Urban fantasy audiobook series worth a listen

I was excited when I checked OverDrive this month and saw new audiobooks in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I have listened to all of the urban fantasy audiobooks we have on OverDrive, so I was thrilled when I saw these books from a series I enjoyed show up when I was browsing the app.

Last week I burned through Shattered, book 7, and I'm currently listening to Staked, book 8. The series follows the adventures and blunders of 2,000-year-old druid Atticus O'Sullivan as he goes on different quests and fights epic battles. It takes place in modern times, and the author often entertains us with the story-within-a-story tactic. O'Sullivan is 2,000 years old, after all. He has tons of stories to tell.

Like Jim Butcher's the Dresden Files, the action doesn't take place solely on earth. Hearne crafts adventures in the faerie plane and even in the world of the Olympians, Asgard. The opportunities for imaginative storytelling are limitless. When I started this series, I thought keeping up with all the different worlds spread things a little thin when it came to the writing and believability. But the number of settings he uses opens up worlds of opportunity by the time he is eight books in. Hearne has proven himself one of the most creative writers in the urban fantasy realm.

What made me give Shattered a 5-star review on Goodreads was the Granuaile MacTiernan storyline. Unlike many love interests in the urban fantasy genre, Granuaile pursues quests independent from the main character. It's my personal theory that Hollywood lacks strong women characters because they don't pick stories that feature strong women characters. Shattered features multiple strong women characters; Granuaile herself earns the nickname "fierce druid" (and also has kick-butt ninja-like throwing star skills).

Luke Daniels performs the narration so wonderfully. I love all the voices and accents he does. (Check out his Soundcloud for an excerpt from Hammered, featuring the cognizant Irish Wolfhound named Oberon.) I like to listen to books while I do chores, and his performance immerses me into the fantasy realm so well that it compels me to clean more thoroughly.

In Staked, Granuaile is off on her own adventures again, and I couldn't be more delighted. I'm eagerly anticipating more epic battles at the end of this book!


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