Enjoyable, engrossing read. Definite fun. Atticus is the first praciticing druid I’ve read about in a long while, and it’s nice to have a new take on magic in the urban fantasy line. In fact, all sorts of immortals and deities seem to be present, particularly from Celtic and Norse mythologies. They actually behave a lot like the stereotypes of gods from mythology (at least in the Greek myths I read), which is to say, manipulative, egotistical and randy. Hearne does a nice job of balancing their scary powers with approachability. Just like the Greek gods–sometimes you could wheedle a favor out of them if you had the right gift. Vampires, werewolves and witches also play a role in the action.
Characters are very likeable, although at first Atticus really seems a lot like a moderately interesting 25 year old rather than a 2100 year old druid. That’s one of my only complaints about the series to date; I just don’t have the feel of great age behind him, only power. Sure, his running a store in the middle of campus might keep him in contact with current culture, but I expect him to be a little more ponderous and thoughtful. Oberon the wolfhound kept me laughing, especially the running joke about “Oberon Khan.” I like their banter, and Atticus’ consideration for their relationship.
Hearne’s attempt to fully integrate the ‘real world’ of police, persistent detectives and nosy neighbors is interesting too–so many urban fantasy books have the cops either on the “clueless” or “colluding” list, that it’s another interesting take to seem them behaving normally.
I like the small touches, like the bar with the best fish and chips, and the lawyerly behavior of both vampire and werewolves. I do think the big battle was over too quickly for it to feel satisfying for the build-up; it was the only moment that pacing felt truly disruptive. Otherwise, hugely enjoyable and I’ll definitely keep reading the series.