Writer's View: Hounded & Hexed by Kevin Hearne

Description of Hounded from Amazon: Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

Description of Hexed from Goodreads: Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn't care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they're badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor's rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

First off, I have to thank C. Keaton at Abnormally Paranormal Reviews for recommending Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles. Her enthusiastic ravings convinced me I needed to drop everything and start this series right away. I’m so glad I did! I just finished up the second book and thought I would review both of them together.

The Writer's View: 

This series is amazingly clever. Hearne is constantly shoving sacred motifs into a blender and giving them a thorough grind. This quality continuously impressed and entertained me.

Some examples I found in Hounded & Hexed, the first two books in the series...

Atticus the Druid: Hearne remade the iconic magical motif of an ancient white-haired, white-bearded druid into a twenty-something hot Irish DUDE named Atticus, who has tats and a nice rear end. (As more than one character in this novel commented on the fine rear end qualities of said-Druid, I feel this must be fact. I am currently day dreaming about Hollywood actors to portray Hot Druid Dude in an HBO rendition of Iron Druid.)

Neighborhood Widow: A sweet old lady who from Ireland—and that’s pretty much where the stereotype stops. She gets “mellow” before church every Sunday (aka gets drunk on whiskey) and starts just about every day on her porch with whiskey. She hates Brits and relishes the ideas of dead ones being buried in her backyard. Need I say more?

Fornication with a Deity: We all know that Goddesses are supposed to be hot. By extension, fornication with said goddess should be better than any fantasy, right? Not for Atticus. The Morrigan, Goddess of Death, witnesses Atticus slaughter some demons and witches and gets a little “randy.” To put it mildly, the Morrigan likes to rough up her bedmates—slap ‘em around, scratch ‘em up, give them some good punches, etc. Poor Atticus gets thoroughly beat up during the process.

Deites who like Smoothies: In the world of the Iron Druid, the Celtic Goddess of the Hunt likes smoothies. Particularly ones with strawberries.

Horny Hounds: Who doesn't love a faithful animal companion? Disney has certainly capitalized on this American predilection. Hearne does this as well by giving Atticus a faithful Irish wolfhound named Oberon. Atticus and Oberon have the ability to communicate telepathically. As the story progresses, we learn the Oberon is desperate to get his paws on a French poodle. More specifically, he would like to have an entire harem of French poodles. He would also like to be known as Oberon Kahn (after Gengis Kahn, who apparently had a fabulous harem of his own). Oberon takes the phrase “horny dog” to whole never levels.

What I've learned from Kevin Hearne? As writers, we shouldn't be afraid to take the mundane and make it insane. Granted, Hearne does this mostly for humor, but the heart of the lesson is that writers shouldn’t be afraid to tackle the norm and stretch it into some new dimension. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do this with the mastery of Hearne, but I will certainly give it a go!