Monday, August 1, 2016

HEXED: A BOOK REVIEW

Hexed (Iron Druid #2)
Written by: Hearne
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Language: English
June 2011
Genre: Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Series

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.


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I like to consider myself a feminist. I am a woman after all. Sometimes things are sexist and I still enjoy them. Does that make me a bad feminist? For example, I love Bond movies. I have since I was a kid. However, female characters in most Bond films are pretty laughable. Do I enjoy them less? Shrug. I like them. I accept them for what they are. The same way I accept the predictability and poor portrayal of women in most romantic comedies. But I am still a die-hard romantic. I still like romantic comedies. And yet of course I want more. This how I felt about Hexed. I enjoyed it, but was disappointed. I wanted more. I know there can be more.

Hexed starts not long after the events of Hounded. Atticus has vanquished long time for Aenghus Og, the Celtic god of love and his low profile life has been destroyed. Because now everyone either wants a piece of him or wants his help. The witches who show up are part of the former. And they want blood. Lots of it.

Things I liked: I will start out with the good. As always I love Oberon the Wolfhound. Oberon and the widow are still some of my fave characters. I can’t help it. Even if Oberon reminds me of Remy Chandler’s Marlowe. Oberon is snarky, bad ass, but with four legs and doggy breath. His relationship with Atticus is so great. The banter between him and his owner/friend are comedy gold. Makes me want to get my own furry pal.

This had a nice mix of action and adventure with comedy as well as heavy doses of mythology like the first outing. I also really enjoyed wanting to heal all of the death and destruction. As a druid Atticus is a caretaker and it was nice to see that part of him. I liked the addition of Coyote. I probably always will, if the trickster hero is done right. And I really like the magic in this series. I like the thought process and reasoning for his necklace. I like the reasoning behind why other parties might be very interested on how to make one of their own.

Now to the things I didn’t like so much.

Things I didn’t like so much: Atticus, Atticus, Atticus. I think what bugged me this time about Atticus was that he is apparently God’s gift. Women appear to be for his benefit and his benefit only. Ancient powerful Celtic goddesses just can’t get wait to get some of him. To paraphrase Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, “What is it with this chick dude, she he have beer flavored nipples?” Is he allowed to be attractive? Sure thing. Does every female character in the book have to want him or want to kill him? (Oh Granuaile I want so much more for you…by Gods who actually answers the door wearing lingerie? Hearne’s ladies, but not actual ladies.) Meh. Now he’s boring and just a female version of Anita Blake and well, you know how I feel about her. I don’t want Atticus to be a Mary Sue. I like Atticus. I want the women in his life to be more instead of plot devices.

I want there to be more depth to Atticus. I want there to be higher costs for his magic. I want him to not always win. Or he becomes boring. He lacks depth, the plot lacks tension…and well you get the picture.

I am not a fan of some of the slang. One…it dates the books which is unfortunate. Two…no one really uses that and if they do on something other than a reality show or through text messages than I am too old for this shit. It was too forced. It threw me and took me out of the story and the book. Never a good thing. Lest we forget that Atticus is 2000 plus years old. I want more 20 something Methos and less extra from the Hills.

The male characters are made to be far more likable than the female counterparts. They are apparently more powerful, more intelligent, and logical. Does Hearne not like ladies or does he just not know how to write them? Maybe it is satire and sarcastic? Was that his dig at ladies like Anita Blake? I mean, seriously, are all of the goddessess petty, unstable, and dangerous? Ugh. I wanted more for Brighid. She is an ancient goddess. One that still has power and moxie. But to see her dressed down, to see her so one dimensional was so frakking disappointing.

There are so many things that irritated me in this outing. Sure I recognized the sexist tones in the last book. Kind of the way they are lit up like neon in other urban fantasy series starring women. But like I said earlier, sometimes I still like the Bond film. But this time there were some many things that irked me that it threw me out of the story and the book. This is not a good thing when the happy bibliomovie in my head stutters. My attention wanders off. I get bored and restless. I don’t want to finish the book. Oh look squirrel. This bugs me…why? Because it is a giant grr-arghy in a fun series. I pray that the next installment will be better or it will be my last.

I am going to say this is a sophomore slump. I really hope I am right.

Buy or Borrow: Borrow, unless you are like me and already bought the first three because you liked the first one so much.

Part of: Series
Hounded (Book 1)
Hexed (Book 2)
Hammered (Book 3)
Tricked (Book 4)
Trapped (Book 5)
Hunted (Book 6)
Shattered (Book 7)
Staked (Book 8)

Also Recommended: For more druid or magical goodness try out the Magical Anonymous series starting with Stray Souls by Kate Griffin or the Matthew Swift Books also by Kate Griffin. Harry Dresden is always a great guy to spend some time with. Try his first outing by Jim Butcher, Storm Front. I am a fan of Remy Chandler who has his own Oberon named Marlowe. His first book by Thomas E Sniegoski is A Kiss Before the Apocalypse. Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series or Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series are also very good choices. Enjoy.

2 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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