I think I started this series in the wrong mood. I wasn’t really looking for something with such a casual style and humor. I was really wanting something a little more dark. It’s not what I got, but I can’t say that I’m exactly disappointed by that. Honestly, I really have no right to be disappointed. I went in with expectations that weren’t the right expectations. Sometimes the problem is the book and sometimes it’s the reader. I just need to read dark books or issues books if that’s what I really want.
Hounded follows Atticus O’Sullivan and his wolfhound, Oberon. Atticus has been hiding from Aenghus Óg centuries-ever since he stole Aenghus’s sword-,and he’s a little tired of it. With Aenghus Óg turning up the heat, it’s time for Atticus to decide if he’ll keep running or start fighting.
In my experience, the plot arcs of adult urban fantasy are pretty much all alike. You have the same characters, though new ones will be introduced in the coming books. those characters are experiencing something that follows them throughout the series. Maybe it’s a relationship or maybe it’s an overall conflict. In Atticus’s case, it’s that he has an apprentice (or that’s what it seems like it will be). Granuaile’s apprenticeship will be the overarching plot line that carries Atticus through the series. The main plot of each book is the conflict, and each book will have its own conflict. This one is about the conflict with Aenghus Óg; while it leaves a few loose ends, the next book will focus on a new conflict. I think this series would have worked better for me if I had read it a couple of years ago. Right now, I’m having a hard time wanting to read the second one. There’s not much depth here; it’s mostly action. Even on the verge of death, Atticus looks at the world with humor. It’s not even really dark humor, just humor. I think I’d enjoy this series a bit more if it were just a little more serious. I feel like I should give Hearne a couple of books to find his sea legs, though. That’s why I went ahead put the next one on my to-listen list. Let’s hope I’m either in the right mood for that one, it delves a little deeper.
The good news for Luke Daniels is that I’ve found a series he reads well. I wasn’t really fond of his narration of the Nick Nolan’s Strings Attached series. His voice just never seemed right for that. He does a wonderful job as Atticus, though. His narration is semi-voiced. It’s mostly his own voice, but he throws in some really great accents where the text calls for them. His pacing is perfect, and he really became Atticus for me. I particularly liked his voice and pacing for Oberon. He sounded just the way I would imagine a dog would, if they could speak. He stayed perfectly connected to the story and the characters, and that made me enjoy the book in a way I wouldn’t have in print. This is a story that really lends itself to audio for two reasons. First, all the action helps with pacing and really keeps the story moving. Second, the names and titles can sometimes be disconcerting to those who’ve never seen them and don’t know how to pronounce them. It’s always helpful to me to hear unfamiliar names and words. This was also one of the first audiobooks I’ve talked my boyfriend into listening to. He really enjoyed it and requested the next one from the library immediately.
Hounded is certainly entertaining, it just wasn’t quite what I needed or wanted. I do recommend it if you like urban fantasy and a more casual style. The intended audience is adults, but I think this is appropriate for ages 16 and up. I recommend the audio for pronunciation, as well as the great performance by Luke Daniels.