Hounded, by Kevin Hearne. Urban Fantasy, paperback, 304 pages. Book 1 in the Iron Druid series. Keeping it.
Atticus O'Sullivan - as he is currently known - is a peaceful man. He is a traditional Druid who grew up through the centuries and enjoys modern American culture for its distinct ignorance of historical knowledge. Atticus currently lives in Arizona - where there is a comfortable lack of gods and fae - with his Irish wolfhound Oberon. He spends his days running his occult book and tea shop, taking care of his neighbor's yard, playing with Oberon, and guarding his magical sword, Fragarach. Unfortunately, a Celtic god is disputing ownership of that sword, and so Atticus's carefully cultivated peace is not so quiet anymore.
This is a light romp through urban fantasy, with the typical spiraling violence up to the final fight scene. While the world-building is reasonable, the magic is nearly elemental and only mentioned rather than explained. This world has all the magical types, too, from gods of all kinds to witches to vampires to werewolves.
The aspect of the book that hooked me was the sarcasm on the one hand and the innocent humor of the dog on the other. The following exchange really tickled me. Note that the dog is talking first."She's kind of like a Mary Poppins before she turns to the dark side of the Force." Oberon said... "Let go of your anger, Malina! There's still good in you! The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully!"
"I clearly need to get you some new videos to watch while I'm at work."
"I'd rather come to work with you from now on. It's fun to watch you pretend to be normal."
I enjoyed the cast of characters and the various points of view that they bring to Atticus. Among the characters that I enjoyed seeing flash by are: a vampire lawyer with a team of ghouls on retainer, a pleasantly tipsy old Irish lady who doesn't mind killings so long as they are Brits, a goddess of the hunt who is recently addicted to smoothies, and a book store employee who takes everything at face value - including Morrigan's multiple visits.
I picked this book up because I enjoyed Hearne's short story about Atticus in CarniPunk. I like the dog/humor element a great deal. I recommend it to fans of early Dresden for the great cast of secondary characters. Books read in 2015