Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2013
I was on vacation and needed something to read. I guess Amazon really does know me well because this book popped up on the recommended list for me. A couple of clicks on my Kindle and it was downloaded. Five hours later and with a fairly noticeable sunburn I was still kept completely enthralled in the story of a modern-day druid and his 20-century feud with a couple of old Irish gods. What do I like about this book?

Dialogue - Kevin Hearne writes GREAT dialogue. Conversations flow naturally, are full of wit and humor, and never gets bogged down with literary contrivances. Even the druid's dog, Oberon, has consistently witty dialogue. While this might sound trite, I'm telling you that this is one funny dog and I found myself laughing out-loud on a consistent basis.

In addition to the smartest talking dog ever to appear in a novel, the author takes advantage of the fact that he has characters who in some cases are thousands of years ago and who are from a host of cultures. He gets to play with Old Irish, Norse, Ancient Greek, Finnish, Russian, Navajo and a range of other languages. Primarily this means that he gets to be VERY creative with insults and trash talking. If a 2500 year-old god is trash talking, he wouldn't just say 'bring it'. He would talk about your mother's privates, various farm animals she and your father had a particular fondness for, etc. and Hearne has a lot of fun with that.

Magic - Hearne has thought through a consistent and compelling system of magic for his novels. Druidic magic, derived from Gaia, is based on seeing and manipulating the connections between natural things. As the oldest living human on the planet, Atticus O'Sullivan has had a lot of time to push the boundaries of what is possible with his abilities. Most of the old Gods are much diminished with time and the abandonment of their worshippers, though they still pack a punch and can hold grudges for eons.

What was particularly fascinating was the interplay between belief systems. What happens when a druid, Jesus and some Cabalist warriors walk into a bar... You will find out in this series.

Plot line - having read all six of the current books, I can tell you that they flow seamlessly from start to finish. You don't have to read all six. Book 1 is self-contained - you can pick it up, read through it and decide you're done. You won't but you could. Later books do carry over plot lines, sometimes with a gap of several years, sometimes with no time at all passing.

Characters - when you have the entire history of humanity's gods, heroes, monsters and magic to play with, how can you go wrong? Well, some authors have managed to go wrong, but Hearne doesn't. You get characters from all major mythologies, including Jesus and Mary, vampires, werewolves, several species of giants, fairies, Valkyrie, possessed police detectives, witches, hot (as if there are any other kind) red-headed barmaids, fallen angels, a 'douche-bad' Thor along with a bunch of other Thunder Gods, Native American skin walkers, etc.

So is Hearnes just copying from American Gods? No. Absolutely not. Are there some parallels? Sure. If I had to recommend Hounded or American Gods... I would go with Hounded. Hands down. Let the hate mail fly...
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