Audiobook Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

12 01 2012

Hounded by Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Series, Bk 1)

Read by Luke Daniels

Brilliance Audio

Length: 8 Hrs 11 Min

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Quick Thoughts: Hounded is the first novel in a new urban fantasy series that I know I will be anxiously awaiting each edition. Kevin Hearne has created an extremely engaging group of characters and Hounded, with its adventure, camaraderie and humor, is simply enjoyable on so many levels.

Grade: A-

A recent conversation on Twitter forced me to think a bit about what I like about Urban Fantasy. I am only a relatively recent convert to Urban Fantasy, although for the life of me I don’t know why it took me so long. I have never been a huge high fantasy fan. I prefer most of my fantasy to have some sort of grounding in reality. This is one of the reasons I’ve always liked portal fantasy. I can deal with unicorns, elves and dragons, as long as there is a relatively modern earthborn human character to experience it along with. Even in works of Epic Fantasy like Martin or Rothfuss, I can deal because they write highly relatable characters despite being from alternate created worlds. Urban Fantasy would seem be ideal for me, since it mostly a mesh of our reality with a magical one. I am not someone with a strong background in non-Biblical mythology, especially with things The Fae. This is why experiencing these worlds with someone who is well versed in such mythology, along with the ability to text message and order coffee from Starbucks is important for me. Yet, one thing I discovered, like police/detective shows on TV, Urban Fantasy, for me at least, live and dies on the strength of its main character. If the main character interests me, the series probably will. In fact, with one certain popular series, I enjoy the character so much, it’s almost as if the actually storylines are moot. So, anytime I start a new Urban Fantasy Series, I know what I am looking for.

I almost didn’t pick up Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, because, well, I pictured a series about some Druid. Remember, I’m the guy who couldn’t pick a Druid out of a lineup, even if the other participants were Ethiopian Eunuchs. I imagined that our main Druidic character would be some stodgy wizardy type guy who spoke like he was a reject from the King James Version of the Bible. Yet, Hounded, the first novel of the Iron Druid series not only made a few end of the year lists, but also made one bloggers funniest genre titles list. So, of course, I needed to check out exactly what a funny Druid is.  I’m glad I did. I found Hounded, particularly due to its main character, Atticus O’Sullivan, to be one of the more engaging Urban Fantasy experiences I have ever had. Despite being 21 centuries old, Atticus is the furthest from the stoic curmudgeon I expected. Atticus, in fact, had more of an old school nerd-chic about him. He talks in a way that is just enough out of place, that it’s endearing without being so out of time that the character just seems weird. To make matters even better Atticus best friend, is Oberon, an Irish Wolfhound whose telepathic conversations with Atticus serves as an endearing Greek Chorus during much of the action of the novel. As I said, for me, Urban Fantasy is almost all about the characters, and Hearne has a winner here, yet, he also has a quite compelling plot that while full of history and mythology, is quite easy for a novice such as myself to follow. Hounded is the first novel in a new urban fantasy series that I know I will be anxiously awaiting each edition. Kevin Hearne has created an extremely engaging group of characters and Hounded, with its adventure, camaraderie and humor, is simply enjoyable on so many levels.

It seems that every time I scan the new releases, Luke Daniels is being cast in an audiobook that I just have to listen to. His professionalism and wonderful voice makes his a great choice, especially for novels that feature a unique first person perspective. Hounded must have been a delight for him to record, due to its many unique characters, foremost among these is, of course, Oberon. Listeners can just tell by Daniels performance how much fun he was having bringing the hound’s voice to life. Daniels reading of Hounded made it sound as if it was written to be read aloud. I enjoyed listening to Hounded so much, I was tempted to put aside the other titles I had planned out, and just take in the entire series in one fell swoop. I did resist… barely. Just don’t be surprised to see reviews of Hexed and Hammered in the near future.

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8 responses

12 01 2012
krish

This is fast becoming one of my favorite U.F series.I have some quibbles with the second one though.

13 01 2012
DevourerofBooks (@DevourerofBooks)

Hmm, you’ve almost convinced me that I need to try some urban fantasy, maybe I would prefer it to regular fantasy.

27 01 2012
myawfulreviews

This is a pretty solid alternative for Butcher fans looking for something to do while they wait. I liked this pretty well. I need to read it again and post a review on my blog. Thanks for the follow, by the way!

30 05 2012
Armchair Audie Roundup: Paranormal « The Guilded Earlobe

[…] Hounded by Kevin Hearne […]

19 09 2012
lupdilup

Great review! I’m adding a link to this review on my blog, I didn’t know you were an UF fan, I’m gonna have to keep a closer eye on your reviews.
Thanks! 🙂
I’m also adding this to my TBL, sounds great!

12 09 2013
Laurie C

I am finally listening to this, after buying it on your recc! Very funny!

4 10 2014
low carb diets

Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this
blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

11 01 2016
2013 Favorites — Audiobooks | Bay State Reader's Advisory

[…] wonderful audiobook narration of the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles from Bob at The Guilded Earlobe, and purchased it for myself this year on his recommendation. I see on the author’s Web site, […]

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