Author: Kevin Hearne
Release Date: Available
I did not really realize going into reading Hounded that it wasn’t strictly YA, and while at first I was disappointed, I soon realized that there were quite a few elements to this mythology-based fantasy that I actually quite enjoyed.
The greatest appeal to readers I think will be its gender neutrality. The main character, Atticus, is a smart and smart-ass druid. If anything, his narration will appeal more to guys than to girls, though I liked him a fair amount. Perhaps he was a little too much of a smart-ass sometimes… but I guess living for over 2,000 years could get to anyone’s head, right? Generally though, I thought he displayed a believable amount heroism and smarts, which made him a very real character to me. I also loved his dog, Oberon. He was hilarious and kind of a cutie (but don’t tell him I said so because it might offend his masculinity). For each character I was introduced to over the course of the novel, I had to evaluate who I could trust and who I couldn’t; it kept me on my toes in a more subtle way than if Hearne had thrown in a bunch of twists.
Yet, I’m doubtless that the main drive behind the book was its plot. The novel took place in urban Arizona, but had quite a few high-fantasy aspects thrown in in a way I think will thoroughly satisfy most people’s fantasy appetites. There was stuff that was disturbing like witches possessing pretty girls; stuff that was classic like werewolves; stuff that was new like the Celtic aspects; and stuff that was just plain cool, namely Atticus and his various powers, especially his connection to Oberon.
The most common problems with fantasy are pacing problems. Probably my favorite thing about the novel was that it did not suffer from these problems for the most part. I didn’t always have a strong urge to pick it up, but once I got into it, I never had the urge to put it down either, as I often do when books begin to drag. I do think, however, that because it wasn’t strictly YA I had a harder time personally connecting with Atticus. While fairly entertained throughout the novel, I felt a bit of a disconnect that kept me from being completely immersed. For that reason, I think that this book would appeal to upper YA readers or those who are interested in branching out into adult, especially the guys. I’ve also heard that the sequels are better, so I will be checking them out!
Review by Casey
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