The trick when writing a series, is keeping it interesting. There’s nothing as disappointing as a series that starts off very promising, but fails to deliver in the subsequent novels. Kevin Hearne’s Hounded was one of those series who start off fairly well and I was curious to see how he would follow that one up. When comparing Hexed with Hounded, I can say that you can rest assure. Hexed is exactly how Hounded should have been followed up.
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.
What I like best about this book, is how my issues with Hounded got sorted out here. I never disliked the Hounded story, but this one got me invested more and on top of that it never felt as dense as the previous book. Perhaps because it’s the second book in the series and a lot of things don’t need that much explaining anymore, but I felt like I could keep track of it all way more. Another pro was how the main plot was developing. Whereas I felt that Hounded relied a bit too much on convenience to reach its solution, here that wasn’t really the case and it all felt much smoother.
There were still a hell of lot godlike beings – pun intended – but here as well it was handled better. It never really felt like gods kept barging in on you and whereas I caught myself thinking ‘Oh, another one *sigh*’ near the end of Hounded, here that wasn’t the case. I still would like it better if this aspect of the books gets trimmed a bit, but it wasn’t as big an issue as in the previous one. In fact, I found myself giggling a lot when it came to the deities. I really liked the encounter with Mary and the whole situation around that. Such fun! There is also a nice balance in focus between the godlike beings and the more mundane stuff like witches. This was highly appreciated because it kept things fresh and exciting.
The characters are still an awesome lot, especially Oberon. His humour is so great and he produces one-liners like it’s barking. Loving his references as well, from Lord Of The Rings to Black Eyed Peas. That pretty much covered it all. I also like how Atticus’s acquaintances, the vampire and werewolf, are more in the background. It’s nice and refreshing to read an UF without too much focus on one of those two creatures. Instead, you get the more humanlike beings and the widow, who is a gem, I think. As a whole, this series is turning out to be something different en refreshing in the UF-scene that’s already too crowded with witches, vampires and other creatures that go bump in the night. Enter the Druid, we don’t have a lot you!
All in all, this is a very good sequel to Hounded, which shows growth and is able to overcome the minor issues that were present in the first book. This series is rapidly growing into a must buy on release and read ASAP!
★ ★ ★
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