Thursday, June 13, 2013

REVIEW: Hunted by Kevin Hearne

Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #6) Hunted by Kevin Hearne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book 6 of the series was one big chase scene, extravagant and exhilarating! The book immediately picked up from book 5’s cliffhanger (book 5's review) and with a twist of events mercilessly hurled a major death. Literally running for their lives, the heroes couldn’t afford the luxury of grief. They couldn’t even afford a long moment to rest because life-threatening obstacles arose with each passing chapter.

+ the plot, the chase

In addition to Diana and Artemis, goddesses of the hunt, hunting them, the heroes had to contend with the various opportunistic villains that wanted in on the “Kill Atticus” action. Before the heroes knew it, the chase became like a modern gladiator event where Europe was the amphitheatre and gods of various pantheons were the audience. And just to make sure no room was left for the suspense to falter, the heroes still had to figure who in the Celtic pantheon, Atticus’s pantheon, was the traitor doing the evil masterminding, trying to kill Atticus and company. Figuring out the traitor’s identity was not something that could be saved for later because the traitor was helping the villains gain an upper hand. Last but not certainly not the least was the rare appearance made by Loki, a crazy god, as he tried to herald Ragnarok, a.k.a. the end of the world.

In sum, shit hit the fan BIG TIME. The book couldn’t stress enough the fact that the heroes were running and fighting for their lives, where one mistake or a surprise in the form of a trap or an ambush could cost them their lives... and it did because the book mercilessly hurled another major death! Despite the deaths and the countless life-threatening obstacles, the characters rose to the challenge much to my joy.

+ the characters

Atticus was at his cunning best. How he recovered from setbacks thrilled me! His dog, Oberon, was funny half of the time which was more than I could hope because he bugged me in previous books. One of my favorite scenes included Oberon when he tried to sniff a ghost’s dog butt. A ghost dog’s butt! Hahaha! Granuaile, well, I still sneered at the romance between Atticus and her but not as much as before in book 5. I liked that she managed to keep up with Atticus and grew some more as a character.

As for the secondary characters, Morrigan’s confession confirmed my hunch that there was a thing between her and Atticus. I was sad but happy how things ended with her even though I still thought she made a better match for Atticus than Granuaile. Odin surprised me when I learned he was Atticus’ ally, helping Atticus and company survive the chase. I appreciated the bonus novella, Two Ravens and One Crow, that took place between book 4 and 5 and explained how the alliance with Odin arose.

+ the plot, the conspiracy

Once the climax ended and things, for the most part, were resolved with the petty deities, I was happy with how Atticus didn’t take the time to rest but continued with his investigation of the traitor’s identity and the conspiracy. Unfortunately, the revelation turned not to be much of a revelation, and more questions were raised to my impatience and annoyance. I was disappointed in Atticus when he forwent the opportunity to ask a friendly Celtic god for confirmation that the person he ferried to the afterlife was actually the person who Atticus saw dead in the evil lair. This inaction turned what was supposed to be a revelation into a full blown red herring. Whether the traitor was dead or alive, or even real or not, I didn’t know. The only thing that book 6 confirmed for me was that the conspiracy had multiple participants, not just one, and that the agenda went beyond the scope of just killing Atticus and company.

Though the plot made great progress on the unraveling of the conspiracy, the progress was not enough for my satisfaction. On the silver lining side, substantial progress was made on the small plot line to eliminate the evil vampires.

In Conclusion

I rate Hunted 3-stars for I liked it. My blood rushed, my heart pounded, my brain was numbed. Needless to say book 6 was epic and one of the best in the series. Though the ending had no cliffhanger, the impulse to read the sequel was as equally strong as if there was one. At the very end, the book introduced new allies, one of which was a game changer.

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