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.
One of my favorite 2011 reads was Kevin Hearne's Hounded which introduced me to the wonderful world of the Iron Druid Chronicles. I have had the next two books in the series waiting on my TBR shelf for months for no reason. I finally delved into Hexed, finished it within a few days, and wondered why I waited so long to return to this fabulous series. This second installment delivered everything that I want in a great urban fantasy: deep characters, tons of action, plenty of worldbuilding, and a heavy dose of humor.
Hexed begins shortly after the events of Hammered with Atticus recovering from a massive battle with quite a few deities and other immortals. Now, he must deal with the repercussions of his actions which have revealed him to most of the immortal community. The coven that he met in the first book is back with a doozy of request: there is a band of dark witches in town and Atticus needs to get rid of them before they release a swarm of demons on the world.
Atticus continues to be an amazing protagonist. I am still amused by the concept of an ancient Druid working at an occult shop in modern-day Arizona. He is powerful, but still such a normal guy beneath it all with his obsession with movies, baseball, sex, etc. I really liked how Hexed delved even deeper into Atticus's personality especially when it comes to his outside relationships. I get the sense that Atticus has been a very lonely person for a long time and is beginning to thrive on the way that his life is transforming. Also, I should admit that I have a major literary crush on Atticus that I'm sure will just continue as the series moves along.
There are many secondary characters in this series that readers are re-introduced to in Hexed. Of course, any decent Iron Druid fan can't avoid mentioning Oberon, the talking Irish wolfhound who loves bacon and French poodles. His literal interpretations of people and events are hilarious and usually poignant in their own way. I also enjoyed seeing more of Granuaile, Atticus's new apprentice, and Atticus's lawyers, Leif the vampire and Hal the werewolf. These characters are great counterparts for all of Atticus's crazy adventures and just add so much to the overall effect of the book.
One of the things I love the most about the Iron Druid Chronicles is the humor. Kevin Hearne has such a dry and geek-based wite that I understand completely. His pop culture references are many and work perfectly in their particular situations. I also like how the comedy is used as a balance for the very real danger that Atticus finds himself in. Like the last book, death is a very real possibility for Atticus and his friends which makes for an adrenaline-pumping read.
Overall, this was another great installment in a series that is quickly becoming a favorite. Atticus's adventures continue to build upon each other and it is obvious that Hearne has a definite overarching storyline in mind. The characters continue to be true to their personalities as well as showing more of their depths to readers. I can't wait to read the next book, Hammered, and meet Leif's nemesis, Thor, for the first time.
Iron Druid Chronicles
5. Trapped (To Be Released December 2012)
6. Hunted (To Be Released 2013)
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