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.
“My neighbor raised a shaking index finger to point at the saguaro. “That moving cactus…and the big bug…and you, you spooky bastard. What are you?
I stuffed my hands in my pockets and grinned winningly at him. “Why, I’m the Antichrist, of course.”
After Hounded was so surprisingly structurally sound, I had good hopes coming into Hexed. Those hopes were completely unfounded as Hexed can only be described as “a hot mess”. This entire book is basically an epilogue to Hounded because nothing happens in it that isn’t a result of the first book. In fact, I’m not entirely convinced this book is necessary to read for the series as a whole, and may even be possible to skin entirely but I’ll have to read onwards to figure that out. This read more like a collection of novellas that happened to happen one right after the other than anything cohesive. One event starts, it ends, and then Atticus moves on to the next with no follow-up because that event is over.
Atticus is an even worse main character in Hexed than he was in Hounded. I disliked him in Hounded, I actively dislike him in Hexed. He is so incredibly immature, shallow, and annoying. He plays cruel jokes on the uninitiated. He hounds another several hundred years old character about the way he talks in “the modern age” several times over the course of the book, even stopping in the middle of battle to correct the dude on the manner of his speech. One of the side characters put it best:
Mr. O’Sullivan! You will stop this unseemly innuendo immediately! How someone so old can be so immature and inappropriate is beyond me. Try to refocus your attention our goal, please.
Another thing that bothers me is that everyone that finds out about magic and creatures and have actual battles displayed in front of them is so insanely blasé about it all. It is annoying to have everyone freak out, but to have everyone cool with it is just as annoying. The rest of supernatural characters other than Atticus are all right, overall. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Vampire and the werewolf pack Atticus has befriended.
One thing Hearne is incredibly good at is making up stories concerning Atticus’ (or anyone’s, really) past, even if it does happen in the middle of the rest of the story. It is always entertaining and surprisingly full fleshed when a story comes around to being told. It is too bad the whole book couldn’t have been that well put together.
I was really disappointed in this book after having my expectations subverted in the last book. I’m going to keep reading, even though I hate Atticus. I’m hoping this is the only throwaway book, and this was just a “I wasn’t expecting to get a series deal!” from Hearne and he’ll step it up in book three.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Iron Druid Chronicles series page!