Tag Archives: Orbit


Book Review of Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1), by Kevin Hearne

cover image of Hounded, by Kevin Hearne

I borrowed a copy of Kevin Hearne‘s Hounded from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.


I’m in a Fans of Urban Fantasy Facebook group and this book has been raved about several times. So, I decided to give it a go. I must be an outlier of some sort, because I seriously did not like this book. 

The writing and editing is fine. But I thought the main character was an asshole—much of his humor striking me as arrogance—and I was constantly annoyed at the representation of women throughout. 

At page 110 I wrote a Goodreads update that said:

May I introduce the women of Hounded so far: 
Beautiful goddess who stands around naked and kisses Atticus. 
Beautiful goddess who sleeps with Atticus. 
Causally mentioned ex-lover. 
Neighbor, who if “50 years younger” would sleep with Atticus. 
Sexy bartender that flirts with Atticus. 
Sexy witch that wants a potion to make a man impotent & is a bitch.
That’s it. Anyone see a theme? I see a theme. blrg

By the end of the book my opinion hadn’t changed. But it isn’t just that all of the women are reduced to their hotness (or not)—their sexual availability (or not). Nor even that several of them try to seduce Atticus (because he’s apparently un-resistible). It was the constancy and the tone of it all. 

For example, in the mention of the ex-lover the only thing we’re told about her is that she had a ridiculous tattoo and that she stormed out after sex because of a stupid reason. Thus, the reader is to understand she was crazy and not see Atticus as callous because he was relieved she left after he was finished with her (except he kind of was). Every woman’s body was described, and even the dog was constantly talking about Genghis Khan’s harem and about getting some ‘French poodles.’ The freaking final joke of the book is that Atticus arranged for the house to be full of French poodles in heat and Oberon was disappointed that there were only five. Women were reduced to sexual objects (or those who weren’t sexually available, to villains) and jokes. Someone try and tell me old Mrs. MacDonagh was anything but a running gag!

Of course the representation of women isn’t all this book consists of. But the way they were constantly treated contaminated every other aspect of the story for me. Add that to a main character I found juvenile and inconsiderate (who give magical wedgies to EMTs who are trying to save their life?) and I had to finish this book by force of will alone. I won’t be continuing the series.

leviathan wakers

Book Review of Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1), by James S.A. Corey

I borrowed a copy of James Corey‘s Leviathan Wakes from my local library.

Book Description:
Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

This was so good, you guys! I mean really good. I found the writing snappy, the humor on point, the banter witty, the diversity appreciable (even if the only significant female characters were the love interest and girl in need of rescue), and the moral quandary interesting. I liked the way the Belters’ and Inners’ cultures were notably different in ways that caused conflict; two men could do the right thing and it would be different things in the same situation.

There were a few leaps of logic that were maybe a bit too drastic to believe and the characters seemed to solve complex problems with relative ease. But all in all, I basically fell in love with them and can’t wait to get my hands on more of the series.

The Last Wish

Book Review of The Last Wish (The Witcher, #1), by Andrzej Sapkowski

I borrowed a copy of  Andrzej Sapkowski‘s The Last Wish from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

A collection of short stories introducing Geralt of Rivia, to be followed by the first novel in the actual series, The Blood of Elves. Note that, while The Last Wish was published after The Sword of Destiny, the stories contained in The Last Wish take place first chronologically, and many of the individual stories were published before The Sword of Destiny.

I have a confession to make. I didn’t really read the description of this book before I read it. I picked it up on a recommendation to read the series and chose this thinking it was the first book. Turns out it is actually a collection of short stories published after the series itself (though set before the timeline). In a sense I’m relieved to discover that, because I didn’t love them and the series is supposed to be so good. It’s a relief to discover that this book isn’t the one I should have been reading to get a real sense of the series. It’s disappointing, of course, that I read it and didn’t love it. But now that I’ve been set straight I’ll read the actual first book.

Now, setting aside my little fumble, lets talk about the stories. I think I’d have liked them a lot more if I had read the series first. I think a lot of what felt vague and shallow to me would have had context. But I did think there was a lot of humor and I liked the character a lot. I was a little annoyed with womens’ apparent habit of falling into his bed with no effort on his part (and their tendency to be villains or faceless/voiceless) and there is some anachronistic language that annoyed me. But all in all, I didn’t love it like I’d expected to but I didn’t hate it either. It’s about what you’d expect from decent early 90s epic fantasy.