August 13th, 2012, 06:06 PM
Hounded does have a lot of deliberate humor and satire -- which is why it does look at modern culture and poke fun at particularly the New Agey western desert culture of the U.S. Underlying it, however, is a darker, deeper battle over the Earth and the right of humans to have their own agency and freedom, and of the Earth to also survive that. There are on-going battles over power and earth magic which will throw the human race and their habitat one way or another, which in that version of Earth is what the gods do. Hounded's protagonist has essentially dug himself a large hole and buried himself in it, trying to keep detached, hidden and calm, after several big traumas and losses over centuries. He's given up on trying to influence things, win battles -- he's a burned out veteran. He has taken on the persona of a young person for enough years that it does seep into his viewpoint, but the rest of his viewpoint is that of someone much older who has learned the pointlessness of battles.
And yet, he gets dragged back into the major battles again in classic noir suspense tradition when he's found by enough gods who still regard him as influential, and this is in part because he discovers he actually does care about various people and creatures he's let into his life and the Earth underneath his feet, and to some extent to his still liking being a powerful being you don't mess with. So he takes up the cockier role of his younger years (and of noir suspense fiction.) It also is an aspect of his being able to adapt, to adopt the culture that he is in, rather than stay in stasis like so many of the gods do. He keeps battling with the decision -- run or stay and fight -- even up to the end. He chooses the latter, which is rather necessary for conflict in many suspense stories, and in the tradition of epic story, he succeeds because of the connections he has made, because of teamwork, and because of how much he values life around him -- a value that gives him weaknesses and strengths compared to other powerful beings and that is expressed metaphorically in his magical power literally being drawn from the earth.
Translation: Nothing is ever a "light" story really.
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