Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

August 26, 2014 3.5 stars, Audio Book, Book Review 14 ★★★½

Review: Hounded by Kevin HearneHounded by Kevin Hearne
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #1
Published by Brilliance Audio, Del Rey on May 3, 2011
Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
Length: 8 hours 11 minutes
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library or Borrowed
My Reviews in this series: Hexed, Hammered

*This book was provided by the Library or Borrowed for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

The first novel in the Iron Druid Chronicles--introducing a cool, new, funny urban fantasy hero.

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 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.


Hounded starts off a new series of kick ass for urban fantasy fans to sink their teeth into. I know I know, I’m late to the show on this one. But what can I say – there are only so many hours of the day and only one of me. Thankfully I’m utilizing even more of my time lately by delving more and more into audio books. I had heard this one had some excellent narration and I won’t totally disagree. I did really enjoy the narrator Luke Daniels interpretation of all of the voices, except that of Atticus himself (forgive me any name typos as I didn’t see the spelling). I think he make Atticus sound a bit cheesey/campy and that isn’t how I picture him sounding or acting. Nuance of voice can do a lot to change a character. I am hoping that his narration of Atticus changes and improves over the course of the series (which I think it will because I snuck a sneak listen sample to the latest book Shattered when I was sent a copy for review before I had even started Hounded and that was what prompted me to start from the beginning instead.)

Onto the story! Atticus is a druid, one of the only ones left in the world and he is hundreds of years old. He’s discovered a concoction for staying young and is putting it to good use. He’s not living high on the hog like I would expect a centuries old immortal to be living, instead he owns a modest little bookstore slash tea shop in Arizona. He happens to be in Arizona hiding out from the Celtic god of Love, Angus Og who claims he stole a very powerful sword during a battle a long time ago. He’s been sending his lackies after him hunting him all these years to get the sword back.

The story opens up with a group of such lackies having found Atticus in front of his shop. Of course Atticus quickly dispatches all (jeez I can’t remember how many of them there were now – 3 to 5 of them)  with a big old can of whoop ass and that pretty much sets the tone for how much klout Atticus manages against his foes. He not only has the power of regeneration but he can shapeshift into various animal forms, talk to animals and I’m sure a handful of other things I can’t recall right now. Where most urban fantasies I read start out with their protagonist being a bit of an underdog and lightweight at first Kevin Hearne rolls Atticus at us with full strength and know how. I’m not exactly sure how much I’ll like that because if you’re already one of the biggest kids in the playground who could ever really possibly kick your ass? I’m sure that will make for some very interesting bad guys that Atticus will come up against in future novels.

I do have a few gripes regarding dialogue in relation to Atticus. I don’t know if this was the audio that made some of this dialogue sound clunky or immature/cheesy or if it would have read the same way to me if I were reading the text versus listening to it. It left me with a bit of a disconnect between how old Atticus is really supposed to be and how young and immature he sounded at times. I know that we still want to be able to relate to him as a young early twenties guy to keep the fresh aged feel but I can tell his personality is going to require some getting used to on my part before I fully warm up to him. Now Oberon his dog I absolutely love. But then I always adore animal sidekicks.

The plot of this series opener focuses on Angus Og finally finding Atticus and attempting to get the sword back. Various other celtic god players come into the mix and leave Atticus not knowing who he can really trust. There is also a coven of witches, a pack of werewolves and a vampire that get involved in the story rounded this out as a nicely fleshed out urban fantasy. I will definitely be continuing and plan to do so with the audios because it was an extremely quick and enjoyable listen and the narrator’s Atticus voice is slowly growing on me.

Overall Story: 3.5

Audio rating: 3

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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14 Responses to “Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    IIRC I read the first book in print and listened to the second book on audio. I don’t think listening to the books make the dialogue sound more or less cheesy, some of it really is just Atticus being downright goofy and immature 🙂 I think that’s why I had to stop reading these books. I mean, I enjoyed what I read, but I can only take Atticus in small doses, especially since he’s 2000 years old and I don’t buy that he’d act like a frat boy even in private when he’s not trying to blend in.
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Superman Earth One (vol.1&2) by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane DavisMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      You know that is such a good point about his behavior. You’d think it would mature when he was in private. I don’t recall many scenes of him in private other then the one when the fey chick is trying to seduce info out of him. But then you’re right it’s probably just as cheesey then written or audio. I’m still going to give a few more of them a shot I think but I’m not in a rush. I’ll probably try out a Gail Carriger book next instead.
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Hounded by Kevin HearneMy Profile

  2. Danya @ Fine Print

    This is such a fun book! Definitely a lot more light-hearted than some UF series, which isn’t always a bad thing in my opinion. Oberon and his obsession with French poodles keeps things from getting too tense – and it’s hilarious! Aren’t animal sidekicks the best? I think my favourite one of all time is Lyra’s daemon (familiar) Pan from The Golden Compass.
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Short Fiction Review: The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette KowalMy Profile

  3. kara-karina

    I can’t say anything about Luke Daniels getting better or not, because I only listened to the last book in the series on audio (he was really good as a narrator), but the rest I read.
    I think Atticus being goofy and cheerful is a facade he cultivated for himself because it helped his stay young. When something truly horrible happens in this series (and it happens a lot) Atticus grieves like an old soul, and then you really see his age. Tabitha, I hope he will grow on you, because it’s a really great UF. Also, check Oberon twitter account – he is amazing! 🙂
    kara-karina recently posted…Paranormal Fantasy Joint Review: The Book of Life by Deborah HarknessMy Profile

  4. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    Never heard of this book, Tabitha. But it seems really interesting. I get you about the underdog heroes. They’re already so cliche. Glad that Hearne followed another route.

    I’m seriously considering to read this one not only for the plot but for the Celtic mythology as well. So far, I only managed to read books that have Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythologies woven in them.

    Great review, Tabitha!
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday {5}: Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own YetMy Profile

  5. lynnsbooks

    I’ve read either two or three in this series – I liked them but in a comedy sort of filler in between chunkier and more difficult reads type of way. Oberon is just a really fun sidekick and I love his obsession with sausages. I know what you mean about Atticus and his immaturity because it also struck me because I expected him to sound a little older – in fact I think Hearne tries to address this at one point (if I remember correctly) by saying that Atticus has to try and keep himself young in spirit (kind of like the vampires dying in the Ann Rice novels because they lose the whole ‘spirit of the age’ in which they’re living and give up the will to live blah blah). I don’t know if that was what Hearne was getting at though but I wonder if he was a bit conscious of a 2000 year old guy acting like a teenager!
    lynnsbooks recently posted…We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious!!My Profile

  6. Wendy Darling

    I am even more behind than you–I haven’t started this series, even though I”ve heard overwhelming praise for it!

    Audiobook narrators are really tough for me, too. I reject literally 90% of the ones I sample because I’m so picky about what I like listening to, so I get how that might’ve played into your enjoyment of the story.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Sacrifice (Elemental #5) by Brigid Kemmerer: reviewMy Profile