Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Posted March 3, 2023 by Lillian in Reviews / 4 Comments

In 2023, Books of My Heart is hosting a read-along of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. COYER has adopted the read-along this year and is hosting chats for each book. You can see the schedule by clicking here. This is my first time reading the series though I’ll admit that I’ve attempted the first book once before. Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres, especially when the world contains lots of paranormal characters. I’ll be posting reviews for each book the Friday before the chats. If you’d like to join us, you can find our group on Facebook here.

Review: Hounded by Kevin HearneHounded by Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #1
Published by Brilliance Audio on 2011-04-19
Length: 8 hours and 6 minutes
Reviewing Audiobook from Audible
Reading Challenges: 2023 Audiobook Challenge, 2023 Backlist Reader Challenge, COYER 2023

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 by Kevin Hearne is the first book in an urban fantasy series that follows Atticus O’Sullivan, the last iron druid, as he tries to live out a quiet life in the hills of Arizona. I’ll admit that this is not the first time I’ve sat down to read the book. The first time was for #COYER book club a few years ago, and it ended dismally (mainly because life happened and I never finished it). So I was excited with Books of My Heart picked the series as this year’s read-along.

This story opens on Atticus in his shop fighting fae who have been sent to kill him and retrieve a legendary sword in his possession. There is never a dull moment in this story. Atticus is on the go from start to finish, battling gods, fae, demons, and witches (just to name a few). The world building is fantastic. I liked seeing a whole host of paranormal creatures existing in one world and how they interact with one another. The dry humor also kept me snickering through most of the read (re: Oberon, Irish wolfhound who communicates telepathically with Atticus and is obsessed with sausage and French Poodles).

Where the story lacked for me is character development. I was really invested in learning more about Atticus, but his character fell flat. All I really know about him is he’s the last Iron Druid, and he kicks ass. Maybe that’s all I need to know? His dog, Oberon, really stole the show for me. Luke Daniels’s narration for Oberon had me rolling. I love him. Like can Oberon have his own story and forget everyone else?

Overall, I did enjoy Hounded. I think most of my problems with the book came from being exhausted in my personal life and that bled into my enjoyment. I can’t wait to read Hexed and learn more about Atticus, his world, and what adventure is up next.

*I buddy read this one with Berls @ Because Reading, Anne @ Books of My Heart, and Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms who all gave it 4.5 stars.

About Kevin Hearne

Author Kevin Hearne

KEVIN HEARNE hugs trees, pets doggies, and rocks out to heavy metal. He also thinks tacos are a pretty nifty idea. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling series the Iron Druid Chronicles, the Seven Kennings trilogy that begins with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS, and co-author of the Tales of Pell with Delilah S. Dawson.


Join us April 7th for book 2 of The Iron Druid Chronicles, Hexed.

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4 responses to “Review: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

  1. Nice, I’m so excited to be doing a re-read of this series with the read-along. You bring up an interesting point about character development. I rated the book higher with my second listen, I think because I know the characters SO WELL after having finished the series. I was able to enjoy what I know about Atticus and gang with this second listen.

  2. Good review! I totally agree on the worldbuilding, and on Oberon (I love that dog!)

    I hear what you’re saying about Atticus’s character development, but I think later books have a little more. Also, because it’s first person, and Atticus may not be an entirely reliable narrator, I think some of the character depth also requires reading between the lines. There’s a point at which he’s either remembering or telling someone (Granuaile, maybe?) about his past apprentices where you suddenly get a hint of what it’s been like for him, losing one person after another for two centuries, as they die and he lives on and on. It’s no wonder he tries to keep things a bit lighter and on the surface, even in his first-person narration.

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s discussion!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Hounded, by Kevin HearneMy Profile

  3. I found the book thoroughly entertaining. While I get your feeling about character development, I didn’t particularly notice the lack – probably because there was so much else going on. Hopefully the next book will build a little more character……
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

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