Book Review: Kevin Hearne’s Hunted

Posted August 2, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kevin Hearne’s HuntedHunted by Kevin Hearne
This urban fantasy is a paperback edition was published by Del Rey Books on June 25, 2013 and has 384 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

four-stars

Other books by this author include Hounded, Hexed, Hammered, Tricked, Trapped, "Two Ravens and One Crow", Shattered

Sixth in the Iron Druid Chronicles urban fantasy series revolving around an unlikely trio of Druids and dog.

There is a short story at the end of this, “Two Ravens and a Crow“, 4.5: read it FIRST before you read Hunted. The publisher didn’t pop it in ahead of Hunted for financial reasons.

My Take

I’d never really thought about how people’s belief in their particular pantheon — Greek, Roman, Norse, Hindi, Celtic, etc. — would affect wounds and death for a particular god or goddess, and I did enjoy Hearne’s explanation of the differences between the Greco-Roman and the rest. Rather depressing for this story as it was.

Seriously, you must read the short story if you want the conversation between the Morrigan and Atticus to make any sense. As it was, it came out of the blue, and I’m sure it’s colored how I see this scene. It was too abrupt, too huh, what??

Oberon is both hilariously funny and odd in this one. I do love those comments like “they could control me by using kielbasa” or “I’ve been meaning to tell you that when I chew on things it’s recon more than a genuine attempt to destroy your stuff”.

In many respects, this frenetic chase was too easy, even with those unexpected deaths. One of those deaths that, really, Hearne should have exploited and wrung tears. All I felt was a little sad, which is just too weird considering that the hero was dead. As for the other death, Hearne mentions that it heralds the end of an era, but the tone of their regret sounds more like someone tore down an old building. Even Granuile’s enthusiasm for battling pollution and extinction feels more dumped in than integrated.

Still it is fun, and I enjoy how Hearne blends contemporary culture with this ancient being who has kept up with cultural changes surprisingly well AND with the mythic characters of such a variety of cultures. Nice bit of back history for Atticus with reasons for his charms, the things he’s seen.

The tour of Europe and its architecture and cuisine is rather odd, but fun. It did make me hungry!

This premise that Artemis and Diana (and the rest of the Greco-Roman pantheon) simply want Bacchus back doesn’t ring true.

The Story

The Morrigan is battling Artemis and Diana as Atticus, Granuile, and Oberon are racing across Europe trying to evade these goddesses of the hunt. And they aren’t the only ones chasing these three: Dark Elves, vampires, and sea monsters thrashed on by Poseidon and Neptune.

And that’s before Hel appears to reinforce Loki; it’s enough to catch Jupiter and Zeus’ attention. Once dealt with, Atticus wants to know who is orchestrating the hunt and the assassination attempts against him.

A hunt of his own which leads him into yet more peril.

The Characters

Atticus Siodhachan Ó Sueleabháín is the last surviving Druid, 2,100-years-old, His dog, Oberon, is quite chatty thanks to a spell enhancement that allows him to mindspeak with Atticus. Granuaile MacTiernan has passed her tests and is now a Druid whose shapes include a horse, a sea lion, falcon, and jaguar — the Elementals call her Fierce Druid; she carries her special staff, Scáthmhaide. Hal Hauk is Atticus’ lawyer; he’s also the alpha for his werewolf pack.

Perun is one of the thunder gods we first encountered in Hexed, 2. Carpathia, Saxony, and Albion are Elementals our trio encounter on their journey.

The Tuatha Dé Danann
The Morrigan (the Celtic Chooser of the Slain) may have a proprietary interest in Atticus, but she’s quite content to force Atticus to work at staying alive. Goibhniu is a master smith and brewer and one of Brighid’s sons.

Flidais is the Irish goddess of the hunt whose aid will be needed. Brighid is first among the Fae. Manannan Mac Lir, a god of the sea, who also helps out. Lord Grundlebeard is Atticus’ name for a fae lord who is not his friend. Midhir is Grundlebeard’s patron (he and Grundlebeard have been murdered in this), and Ogma isn’t too keen on Atticus either. The spawn of Dagda show up. Ouch.

Herne the Hunter resides in Windsor Forest.

The Sisters of the Three Auroras are a Polish coven led by Malina Sokolowski. Other members of her coven include Roksana, Klaudia, Kazimiera, and Berta.

The Svartálf or Dark Elves are anxious to pay Atticus back while the Ljósálfar, in their pretty armor, are more anxious to hold them back. Runeskald Fjalar, one of the Stonearm dwarves of Nidavellir, is testing some new weapons.

Leif Helgarson is an opportunistic vampire and used to be Atticus’ lawyer until events in Hexed. And as much as Atticus wants to kill him if he sees him, he does have his uses. Theophilus is THE head vampire, who talked the Romans into killing off all the Druids. Seems the vamps didn’t like the druids being able to unbind them at will. Now he’s sending in the Dark Elves and vampires to kill Atticus and Granuaile. Werner Drasche is a different sort of vampire, an arcane lifeleech.

The Greek/Roman Pantheon
Bacchus is the god of wine who tried to kill Atticus and was imprisoned instead. An action the rest of the pantheon seems to be angry about. The Roman Faunus is the Greek Pandemonium, and they’re spreading it. Artemis and Diana are the Greek and Roman goddesses of the hunt. Mercury and Hermes flit back and forth delivering messages. Jupiter and Zeus are the ruling gods of the Romans and Greeks.

The Norse Pantheon
Loki is a Norse trickster god who has managed to escape, a release that is the signal for Ragnarök to begin. Hel is Loki’s daughter, and the queen of death who rules over Nilheim. Garm is her hound. The draugar are the dead, soldiers for Hel.

Odin is enjoying the chase, and all the pantheons have been forbidden to interfere. Hugin and Munin are crows and Odin’s spies.

Zealot Island is a time island where the Tuatha Dé Danann have been stashing bodies since the sixth century. Orlaith is a female wolfhound.

The Cover and Title

The cover is eerie in its background of forest, cloaked men, and twitching twigs that seem to beckon as a more action-oriented Atticus appears to blur past while carrying his sword, Fragarach.

The title is to the point, for our zany threesome is indeed Hunted.

four-stars

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