You know, here’s something we didn’t talk about in the last few chapters that we really should have: Granuaile wants to be Atticus’s apprentice, and yet they’re both clearly attracted to each other. Apparently their relationship up ‘til this point has been checking each other out and flirting? And yet this isn’t really discussed at all in this book. From what I remember from the next book, and what I’ve read about this series, they don’t have any sort of sexual relationship while she’s his student, which, uh, thank goodness because that’d be weird and uncomfortable, but this is definitely something that should have been addressed? Pretty upfront?

Yes, they’re both adults, but when one of them is the other’s student there’s a power difference between them that should be talked about. Presumably they do, at some point, but we never see it, considering they don’t sleep together. Maybe it’s just me, but I think this is one of those things that you should talk about right out of the gate. And yeah, I guess there are other things they need to handle right now, but it’s not like that’s ever stopped Atticus from leisurely going about his day, has it?

And even then, shouldn’t Atticus thinking about this? Shouldn’t it cross his mind how weird it is that this girl, who halfway through the book was someone he saw as a potential sexual partner, is now his student? Considering that it’s implied that this book is narrated after the events happened, it’s not like there’s that much urgency, and he can definitely mention how he feels about this in hindsight. You guys maybe think I skipped over that in my attempt to get through the boredom of these chapters, but nope! Any contemplations about Atticus being sexually attracted to his student are just… not there.

Anyhow, this chapter begins with Atticus telling us about the Haunted Canyon trail that Emilya told him to go to. Which is kind of boring, I guess, but if you’re interested in what the place looks like in real life. He explains that most people don’t go to the trail in question, instead going to the Peralta trail, with easier hiking and a more stereotypical Arizona desert-type feel to it. Whereas the trail the characters are going on now has more trees and a more strenuous hike.

See, I like this kind of stuff. So much urban fantasy in the US, and speculative fiction in general, is obsessed with the country’s most famous cities. Jim Butcher even admitted that his editor made him change the setting to Chicago because no one would want to read about a wizard detective in a small town. And no, Tempe isn’t exactly a small town (it’s right by a major university), but it’s not as well known as New York or Chicago or Boston. And that doesn’t mean there’s not as much cool stuff you could do there!

There’s weird and cool stuff all over the map! Especially in the US. Authors can play around with that a lot! But nope, it’s almost always in cities that we see in every other movie anyway. This is part of why I’m trying to write a story set in a fictional counterpart to my own hometown.

Of course, to take this compliment back… this isn’t a good book. So any goodwill Hearne might have earned in writing about his hometown is instantly gone. Yeah, he’s showing off his hometown and how cool it is, but he’s also doing it in a book about a power fantasy that makes out with goddesses on a regular basis. He’s not using the setting to do anything interesting. It never causes any problems or obstacles or even helps the character through his familiarity with it. It’s just there; so it’s difficult to care.

Atticus and his buddies roll up, and the werewolves hop out of their cars and transform on the spot. And fun fact! It’s specified that these sleazy werewolf lawyers? All drive sports cars. Because of course they drive the most expensive and attention-grabbing vehicles they can to rub in people’s faces how much better they are than everyone else. Look, I know I was a bit dismissive when someone suggested the Twilight influences on Hounded but now I think you guys were on to something.

Atticus asks Laksha if he can talk to Granuaile, so she switches, and Grannie’s freaked out a bit by seeing a bunch of people turn into wolves. Atticus calms her down by explaining that it’s the Tempe pack, and most of them have been in the Irish pub a few times. Because of course everyone in the supernatural community goes to the same Irish bar. Also, apparently he’s been talking to Laksha for the past… while or so, because Grannie doesn’t know what they’re even doing there and has to be told. Isn’t that a bit creepy, having her all the way out here and not having told her what they’re doing?

Alright, how does this work, exactly? Because Laksha seems to be able to tell what’s going on when Grannie’s in control, but it apparently doesn’t work the other way around? Because when Laksha takes over, which she can do at any time, Grannie wakes up later having no clue what’s going on.

Because of the situation, Atticus tells Grannie that he is going to do a couple of “bindings” on her so she can keep up. First is that he’s going to bind her to him so that she can draw on his energy so that she won’t get tired, because Atticus can pull energy straight from the Earth. This actually sounds like binding, unlike the next thing he’ll do, which is give her night vision.

But what! Atticus receives a phonecall! Turns out it’s Malina, the witch from Chapter 13 was longtime friends with Emilya but wasn’t a skank ho (and the only other witch from the coven we’ve met)! She assures Atticus that she’s actually not evil. Turns out that not all the witches have sided with Aenghus Og, just six of them. The other seven are forming their own coven. Atticus asks for all the names, of the witches against him and those that split off with Malina, but I don’t know why. Atticus tells the audience he doesn’t recognize any of the names, that he’s just “filed them away for future reference.” Basically, it’s a setup for the sequel as if we care. And bad setup at that; they very easily could be introduced in the sequel with little fanfare, instead of being named here and Atticus straight up telling us that these names mean nothing to him.

Malina doesn’t expect Atticus to survive the night, but she does want to prove to him that she didn’t betray him like he suspected she did, because “Unlike my former sisters, I have a sense of honor.” Which is… look it’s weird that we’re treating this like a good thing, when the entire book Atticus has been drilling into our heads that “person with a sense of honor” = “suicidal moron.” You can’t do this Hearne! You can’t spend a novel telling the audience that having a sense of honor is stupid and will get you killed, and then try to portray characters as sympathetic because they have one!

So the phone conversation ends like that, and Atticus, Grannie and the werewolves run into the woods. They do their best to keep quiet; since the werewolves communicate with each other telepathically, they don’t need to make too much noise. Maybe the bad guys heard the werewolves making noise when they were transforming, and maybe not because the cabin they’re aiming for is six miles away, but for the time being they’re trying to go for a sneak attack.

Atticus wonders if he can shield his mind or dampen his telepathic connection with Oberon, because he’s worried that once he gets close enough for his dog to detect him, the bad guys will be able to tell that he’s there from Oberon’s reaction.

…if he sense me nearby, his tail would start to wag as sure as a princess waves in a parade

…what?

It’s not wrong, per se, but that’s just another weird simile.

After about a half mile of running uphill at a full sprint—across rocky, treacherous terrain on a moonless night—I heard Granuaile giggle delightedly. “This is unbelievable!” she crowed. “What a trip, running with a pack of werewolves!”

“Remember this,” I said, “when you get bogged down in your studies and wonder if it’s all worth it. This is only a taste of what you will be able to do.”

That doesn’t sound healthy at all.
“You feel bogged down by your studies in becoming a Druid? No worries, just think of the incredible adrenaline high you got this one time we were rushing into battle! Not, like, the thought of helping people with your powers, or making the world a better place. No, think about how much fun you’re having right now!”

This goes against the whole ‘Druids are better because they help the world and make things grow!’ angle that Chapter 19 was going for. Atticus’s pitch for Grannie right now is that it’ll be loads of fun down the road, rather than that it’s actually a good thing to do. Again, you can’t do this Hearne! You can’t tell us that Druids are Good because their magic is Good and True and then turn around and say the best part of being a Druid is the rush that wielding that power gives you!

Also, I have trouble believing that Grannie, who has given no indication of being athletic, is just dashing up “rocky, treacherous terrain” without any problems. Yeah, she’s been magically enhanced with extra energy and night vision, but she doesn’t trip? At all? I trip a lot when I take a walk in my neighborhood, and it’s the exact opposite of treacherous terrain. I’m not saying she’d be helpless, but I’d expect Grannie would at least trip or something, even if she wasn’t on rocky terrain, because she wouldn’t be used to the landscape or the strength she now has in her legs. The magic here is just applied as a “Make It Easy!” solution in order to avoid Grannie having any problems, without considering that she would at least have trouble sprinting up rocks without any practice.

Grannie asks Atticus if she’ll be able to turn into an owl too, and Atticus answers with a ‘maybe.’ See, when Druids graduate, they’re given four animal forms, which aren’t chosen, but “determined by ritual.” Atticus himself can turn into an owl, a wolfhound, an otter and a stag. It’s not explicitly explained here, but I think it’s that they’re four types of animals most useful in different situations: one for flying, one for swimming, one for hunting/combat, and one for running. This would have been nice to know when shapeshifting was first brought up, right? Nope, right at the end of the novel when someone asks about it rather than when someone’s transforming or something.

Also we get this bit:

“Oh, okay, um, master, or sensei, or whatever. What should I call you?”

I laughed. “Archdruid would be the correct term, I suppose,” I said. “But that doesn’t fall trippingly off the tongue, does it? And it would turn heads in public, and we don’t want that. So let’s stick with sensei.”

Alright I’m speeding through this chapter, so time for more nitpicking!

The prefix ‘arch’ is Greek, as you could probably guess from the word ‘archangel.’ So no, technically speaking, as a man who is actually from ancient Ireland, he should know a word for it that isn’t a mashup of two different languages from different parts of the world. But okay, fine, moving that aside:

The prefix ‘arch’ means ‘chief’ and so ‘archdruid’ means ‘chief druid’ or ‘chief of druids.’ In Atticus claiming the title ‘archdruid’ as being his correct title, he is naming himself as the Chief of Druids, or at least of those in his area. Problem: there is only one Druid. It’s Atticus. And yeah, he has an apprentice, but isn’t it a bit pretentious to say “I AM THE CHIEF DRUID!” when there aren’t any other Druids for you to have authority of? It’s like if I called myself King of Juracans on ImpishIdea; yeah, of course I am! I’m the only one! Being chief of a group of which you are the only member is silly and pretentious.

It’s like that bit in Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time where one of the villains declares himself “the deadliest cyborg golfer in the world!” As Ron Stoppable points out, it’s not really a crowded field, is it? Atticus is chief of one other person. And even if he wasn’t, as far as we know it’s not like he had that title before, so he’s chief by virtue of all other candidates being dead! Him claiming that title is utterly meaningless.

[Also if you’re still wondering what happened to all the other Druids, that’s cool, I guess, but Hearne still doesn’t care.]

Atticus asks Grannie to switch to Laksha because he needs the witch’s help. Laksha activates, and they mention the ‘sensei’ thing, with Laksha telling Atticus that she doesn’t know the word. And yeah, Laksha is Indian, but she’s been around for hundreds of years, travelled around Southern and Eastern Asia… and she’s never heard the word ‘sensei’? This just reads like yet another ‘old immortals don’t understand pop culture references!’ thing.

And hey, I just noticed that Laksha has this weird speech pattern/accent thing going on:

“I am not knowing this word.”

“I was not thinking so. You will have to get me the necklace, then, if you want me to be helping with them.”

I don’t know what to make of this. Is this meant to be an approximation of an Indian accent? Why would she still have it after sitting in Grannie’s head for months at a time?

So with the sample of Radomila’s blood Atticus has, Laksha tells us that she can kill her “from as far away as a mile” with it, but that to beat the rest she needs that magic necklace back. She also does this thing where her eyes roll back and all you see are the whites of her eyes while she’s using the third eye to see magic. Sort of like Lilith on Supernatural I guess?

This is supposed to be creepy. And it would be, if we didn’t follow it up with this when she switches back:

…her eyes rolled back down like slot machine tumblers to give me double pupils.

“Her eyes switched back to normal like… slot machines! Yeah, that sounds right! That makes her sound creepy, doesn’t it?”
-Kevin Hearne, apparently

Atticus shows some concern about Laksha’s statement, because by the time he’s close enough to grab the necklace from Radomila, they’ll be up to their necks in bad guys and he’ll probably be busy. Hang on—do they know for a fact that Radomila has the necklace right now? Why? I suppose it’s a powerful artifact. But why is this necklace now a part of the story? Other than adding yet another McGuffin to the Plot at the eleventh hour for a C-list villain just makes this whole thing even more muddled than it already is.

But put that on hold! Because Atticus detects someone drawing power from the Earth nearby—that’s Druid magic! He draws his sword, because maybe it’s Aenghus Og. He briefly wonders if the magic of the Tuatha de Danann would work on werewolves, which is dumb because then we see it work like five minutes later. I don’t know why it wouldn’t; Atticus explains that his doesn’t because… Reasons.

[He also says that his magic is a “somewhat weaker” version of the magic the Tuatha de Danann use, but considering he has worked out a way to make his aura poisonous to others, something no one else in history has done, and he has no problem taking down gods, I wouldn’t get that impression at all. SHOW DON’T TELL, HEARNE.]

And this:

Laksha… had coiled Granuaile’s body into a defensive stance that was probably some form of varma kalai, an Indian martial art based on attacking pressure points. She wasn’t dependent entirely on magic, then, like most witches, for her offense and defense—good to know.

He says “like most witches,” despite neither of the other witches we’ve seen displaying any inclination towards physical combat or martial arts. You would think this would have come up that one time he actually punched a witch in the face, that they apparently often have fighting skillz, but it only gets mentioned here in a non-fight scene. We don’t even get to see Laksha use awesome Indian martial arts here, we just get Atticus telling us that he assumes that’s what she’s doing here.

The werewolves try to attack the magically cloaked newcomer, but they’re easily deflected, and they just kind of roll over. Atticus is kind of freaked out, because that’s not how werewolves act. But the magic camouflage is thrown off, and surprise! It’s Flidais, the Irish goddess of the hunt (except not really she’s actually probably a cattle goddess). Y’know, from earlier?

Why is she here? Why, to tell Atticus important information, of course! Helping Atticus is what everyone does! She ends the chapter by telling him that if he confronts Aenghus Og the way they’re going, then “this magnificent pack will be destroyed.”

Pfft. Better let them go ahead and die. They’re dickbags anyway.

You know how we keep saying this book’s motto is “Make it easy!” I’m not kidding. Because we’re charging headlong into the final battle, the protagonist not sure of what dangers he’ll face, and then a goddess pops right the fudge out of nowhere, with powers to conveniently make sure she doesn’t get accidentally hurt by the “heroic” characters, in order to warn them about the upcoming traps and give an explanation as to what they’re going to face.

THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING. You should not have the narrative stop all momentum so that a character can pop in and give your characters a walkthrough on the fight they’re about to face. This drains any tension from the story if we already know what’s going to happen! It’s not like there’s a lot of tension anyway; I don’t think anyone honestly believes that something bad is going to happen to one of the main characters. But this? While this is pretty in line with the writing we’ve seen before, having it happen right now is another low of laziness that keeps popping up throughout this novel.

[sigh]

Well join us next time, as Flidais tells us what’s going to happen next, and then we see it happen.

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Comment

  1. The Smith of Lie on 10 December 2019, 16:55 said:

    You know, here’s something we didn’t talk about in the last few chapters that we really should have: Granuaile wants to be Atticus’s apprentice, and yet they’re both clearly attracted to each other. Apparently their relationship up ‘til this point has been checking each other out and flirting? And yet this isn’t really discussed at all in this book. From what I remember from the next book, and what I’ve read about this series, they don’t have any sort of sexual relationship while she’s his student, which, uh, thank goodness because that’d be weird and uncomfortable, but this is definitely something that should have been addressed? Pretty upfront?

    Hearne didn’t throw an attactive girl right into Atticus lap despite them being in a rlationship fraught with power-imalance (in Atticus favor)? Who is this impostor and what he did with real Hearne?

    But since I am a petty asshat, my working head canon is that this only happened this way, cause Atticus is too much into bedding literal goddesses to bother with abusing his teacher-apprentice relation to Granny.

    See, I like this kind of stuff. So much urban fantasy in the US, and speculative fiction in general, is obsessed with the country’s most famous cities. Jim Butcher even admitted that his editor made him change the setting to Chicago because no one would want to read about a wizard detective in a small town. And no, Tempe isn’t exactly a small town (it’s right by a major university), but it’s not as well known as New York or Chicago or Boston. And that doesn’t mean there’s not as much cool stuff you could do there!

    Yup. And I wouldn’t be against book pushing the envelope even further. Imagine a series that is more of a road-trip, with a character who for some reason prefers staying in wilderness (say he’s a werewolf or something) and books focus on some of local, native folk-lore or places he ends up. Sure, the towns would feature but only as somewhere he passes through and gets involved in whatever weird business is going on.

    Because of course everyone in the supernatural community goes to the same Irish bar.

    At risk of being accused of shallow reference pool, I have to utter dreaded words… Dresden Files did it better. There was a reason why Mac’s place was the hot-spot for local super-natural activity, since it was Accords attested neutral ground. Which meant any practitioner or creature who wanted a meeting place or just to hang out for an evening could show up and not get their teeth kicked in by a rival.

    But of course Grannie’s bar is where Atticus hangs out, so every single magical being in 100 miles radius must be a patron as well because Makes it easy!

    Also, hearing that some of patrons at the bar were werewolfs is not necessarily a calming idea. I’d say it is more of a paranoia-fuel (not that Atticus would recognize paranoia if it jumped out from the bushes and kicked him in the balls) than anything. I mean if there were werewolf clients who else? Witches? Vampires? Ghouls? IRS employees?

    Malina doesn’t expect Atticus to survive the night, but she does want to prove to him that she didn’t betray him like he suspected she did, because “Unlike my former sisters, I have a sense of honor.” Which is… look it’s weird that we’re treating this like a good thing, when the entire book Atticus has been drilling into our heads that “person with a sense of honor” = “suicidal moron.” You can’t do this Hearne! You can’t spend a novel telling the audience that having a sense of honor is stupid and will get you killed, and then try to portray characters as sympathetic because they have one!

    There is a Polish saying – “[someone] has Kali’s morality”. It has nothing to do with Hindu godess, it comes from and old book In Desert and Wilderness from a scene (that by today’s standards is racially insensitive, but take into account that Poles don’t have the same tension-charged history of racial relations) where main characters teach ther friend – an African native by the name of Kali, about Christian morality. And they ask him what is considered a bad deed. He answers that a bad deed is when someone steals a cow from him. They praise him and ask for example of good deed. The answer is Kali stealing a cow from someone.

    I feel that Atticus has the same type of moral myopia. Someone else acting honorable towards Atticus is a good deed. Atticus himself atcing honoralby is stupidity. Because it might inconvenience him.

    That doesn’t sound healthy at all.
    “You feel bogged down by your studies in becoming a Druid? No worries, just think of the incredible adrenaline high you got this one time we were rushing into battle! Not, like, the thought of helping people with your powers, or making the world a better place. No, think about how much fun you’re having right now!”

    In a just word, where being a druid means something besides “having cool authorial fiat powers” that might be a valid point. Sadly any and all druids who actually felt like their position was one of responsibility and duty have commited ritual suicide to avoid association with Atticus.

    Also, I am willing to cut a small amount of slack here. Giving apprentice a taste of power they are one day gona wield is pretty well established viallain behaviour. (And yes, I am aware that we are the only ones who consider Atticus the villain of the piece.)

    This goes against the whole ‘Druids are better because they help the world and make things grow!’ angle that Chapter 19 was going for. Atticus’s pitch for Grannie right now is that it’ll be loads of fun down the road, rather than that it’s actually a good thing to do. Again, you can’t do this Hearne! You can’t tell us that Druids are Good because their magic is Good and True and then turn around and say the best part of being a Druid is the rush that wielding that power gives you!

    I’d say the fault is on the part of chapter 19 and sudden attempt to make druids morally white, rather than these scene. It is the chapter 19 that is wildly inconsistant with everything we’ve seen before and after, not the “feel the rush of wielding power”.

    The magic Authorial Fiat here is just applied as a “Make It Easy!” solution in order to avoid Grannie having any problems, without considering that she would at least have trouble sprinting up rocks without any practice.

    I fixed that one for you.

    Grannie asks Atticus if she’ll be able to turn into an owl too, and Atticus answers with a ‘maybe.’ See, when Druids graduate, they’re given four animal forms, which aren’t chosen, but “determined by ritual.”

    Translation: Hearne rolls d100 four times and checks the results in the table.

    This would have been nice to know when shapeshifting was first brought up, right? Nope, right at the end of the novel when someone asks about it rather than when someone’s transforming or something.

    Eh. It’s not like if it ever becomes inconvenienice they won’t Make it Easy! away any limitations and hand wave it with Atticus being just that awesome or something.

    I laughed. “Archdruid would be the correct term, I suppose,”

    I don’t know why but this infuriates me beyond measure. The “Arch” affix means Chief; principal; pre-eminent of its kind. And if any of those could apply to Atticus as a druid, that’d be only due to Embarassment Suicide the rest of them commited. And none of this has anything to do with being a teacher.

    The prefix ‘arch’ means ‘chief’ and so ‘archdruid’ means ‘chief druid’ or ‘chief of druids.’ […]

    Ah. I see you also had something to say about this. Good. (For context, I am commenting while reading, so I did not see that you picked a bone with “arch” as well).

    It’s like that bit in Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time where one of the villains declares himself “the deadliest cyborg golfer in the world!” As Ron Stoppable points out, it’s not really a crowded field, is it? Atticus is chief of one other person. And even if he wasn’t, as far as we know it’s not like he had that title before, so he’s chief by virtue of all other candidates being dead! Him claiming that title is utterly meaningless.

    I can’t help but be reminded of Dragon Ball Z and Vegeta’s claim that he’s the Prince of all Saiyans.

    But at least there were up to 4 known saiyans at times when he made that boast. So he’s still doing better than Atticus!

    Atticus shows some concern about Laksha’s statement, because by the time he’s close enough to grab the necklace from Radomila, they’ll be up to their necks in bad guys and he’ll probably be busy. Hang on—do they know for a fact that Radomila has the necklace right now? Why? I suppose it’s a powerful artifact. But why is this necklace now a part of the story? Other than adding yet another McGuffin to the Plot at the eleventh hour for a C-list villain just makes this whole thing even more muddled than it already is.

    Of course Radomila has the necklace. Why? Because Makes it Easy!

    He says “like most witches,” despite neither of the other witches we’ve seen displaying any inclination towards physical combat or martial arts. You would think this would have come up that one time he actually punched a witch in the face, that they apparently often have fighting skillz, but it only gets mentioned here in a non-fight scene. We don’t even get to see Laksha use awesome Indian martial arts here, we just get Atticus telling us that he assumes that’s what she’s doing here.

    Hearne is all tell and no show.

    It’s Flidais, the Irish goddess of the hunt (except not really she’s actually probably a cattle goddess).

    [in a completely flat and unenthusiatic tone] Oh no. Who could have seen that coming. She seemed so trustworthy. This is such a surprise that it would even catch a true paranoiac flat footed.

    Why is she here? Why, to tell Atticus important information, of course! Helping Atticus is what everyone does! She ends the chapter by telling him that if he confronts Aenghus Og the way they’re going, then “this magnificent pack will be destroyed.”

    Well I guess the egg is in my face. I should have known better than to expect and extremely shifty character to betray Atticus.

    THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING.

    NONE OF THIS BOOK SHOULD BE HAPPENING.

    Sorry, had to get that one out.

    Well join us next time, as Flidais tells us what’s going to happen next, and then we see it happen.

    Here, have a song that mirrors what I’d love to do with Atticus. It might cheer you up a bit.

  2. Juracan on 11 December 2019, 13:40 said:

    Hearne didn’t throw an attactive girl right into Atticus lap despite them being in a rlationship fraught with power-imalance (in Atticus favor)? Who is this impostor and what he did with real Hearne?

    Yeah, it is a bit off, isn’t it? For once, the sleaziest thing isn’t what’s happening. I don’t know if that’s because, culturally, there’s such a huge taboo in the US about teacher-student relationships, that for Hearne it didn’t even occur to him to even talk about it?

    [shrugs] I dunno.

    But since I am a petty asshat, my working head canon is that this only happened this way, cause Atticus is too much into bedding literal goddesses to bother with abusing his teacher-apprentice relation to Granny.

    Sadly, this is probably not too far off from actual canon.

    Geez, how sad is it that our main character sleeps with goddesses and it’s just treated as inconsequential??

    Yup. And I wouldn’t be against book pushing the envelope even further. Imagine a series that is more of a road-trip, with a character who for some reason prefers staying in wilderness (say he’s a werewolf or something) and books focus on some of local, native folk-lore or places he ends up. Sure, the towns would feature but only as somewhere he passes through and gets involved in whatever weird business is going on.

    HECK YEAH I’m all for an urban fantasy roadtrip novel! I think it’d still do what I was hoping for: focusing on the small-town, the rural, the lesser-publicized parts of the country. And heck we wouldn’t even need to set this in America. I’d be just as happy to see a werewolf road-tripping through Europe.

    At risk of being accused of shallow reference pool, I have to utter dreaded words… Dresden Files did it better. There was a reason why Mac’s place was the hot-spot for local super-natural activity, since it was Accords attested neutral ground. Which meant any practitioner or creature who wanted a meeting place or just to hang out for an evening could show up and not get their teeth kicked in by a rival.

    But of course Grannie’s bar is where Atticus hangs out, so every single magical being in 100 miles radius must be a patron as well because Makes it easy!

    I… didn’t even think about Mac’s… I should have.

    But yes, you’re right—DF actually had the exact same thing? An Irish bar where everyone in the supernatural community hangs out? And there’s a reason for it??? And Hearne just threw it in because… Reasons. Like, the idea that the ancient Irish Druid likes going to an Irish bar isn’t too far out there, but it’s just insanely convenient that the werewolves and witches also love to go there, despite the werewolves being Nordic and the witches being Polish.

    Also, hearing that some of patrons at the bar were werewolfs is not necessarily a calming idea. I’d say it is more of a paranoia-fuel (not that Atticus would recognize paranoia if it jumped out from the bushes and kicked him in the balls) than anything. I mean if there were werewolf clients who else? Witches? Vampires? Ghouls? IRS employees?

    You’re right, there’s no reason Grannie should be calm about some of the werewolves being former customers, but people’s emotions tend to bend to whatever’s convenient for Atticus.

    Also, this?

    (not that Atticus would recognize paranoia if it jumped out from the bushes and kicked him in the balls)

    Is a perfect description of the book.

    I feel that Atticus has the same type of moral myopia. Someone else acting honorable towards Atticus is a good deed. Atticus himself atcing honoralby is stupidity. Because it might inconvenience him.

    Yup-yup. His serial-killing vampire lawyer tells him that he’s got ghouls on speed dials who can eat bodies to clean up the messes he or any other predator leaves behind, and Atticus’s reaction is “My lawyer kicks ass” instead of appropriate horror.

    Sadly any and all druids who actually felt like their position was one of responsibility and duty have commited ritual suicide to avoid association with Atticus.

    I think I’ve already said this, but I basically consider this to be canon by this point.

    Giving apprentice a taste of power they are one day gona wield is pretty well established viallain behaviour.

    Right you are, Smith! Again, weird how this book makes more sense if you assume Atticus is the villain…

    And none of this has anything to do with being a teacher.

    I probably should have brought this up in the spork too—just because he’s teaching an apprentice, that doesn’t make him an Archdruid!

    Well I guess the egg is in my face. I should have known better than to expect and extremely shifty character to betray Atticus.

    Well to your credit, she did sort of betray Atticus, but we’ll get to that bit later on. So don’t be too hard on yourself—you were kind of right.

    NONE OF THIS BOOK SHOULD BE HAPPENING.

    YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE RIGHT BUT I’M STILL MAD ABOUT IT

    Here, have a song that mirrors what I’d love to do with Atticus. It might cheer you up a bit.

    You know, that does cheer me up a bit. Thanks, Smith!

  3. The Smith of Lie on 11 December 2019, 15:15 said:

    Geez, how sad is it that our main character sleeps with goddesses and it’s just treated as inconsequential??

    This is actually an interesting bit of perspective. Normally the fact that your character not only is on speaking terms with gods, but also sleeps around among them would be pretty monumentous for the plot and setting. It could easily be built as a part of power fantasy that is a hell of a trip.

    But Hounded cheapens the concept in the record time. From “Heck yeah, the protagonist is so awesome that even godesses want to bed him!” it slips into “Oh cool, another goddess that is or will be bedded. Yawn.”

    And once again it comes down to the fact how undeserved the divine attention is. Atticus did not commit legendary deeds of skill and bravery. He did not achieve some noble goal or a vile scheme, that’d make him worthy of attention. He did not defeat legendary enemies against all odds. He just stumbled into his own freking abode, where the goddess even provided her own strawberry shake before shaking his bones. Instead of shagging a goddess because he is cerifiably awesome, he is shagged by one to try and convince us that he is. Except it does not work.

    !bq. HECK YEAH I’m all for an urban fantasy roadtrip novel! I think it’d still do what I was hoping for: focusing on the small-town, the rural, the lesser-publicized parts of the country. And heck we wouldn’t even need to set this in America. I’d be just as happy to see a werewolf road-tripping through Europe.

    This is one of the things that I loved in Hellboy. He traveled around the world and stumbled into a re-interpretations of local, often exotic folk-lore. And for the most part it explored some less known legends and beings or at least had some unique spin on the more popular ones. (Hell, that one story where first meets Baba Yaga is one of my favourite bits in any comic book.)

    Sadly it seems that large city and some detective-type job became as much of a cliche of modern-setting fantasy as Masquerade is.

    Like, the idea that the ancient Irish Druid likes going to an Irish bar isn’t too far out there, but it’s just insanely convenient that the werewolves and witches also love to go there, despite the werewolves being Nordic and the witches being Polish.

    And like you said, Tempe is not some podunk village that has no more bars. It is a reasonably big urban area, that probably has hang-out spots that cater to the tastes of any group.

    Not to mention that I don’t really see all of the parties in question as the bar hanging type. Given that witches seem to cultivate a business-like image, I’d rather expect them to meet in some chic caffe or restaurant instead of a bar or pub.

    Werewolves I am willing to cut some slack, due to their friendship with Atticus. It is concievable that they’d hang around in his favourite spot at least from time to time. This does not excuse weirdly central role of the Irish Bar in question, especially with Laksha also ending up there. Because reasons.

    Yup-yup. His serial-killing vampire lawyer tells him that he’s got ghouls on speed dials who can eat bodies to clean up the messes he or any other predator leaves behind, and Atticus’s reaction is “My lawyer kicks ass” instead of appropriate horror.

    Lets be honest, at this point I think we should use the term “fixer” rather than “lawyer” because despite all the jokes and stereotypes lawyers are expected to have some ethics and work within the boundries of the law.

    Right you are, Smith! Again, weird how this book makes more sense if you assume Atticus is the villain…

    He pretty much behaves like a mobster. Has his fixers to solve the problems with law enforcment, through blatantly illegal means, he murders his enemies without a shade of remorse, he defrauds the government after indirectly killing a police officer. And that’s just the stuff he’s been getting up to in the book and ignoring all the atrocities he commited in the past.

    Well to your credit, she did sort of betray Atticus, but we’ll get to that bit later on. So don’t be too hard on yourself—you were kind of right.

    Well, I’ll take “kind-of right” over being completely wrong. But I am still pissed. Because Flidalis appearance at the start was a giant freaking red flag. And it seemed like the chickens finally came home to roost when suddenly it turns out she’s there to help him.

    So much hate.

    You know, that does cheer me up a bit. Thanks, Smith!

    No problem mate.