Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles #2)
Del Rey Books, June 2011
Mass Market Paperback
Atticus O’Sullivan is the last Druid on earth, as far as he knows. Recently he got into a major battle with a god who wanted Atticus’s sword back, although Atticus had it legally, at least in the paranormal world. After he won this particular battle, gods from all over the paranormal world want him to take on another battle: kill Thor. It’s all kinds of gods, too, not just those from the pantheon of the Norsemen. Even his lawyer, the vampire, wants Atticus to kill Thor. This is not a battle that Atticus wants under any circumstances.
While Atticus is trying to avoid a battle he’s pretty sure he can’t win, other battles present themselves. There is a fallen angel using a high school as his feeding grounds, mostly killing Native Americans. Coyote persuades Atticus to help get rid of the angel. The local witch’s coven is on the verge of signing a nonaggression treaty with Atticus. Before this can happen, another coven invades. The original coven wants Atticus to help them drive out the newcomers; Atticus believes it is not his fight, until he finds out that he has knowledge of this coven, up close and personal knowledge. The cherry on the sundae, so to speak, is the arrival in town of a group of Bacchants from Las Vegas, looking for new blood. Everyone in Tempe’s paranormal world has a vested interest in cleaning up the neighborhood; it will be very dirty work.
Hearne writes very well. His characters are believable, once one accepts the paranormal aspects of the story. The conflicts, large and small, are also believable, especially given the (largely beyond the ken of mortals) motivations and behaviors of the gods, large and small. Atticus is a hoot, and so is his dog Oberon. The growing relationship, professional and possibly personal, between Atticus and his apprentice is truly fun to watch. This is book two in a three-book series. It is not necessary to read Hounded first, although knowing some of the back-story would probably be helpful. The third book will be Hammered; it should be as much fun as the first two.
Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, July 2011.