Master of Hounds

The Pickman Files, Book 1
Narrated by: James Anderson Foster
Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Clint Mercer is about to get a crash course in magic.

After he barely survives an attack on the hospital where he works, Clint is quickly recruited by the brilliant but often unstable wizard Arlo Dandridge.

Working on behalf of the mysterious Pickman Institute, the two men soon find themselves in a race to recover an ancient relic of deadly power before a centuries-old warlock and his cult of militant followers can beat them to it.

With the lives of an entire city on the line, failure is not an option.

Master of Hounds is the first audiobook in the Pickman Files series, a dark urban fantasy filled with magic, monsters, secret societies, and dark conspiracies.

Get yours now and keep the hounds at bay!

©2018 Chuck Manley (P)2019 Chuck Manley

What listeners say about Master of Hounds

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Urban Fantasy Book.

This starts out slowly but once it got going, ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

The plot was intriguing and well explained. I didn't find myself disbelieving anything!! We are brought into the story with a battle where Arlo gets injured, then it moves to a hospital where we meet Clint, who thinks this will just be another normal day at the hospital, but boy is he wrong!! He is drawn into a world he never knew existed, and now can't leave because he's been marked. We also get to meet The Favoured of The Mother, the congregants and followers of The Mother who are very intriguing!! The plot is well written and developed and I can't wait to find out more because I still have questions.

I also loved the characters. Arlo is really intriguing and I'm looking forward to getting to know him better in future books. Clint was well written too and very likable. I loved how long it took for him to truly believe in magic. Despite what he sees, he still finds it hard to grasp, which rang through. All of the characters, including the bad guys, were well written and developed.

In all, a good solid start to what looks to be an awesome series.

James Foster is one of the best out there. He is so easy to listen to, has very distinct character tones and voices, and always gives a brilliant performance. I highly recommend this narrator.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

5 people found this helpful

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X-Files meets Dresden Files

Magic is real and we are not the other plain of existence. Sometimes things get through into our world and they are far more powerful than any of us. Clint learns this the hard way before he and his life is forever changed.

I enjoyed the C. Steven Manly created believable and flawed human beings that do the best they can against what seems to be more and more impossible odds.

James Anderson Foster does a superb job of not only narrating but also voice acting the book.

I had a lot of fun listening to this book.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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Arlo the warlock is here

From the start the story is fast-paced, violent, and full of arcane magic.

Clint, a nurse, is working ER on the night when Arlo Dandridge, a wizard (think Gandalf ), is brought into the hospital barely living. Clint is told it is a manner of national security manner that Arlo lives. For Clint it became one of those situations where his life will never be the same.

Clint is pimp slapped with the truth of a supernatural community and that he is now one of those denizens. Yep he has magic too. Thus, begins the partnership of Arlo and Clint. Arlo is the best wizard in the world. But he has no people skills and he has tunnel vision concerning whatever he is doing. Clint becomes his handler. That presented a few difficulties because Clint is still skeptical of paranormal.

Clint and Arlo work for The Pickman. It is a private military and investigative contractor that specialize in all things creepy crawlies. It protects the regular citizens from the knowledge there is a paranormal community.

Through their adventure Clint’s responsibility is to keep Arlo alive and be the buffer between him and people. As a former military medic Clint is for saving lives. As Arlo’s partner there are times when taking a life to save more is what must be done.
The evil they combat is The Mother. It is the organization and the deity. The Mother grants her congregants wealth and power.

Her high ranking worshipers are called The Favored. They were granted power and authority above other worshipers. The Favored, Jubal Mott, has been sent to find the artifact, which would be used to open a portal to hell. Basically, it is a race between Arlo and Jubal to see who obtains the artifact first. Throw in that the artifact is sentient. There is a lot of carnage from many sides.

This has what I call the Lord of the Rings effect. The one against the many. On Arlo’s side that are approximately 3 people doing all the fighting. Any time they come against The Mother, there is a horde of worshipers giving up their lives, in addition to Jubal’s hounds.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Job!

This book was just fantastic. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the world of magic the author created. James Foster is also one of my favorite narrators. I’m looking forward to the next in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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Good Action-Packed Start to Series

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are mine.

This is the first book in The Pickman Files series. It is a standalone story but does set up the next book in the series.

Here, Clint works as a nurse in an ER. One day, a patient is brought in by individuals who seem to be law enforcement and the patient suffering from severe life-threatening wounds. Clint is told to provide blood to the patient - does not matter the type, just blood. Shortly after Clint starts to treat the patient, the hospital is attacked. Clint has to move and safeguard his patient. As he tries to get the patient to safety, he is confronted by a supernatural being and suffers what should have been a death blow, but Clint survives. He is then recruited to join the Pickman Institute. Although Clint has seen magic and supernatural events, he is still skeptical.

This is a very good action-packed start to the series. I was hooked on the story immediately. The story was unique with very good character development. I really liked Clint's questioning what he sees and the magic world of which he has become a part. Arlo is a wonderful humorous "mentor" and colleague to Clint.

The narrator was a perfect compliment to this series.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Start to a Series

Clint Mercer is a former military medic who has settled down as a nurse in the ER. When the hospital is attacked by monsters, Clint finds himself drawn into a world he never imagined existed and soon, he and Arlo, a cantankerous user of magic, must put it all on the line to save the world from the Master of Hounds.

Foster's narration of this book was very good. I enjoyed his character voices and at no point did anything he say or do pull me out of the story.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasy and I plan to check out other titles in this series.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow! That was an unexpected rush!

Let's get this out of the way first: I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. Scan down and you'll see I'm not shy about giving such books medium to bad reviews. Not going to be an issue today! I listened to this right after listening to The Fellowship to the Rings, so it started off in a bad place following that classic, but it didn't matter at all.

My favorite UF series is the Dresden Files and I'm also a big fan of the Iron Druid series. This didn't remind them of me, but it did remind me of a better Monster Hunters International. I like the MFI series, but the main character is too perfect and overly strong compared to most of his fellow hunters. In this case, the protagonist is a former pararescue soldier who is now a RN. He survives a terrifying encounter with a supernatural baddie and gets recruited to join The Pickman (who are somewhat similar to MHI) as they try to stop said baddie. Does he develop some superhuman power? Yes. Is it overpowered? No. He is a believe character in an unbelievable world. Not that the story is unbelievable, just that his own world has magic in it and he's not sure he believes it. Also, the bad guys seemed very real too. Bent by evil magic and getting more bent as the book goes on? Yes, but still with real human emotions (except the one that was probably born a psychopath).

This kicks off a fascinating new series, and while it's obviously intended to be a series it contains a complete story. We still don't know much about this world by the end, but I'm looking forward to learning more about The Pickman, their mission and their enemies.

Finally, the narrator was outstanding. Several times during the book I was wondering who he was. I've never listened to anything by him before, but I see I own one more he's narrated so that one will more quickly up my que. I knew each character by the voice he gave them, male or female and he read every word with what felt like the correct nuance. He reminded me somewhat of Luke Daniels, another favorite of mine. A new favorite author and narrator in one book? Fantastic!

Again, I got this for free, but I have a library of over 600 books, most of them paid for, and this is among the best I've heard, as good as anything written by Jim Butcher. That's as a high a praise as I know how to give!

1 person found this helpful

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I like the world this book takes place in

really in joyed the world this book was in, I like the idea of the the monsters you know of existing but in a different way you think about them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TU
  • 02-20-19

FANFRICKENTASTIC!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I absolutely LOVED this book! I would compare it to Damian Vesik meets Dresden meets Constantine. The world building, the character development and the dialog are all superb. The narration is well done and I truly can't wait for another book in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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Met my expectations and then a little more too.

I am curious to find out more of this world and it's inhabitants, magic and monsters in an urban setting. I did request this book from the publisher and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful