Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne


Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…


Audiobook review: The Iron Druid Chronicles

Book: Hounded
Author: Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: contest win


hounded-audioThe Iron Druid Chronicles follow the life of a 2,000+ year old Druid named Atticus O’Sullivan (not his given name, but most recent alias). Atticus is the only remaining Druid from a time long gone by, hiding out from Angus Og, the Celtic god of love and youth, who wants to kill Atticus for a perceived wrong-doing. In Atticus’s world, every deity, Fae, witch, and paranormal creature is very real. Posing as a twenty-something new-age bookstore owner, Atticus has remained hidden in the East Valley/Tempe region of Arizona. However, powerful Fae are playing a game of politics, and Atticus finds himself in the center of their machinations.

The Iron Druid Chronicles were recommended to me by a couple of my urban fantasy-audiobook friends, and I am happy to report that so far, it’s a winner. Although I was expecting something along the lines of either the Mercy Thompson series or the Dresden Files, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a unique and interesting mythology. This first offering, Hounded, serves to develop the extremely detailed mythology and introduce what I assume with be the key players throughout the series. The primary focus of the story is the impending battle between Angus Og and Atticus, with each step serving to share more of the Iron Druid’s world. Although I would have like a little bit stronger story, the fresh and unique mythology kept me more than interested in the tale. Additionally, I enjoyed Googling the different Celtic deities to find out more about each and add that knowledge to the context of the story.

The story (and series) is read by Luke Daniels, a new-to-me narrator. Overall, I felt he did a solid job. His performance as the narrator/Atticus is spot on; a youthful voice, tempered by years of knowledge and wisdom. I also found his voice for Atticus’s more-than-a-dog, Oberon, perfect with a gruffness one would expect from a dog that can (mentally) speak. Sometimes I found Atticus a bit too calm, but not negatively so. Daniels has a nice range for both female and male, human and non-human characters.

Overall, Hounded is a good start to an interesting UF series. I enjoyed the world development and character interaction. I really liked Atticus: a mix of wiseman, impish boy, full of courage and charm. I loved his relationship with Oberon, although sometimes it’s like a father-child relationship, which made a scene at the close of the book a bit weird for me. The political machinations of the Fae were intriguing, but I hope for more story in the following books now that the world is established.

My Ratings:

Story: B
Narration: B+


  • stormi34

    I have heard a lot about this series and I really want to try it. Luke Daniels is one of my favorite narrators!

    • Yes, it came highly recommended. I’ve enjoyed the first two books so far. It’s a bit lighter than Dresden, but very entertaining and interesting.

  • sherry fundin

    Great review. I have not yet tried audio books and I wonder if it is harder to write a review.

    • Hmmm… In some ways it’s easier b/c I don’t get as caught up in the details. I take notes on my phone if something big happens or something strikes me, and then I try to write something about the story and narration as soon as I’m done listening, so it’s still fresh in my head.

      Listening to audiobooks is wonderful, especially when in the car (without kids) or walking. It’s a learned ability – I always recommend starting with a book or series you’ve already read to help you learn how to listen.

      • sherry fundin

        Thanks for the hints, Jen. I will sure give it a try.

  • I tried the audio, not my cup of tea

    • Really? I would have thought you’d like it. It’s not as great as Mercy, Dresden, etc. but it’s interesting so far. I’ll keep with it.

  • B.

    I’m so excited to see this! I saw this book a couple of years ago in an interview with the cover artist. It looked great, so I wish listed it and forgot about it. About a month ago, I re-discovered it, bought the ebook + audiobook as a set, but haven’t gotten to either version. I’m really looking forward to it now!

    • OH! We’ll have to compare notes. I’ve listened to the first two (review of HEXED next week), and have a few others on my audible waiting. The narrator does a nice job, so I vote you listen it them!

  • Leona Woolfolk

    I have this on audio as well, and I can’t wait to dig into it. I haven’t tried the Dresden Files but I just recently picked up Jim Butcher’s newest series so I’m looking forward to reading that.

    • The Dresden Files are AMAZING on audio. I highly recommend. They are a mix of dark UF and mystery solving. James Marsters is my favorite male narrator ever. I have all my reviews here and on GR (I’m currently listening to book 11). I read the newer book last year (not sure if/when book two is coming). Also good. Much more sci-fi fantasy.

      Anyhow, hope you enjoy HOUNDED!

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this book. I think that the keep getting better as Hearne builds the world. Oberon is so much fun. I love his obsessions with sausages.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Yes, I love Oberon… however, the ending of this book (think French Poodles) was awkward to me… It felt wrong. lol

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