Hounded – The Iron Druid Chronicles was a great book to start off. I don’t read a lot of young adults and I surely don’t read a lot of urban fantasy. However, if you read my blog you’ll know that I think as writers we should all read a variety of genres.
The World- This world is richly built and talks about an old history which makes it feel real.
The Characters- There are a lot of characters in this book. Which works out well. I like the characters, especially the dog Oberon. They are all fairly developed and their motivations make sense for the most part.
The Antagonist- It’s Celtic god. He’s got a great build up but a lack luster finish.
The Finish- That’s what I really want to talk about. This book left me down. Not because it’s sad but because out of nowhere they’re are a few childish jokes that turned this book about a 2000-year-old druid into a book where a dog makes an Eric Cartman joke.
I like SouthPark.
It might be fickle to say a few poorly timed jokes ruined the climax but it certainly took me out of the story. The first third of the book is where the writing shines. T
he second third maintains. The final third falls flat.
I don’t like to say bad things about books. I really think most books have a worth. This one certainly does. I just couldn’t help thinking that 14 years old me would have liked it a lot more. Sadly I am over twice that age. A character randomly having sex with a goddess just feels out of place, especially when it almost happens twice.
There was never really a sense that the protagonist was going to lose. Demons were summoned, witches were present, werewolves and even three gods showed up in the end but felt plain. Maybe it was that the main character didn’t seem to feel threatened.
Maybe it was because the main character made a deal with a god to keep him alive forever.
I was actually kind of offended by one part of this book. The main character interacts with his dog a lot. He talks to the dog for much of the book and being a dog lover (I have 3) I really liked that. Maybe offended is a strong way to say it but our hero stated that he’d have just walked away and let his dog die and his friend die if could have. He went from caring enough about the dog to hide him from the police and worry about him. Until the very end. Then he randomly says he’d leave Oberon behind and move to Greenland (or was it Iceland?).
Our hero isn’t a hero. He’s kind of a letdown.
Maybe that was the point though.
There are 9 other books in the series and I don’t think I’ll be reading them. I just can’t connect with a hero who would let his friends and his dog die. His dog. His best friend. The guy whose always there for him. Also, Immortals are kind of a boring plot element for me. I’m not a Superman fan.
Great book for learning world building though. Take a peek if you’re struggling for that.