Hexed by Kevin Hearne because I really liked the first book in the series, Hounded (see my review HERE), and because I kind of felt I needed a break from YA and angels.
In this book, our hero, Atticus, is dealing with a very full plate. He has fallen angels, Bacchants, and tricky gods to deal with, and for some reason everyone thinks he should kill Thor. Because in this world Thor is a dick, I guess. But the main focus of this book is on a group of German witches who've been consorting demons, who move into the Tempe territory and threaten the general peace. So, Atticus teams up with the Polish witches who live in the territory to kill all the nasty witches.
I'm half Polish, so I'm simply tickled pink to see the touches of Polish language and mythology in this book. I love all of the mythology that Hearne makes use of. It follows the same logic used in Neil Gaiman's American Gods, where all of the gods that anyone has ever believed in exist, and some of them aren't too nice. This leads to endless possibilities, and I really enjoy the character interactions and plot lines that result from it.
I liked the plot, which has Atticus dealing with so many different obstacles. I like his motivation: he wants to stay in the area so that he can heal damaged earth, so he has to fight off anything that threatens peace. There's a ton of action, the book is never boring, and it all comes to a satisfying conclusion.
I love the characters. Atticus is completely unique, very intelligent, and very likeable. It isn't easy to write ancient characters (Atticus is 2000 or so?) and actually make them seem ancient to the reader. I know, because I've been reading vampire books for years and I've seen so many authors fail at this task utterly. Hearne succeeds spectacularly, dropping hints about Atticus's history, giving him mannerisms that make him seem weathered. At the same time, he isn't stuffy--he has a sense of humor, blends in well, and is self aware. The side characters are also fantastic. Oberon, the Irish wolfhound, always makes me smile. I like Granuaile, the apprentice. I think I'm a bit jealous of her, actually. I like Leif the vampire/lawyer. The list goes on.
While I like all of the plot elements, I find myself wishing they fit together better. Some of them seemed like random and unrelated events that might become important later in the series, but felt out of place in this book.
Atticus's love life, sex life, however you want to look at it, has started to bug me. A tad. He's very casual about sex in certain situations, which I can buy because the argument is that he's from a time where it's less of a BIG DEAL. And it's not like I've ever wanted my book heroes to be celibate. But there's a scene in the book where he has sex with one chick, and then another shows up and she wants him, and flips out when she can't have him...And in the last book there was yet another woman. All of whom are high up on the mythological food chain, are beautiful, could have anyone and everyone, but want him specifically. And so it's starting to feel like wish fulfillment, and it's starting to bother me, because of the objectification of the characters in question. To be clear, I'm not arguing sexism here--this would bug me equally if we reversed all of the genders. I don't like blatant wish fulfillment subplots with lots of horny people who all happen to want the protagonist. Unless it's erotica, but that's a different story.
Ok, short story long...I liked this book. If you like urban fantasy, and you like it with a lot of obscure mythology, you should give this series a try. 3.5 stars.