Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2015
Overall, this is a pretty fun series. This volume marked a definite turning point in the series (Atticus will have to leave Arizona -- not really a spoiler since he's planning this from nearly the beginning of the book), and it appears that there are more transitions to come. A couple of loose ends from the previous book were wrapped up (although some enemies from the previous book returned, as well).

A couple of things stood out to me in this book, in particular, with reference to the rest of the series. First, there was a LOT of mental dialogue between the POV character (Atticus) and his dog, Oberon. This has been a feature of this series in the past. I think most of this mental dialogue was funnier in this volume (actually made me giggle a bit) but it also served to further the story, especially towards the end.

Second, there was a lot of discussion of male bonding and manliness. I could take this or leave it. Some of Atticus's mental commentary on what men will do in order to appear "manly" in front of other men was funny. Some of it was a little tiresome (mostly later on, after I felt like I'd read the same jokes multiple times).

There is a scene where the characters who are on a quest together in this book give their reasons for hating the Norse thunder god Thor. This is supposed to help them bond (which is needed for the magical aspects of a phase of the journey they're on). And we learn lots of interesting information about their backgrounds -- including the backgrounds of several recurring characters in the series. But I don't really feel like I connected with any of them. I guess because the reasons they hated Thor were kind of predictable. Or perhaps because each story was told in just a few pages, whereas we've had several books to get to know Atticus. While this maybe didn't contribute to character development as much as I would have liked, it *did* contribute a great deal to worldbuilding. We learn more about other pantheons and mythologies besides the Irish, we learn about the origins of vampires and werewolves and their politics in the world of this series, etc.

The pace in this one is excellent. There aren't really any slow moments. Even a visit to a bar with an old friend turns into a big scene. And while Atticus has his triumphant moments, he can't keep himself safe all the time and he can't save all his allies. He is less of a male Mary Sue in this book than in the first (and perhaps at a similar level as in the second).

I'm not sure how I felt about the ending. It was sort of bittersweet. And there was something of a cliffhanger that I really hope gets resolved. (I'm glad multiple other volumes are already out and that Mr. Hearne writes quickly with little lag between books.)

I wasn't enthralled with every aspect of this book, but I did find it to be an entertaining read. The pace was great, the worldbuilding was nice (both the part I've mentioned above and some parts relating to elementals that I haven't yet discussed), and I found the jokes to be funnier than in previous books. I'm pretty sure I've already bought #4 in the series (or if I haven't, I'll be doing that soon). If you are already into this series, you'll already have a good idea of what to expect with this book. If you're new to the series, go back and start with "Hounded" (#1).
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