❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋Hexed, the second installment of The Iron Druid Chronicles, is just as clever, action-packed, geeky, and as hilarious as its predecessor. If you liked Hounded, you should definitely give Hexed a chance. I highly, highly, highly recommend it to fans of Jim Butcher, Rob Thurman, Joss Whedon, and various mythologies.
Hexed takes up shortly after Hounded left off. After everything that went down in the previous installment, many powerful supernatural/mythological figures want Atticus to take down, or show up, their enemies. By the way, Thor seems to place pretty high on everyone's hit list. The original Thor is not nearly as heroic as his Marvel Universe counterpart, who also exists in this universe (in fact there are multiple versions of supernatural/mythological characters out there), but is a major jerk. But file that away for later because Atticus has more pressing matters to deal with, including: training his new apprentice, dealing with a fallen angel (I loved Coyote!), defeating a group of Bacchants' deadly decadence, and working out a treaty of nonaggression with the local witches. On top of all that, Atticus now has to contend with a new group of very, very bad witches (as in allied with the Axis powers in WWII kind of bad) with demons on board. With Fragarach, Leif (his vampire attorney - this cool character comes into his own here!), and his neighbor's rocket-propelled grenade launcher, Atticus gears up to show these witches that they just picked the wrong druid to hex.
The second installment isn't as self-contained as the first, as it feels like it's building up to something bigger on down the line. We also get a greater look at Atticus O'Sullivan's abilities and world. As before Oberon really steals the show along with the Widow McDonough, and like I mentioned before, I also really enjoyed reading Leif and Coyote. The listener is also treated to another excellent performance from Luke Daniels as the narrator.
Some favorite lines include:
"'You killed my father,' he snorted in a basso-profundo. 'Prepare to die.'"
"'Inigo Montoya? Is that you?!'"
-Atticus versus demon spawn
"'But, yeah, Leif, go ahead, let's throw down.'
Leif paused and frowned. 'Do you not mean we should throw up?'
'No, see when you throw up you're vomiting, but when you throw down you're starting a fight - as in 'throwing down the gauntlet.'
'Ohhh,' he said. 'I thought you were speaking literally.'
'I do beg your pardon. Let's literally throw up, but figuratively throw down.'
Leif threw up."
-Atticus and Leif
"Ever since I'd started to carry Fragarach around regularly just in the last few weeks, I'd noticed an interesting phenomenon. Hardly anyone thought it was real. Most people took a look at the guy on the bike with a sword and assumed I was still living with my mom and harboring an unhealthy obsession for anime. Or, they supposed the sword was a prop for a role playing game, or some other fantasy because the idea of carrying a sword for personal defense in an age of firearms caused them too much conscious dissonance." -Atticus on appearances and expectations
"'Science cannot close the fist of reason around the miracle of consciousness anymore than I can turn my sword into a light saber.'
Now that would be wicked cool! You could dress in one of those brown robes and trade insipid lines of dialog with your padawan, Granuaile."
-Atticus on the powers of faith to Widow McDonough with Oberon cutting in
"I like knowing secrets like that and I admit that when I'm alone in the shop sometimes I rub my hands together greedily and laugh like a one-eyed, black mustached pirate to think I have a bona fide treasure map locked up in my cabinet." -Atticus on his rare collection
"Ever notice how Apache Boulevard is a lot like Mos Eisley? 'You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.'
When Oberon says things like that it takes all my will not to dive into a Star Wars nerdfest."
-Oberon and Atticus
"Have you ever thought that you might be making her day here? Do you feel lucky?
'I guess I know which kind of Eastwood movie you'd like to watch."
-Oberon and Atticus
I read this from April 25 - 28, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.