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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 (29 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • Powderly, KY, United States
  • 02-15-19

Great start to a new series

Good storyline with great action make this a good new series. Narration was really good. Will be waiting for the next one!

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Good Start To A New Series

Clint Mercer, a former air force para-rescuer, has his whole life turned upside down when agents of the Pickman Institute bum rush the hospital emergency room where he works as a nurse. While trying to treat the wounded agents, the emergency room is attacked by an evil mage and his supernatural beasts.

Somehow, Clint survives the attack but he is not the same. Weird new abilities manifest that he doesn't understand. The agents of the Pickman Institute, however, do understand. This begins what I feel is a good start to what I can only assume will be a new urban fantasy series.

I was not familiar with the author, C. Steven Manley, but I am very familiar with the narrator, James Anderson Foster. He is the reason I gave "Master Of Hounds" a try. I think Mr. Foster is one of the best narrators in the audiobook industry and I tend to try out urban fantasy stories that he narrates no matter who the author is. While that may not be the smartest way to choose an audiobook, in this case, it worked out just fine. I am glad I chose "Master Of Hounds" and I will be picking up the next book in the series when it becomes available.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Unique, Suspenseful Read

Definitely enjoyed the book, and the skillful narration made it particularly suspenseful. It roped me in immediately! The story was unique with decent character development. A sprinkling of magic with just enough fantasy elements. My only complaint is that the main character did seem to be over-questioning at times dragging the flow of the story a little bit. Overall a decent set-up for a series, lots of options to where the story can go!

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this is how we you need to write fantasy

wow it was so good I enjoyed it so much the story was capturing captivating the narrator was absolutely great I enjoyed it very much the story was brilliant can't wait for the second book
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful