Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #1
Published by Brilliance Audio
Published on: April 19, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 8hrs & 11mins
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Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power - plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish - to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.
Two books is usually my average for becoming hooked on a series so the fact that Kevin Hearne did it in one is definitely impressive. I absolutely loved everything about Hounded; from the male POV, to the phenomenal narrator, to Oberon, the wise cracking Irish wolfhound. The story is a nice blend of old Celtic mythology and modern adventure which proves to be an incredibly addictive combination.
I always enjoy reading Urban Fantasy novels written by male authors; they are few and far between so I find it refreshing when I get to experience a story that’s told from the opposite sex’s perspective. Hearne does a fabulous job of developing Atticus’ character. I loved the contrasts between his ancient druid past and his 21 year old occult shop owner reality. New and old comes together seamlessly to create a very unique world that’s overflowing with Celtic gods, fascinating mythology and epic battles. I thoroughly enjoyed Hearne’s keen sense of humour and there’s a nice sprinkling of fun pop culture references as well.
I don’t think Brilliance Audio could have picked a better narrator than Luke Daniels for this series. I loved his reading of Atticus’ POV and thought that he really succeeded in capturing the essence of The Iron Druid Chronicles. I especially adored the dialogues between O’Sullivan and his Irish wolfhound, Oberon; Daniels really brings Hearne’s characters to life and delivers more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. The only thing that frustrated me about his narration was his ability to effortlessly pronounce mouthfuls like “Tuatha Dé Danann” but butcher household names such as Roosevelt.
The plot is complex and engaging thanks to its multifaceted Celtic mythology; there’s a stream of big bads that get progressively worse as the story unfolds. I enjoyed learning more about the various gods and goddesses and, found it hilarious every time one of them hit on Atticus. This lowly druid sure does get around! There’s definitely more action than sex in this tale but there’s enough of the latter to help make things extra interesting. I’m not sure if Hearne will be able to top this stellar first installment but I’m definitely sticking around to find out.
Hounded was love at first listen! I highly recommend this audiobook; it should be at the top of everyone’s must-read list.
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