Turns out that when you kill a god, people want to talk to you. Paranormal insurance salesmen with special “godslayer” term life policies. Charlatans with “godproof” armor and extraplanar safe houses for rent. But, most notably, other gods, who want to first congratulate you on your achievement, second warn you not to try such shenanigans on them, and finally suggest that you try to slay one of their rivals — purely as a shenanigan, of course.
It’s been three weeks since Atticus O’Sullivan slew two gods. This has made him more visible in the supernatural world, and now he’s got a whole new crop of problems. German witches have moved to the area and are attacking him and the Polish witches. Bacchants have arrived, too, and are spreading chaos in Scottsdale. The Morrigan and Brighid are having a power struggle, with Atticus caught in the middle. Coyote wants him to help vanquish a demon that’s eating teenagers. Oh, and everybody is trying to recruit him to kill Thor.
In Hexed, the second Iron Druid novel, Kevin Hearne gives us another funny, action-packed tale. Atticus develops as a character, too. He has survived the centuries by being paranoid, but now he’s forced by circumstances to make alliances and put himself in a position to owe favors. Looks like the biggest one is coming due in the next book, Hammered…
As for “funny,” if anything, Hexed is even funnier than Hounded. Some scenes and quips had me howling with laughter. Wait till you see how Atticus explains a singed kitchen cabinet to the police, or what Oberon becomes obsessed with now that he’s over his Genghis Khan kick, or what happens when a stuffy vampire tries to learn modern slang.
In addition to the humor, there are some touching moments. As the owner of an aging dog, I sniffled a bit when Atticus talked about the usual lifespan of an Irish wolfhound and the measures he has taken to keep his best buddy Oberon by his side.
Hexed has something of an episodic feel. There are several different plots here, and their structure is more sequential than interwoven. There are links between Atticus’ adventures, but for the most part, he deals with one threat, and then either that leads to a new problem or else the new problem arises while he’s trying to relax after dispatching the previous one. The overall effect is that of reading several shorter Atticus stories.
I had the opportunity to devour Hexed in both print form and via Brilliance Audio’s production. Luke Daniels’ narration continues to be excellent. He captures Atticus’ snarkiness and his assumed “Dude” persona perfectly, and does well with the accents and the foreign names. Whatever format you prefer, check out this series for a fun urban fantasy romp with lots of humor. Hammered, here I come.