For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt – Artemis and Diana – for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, his apprentice Granuaile and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide and seek, the game plan is . . . run like hell.
Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok – AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living – and still have a world to live in.
This one seemed to end a bit abruptly for me. Probably because there’s at least one novella (“Two Ravens and One Crow”) at the end of it taking up at about 20% of my Kindle-book. I appreciate that it’s included, however I think the fact that Hunted ended at 81% affected my opinion of the book negatively. Perhaps if I’d known up front it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. I just thought I had more to go, and then it was over.
I’m trying to separate out my feelings of the book prior to that so the abrupt ending doesn’t rain on the parade too much. I was enjoying this book quite a lot until that point – with a few issues – and I want my review to reflect that. I also don’t want to give spoilers away, because this book has many shocking moments.
When I’d finished Trapped I was worried about how Atticus and Granuaile would get out of their current hole of debt. The one that seemed to continuously grow and expand. There were things that I suspected would happen, and others that I hoped would not. But this book contained two big moments that I did not expect at all. One of them right at the very beginning and the bittersweetness of that moment set the tone for the rest of the book, I think.
Hunted isn’t an easy book, nor as summarily funny as the previous books. There’s a lot of pain and confusion and hurt in this book. I remember once I asked that Atticus not be quite as good at everything as he is. Perhaps I should be careful what I wish for, because there was quite a lot of heartache that I went through in this book. The stakes are high, and nothing is certain – Hunted drove that home for me very quickly.
The other thing that I was worried about when finishing Trapped was the fate of Granuaile. I don’t think I have to be worried in the traditional sense anymore, but I do find her experiences and growth and choices in this book interesting. It proves, a bit more, that it’s Atticus’ 2,100 years of living that’s made him so brilliant and capable. Whereas the gods and goddesses have been luxuriating in their beliefs, Atticus has been living for 2,100 years, experiencing life, connected to it always. It gives him the edge that he usually ends up having. Because I can see, through Granuaile’s experiences how that edge came to be.
Which isn’t to say that Atticus is infallible. Or that he doesn’t cut it extremely close. It doesn’t even mean that there aren’t very real threats to his life. And he takes chances that perhaps other people would not. But I think, after even 2,100 years, Atticus is still learning as well. I like that I get to see that alongside him.
The issues that I had in the beginning with how women were portrayed are nearly non-existent. Thankfully.
And then there’s something new in this book – POVs from Granuaile. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. She tends to think incredibly poetically. This, even after twelve years of training to become a druid and a philosophy degree, doesn’t sit completely natural with me. But, I have to admit, there were some times that I was completely grateful for her point of view. It gives some added depth to the story to have that sense of wonder and surprise. Being able to see this incredible world through some fresh eyes is a nice change. I do wish they were marked a bit more clearly. It’s changes by chapter, but the only indicator is a small symbol at the beginning of her POV chapters. It’s not a symbol that I would automatically associate with Granuaile either, so I’m not sure if that’s what it’s supposed to mean.
The resolution to the bigger problem in this book is eminently satisfying. Of course, we still have the overarching issue of the mastermind behind Atticus and Granuaile’s current travails. I really hope s/he lives up to that calling: Mastermind. Because the coordination and level of forethought that’s gone into hunting Atticus and Granuaile is amazing. I’m not sure if it shows a level of brilliance on how well they cover their tracks, or a level of incompetence that even with all that, they continue to fail.
Is this person so much weaker than Atticus that s/he can’t face him directly? Afraid of Atticus’ ability to continuously come out on top when the odds are stacked so much against him? Maybe s/he just doesn’t want to be visibly responsible to avoid repercussions? I don’t know, but the reveal has a lot of build-up to live up to.
I’m anxious to see where we head next. Ragnarok seems to be gathering steam, and the battle against it promises to be epic.