mind some build-up for the next book; but it should come near the end, and not at the expense of the story currently being told. However, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the story and I do look forward to the next installment.
Overall, a nice improvement over the first book with some character growth and expanded cast. Recommended to fans of urban fantasy.
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That said, it is a good mix of mythology and contemporary memes with a lot of humorous and erudite writing although a hero who has wild sex with goddesses should not be blushing and farting at the sight of his apprentice in her scanties. For a hero with a healthy sense of self-preservation Atticus appears to have little difficulty in dispatching gods, demons, fallen angels and witches so is a testament to 2,000 odd years of healthy food.
The comic relief of Oberon is good and I like the idea of an actual blood-sucking lawyer rather than a merely metaphorical one.
I tried anyway, and am glad I did. The story is as fresh, original and funny as the first.
This time, divine beings and spirits from other belief systems are making an appearance in modern human form. To my surprise, this works. The different religions are treated with respect, and the fictional characters actions are consistent with the values they represent in their religions.
Delighted with this book, I then went on to buy the third ... and that's when it went downhill.