A Plague of Giants Audiobook by Kevin Hearne (REVIEW)

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in Reviews | 24 comments

Review of: A Plague of Giants Audiobook
Kevin Hearne

Reviewed by:
On November 10, 2017
Last modified:November 10, 2017


A Plague of Giants Audiobook

By: Kevin Hearne

Narrated by: Luke Daniels, Xe Sands

Published by Random House Audio 10/17/17

A Plague of Giants Audiobook by Kevin Hearne

4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Seven Kennings #1

22 hrs and 13 mins

Genre: Fantasy

A Plague of Giants Audiobook Sample

A Plague of Giants Audiobook

4 Hearts

So I was very excited to start this book. I’ve been a fan of The Iron Druid Chronicles since I finally started it last year (yes, I was very late to the party, but better late than never). I was very interested to see what Kevin Hearne had in store for us with his new series. And to learn that Luke Daniels is back as the narrator, now paired with Xe Sands, was a real treat.

So let me start by saying that this is not The Iron Druid Chronicles. It is a completely different story and writing style. They aren’t similar at all. This is a much more complex read. I had to pay way more attention to this story to get everything than I did with Atticus. Also, this story is told from many POVs, and a lot are being told through a bard’s telling of the stories (which he does magically). Then there is also the story of the bard. So, we are frequently going back and forth from past to present.

So this book is set in a completely different world than ours. People can get magical powers, called kennings. They do have to go through a process to get the powers and not everyone survives the process. For example, to get the powers of a tidal mariner, most powerful of the water gifts, you have to dive into this tunnel. If you’re blessed by the goddess, you will be able to breathe the water and live. If not, you drown. There are five known kennings, though the sixth one is discovered in this book. There are people who are desperately looking for a supposed seventh kenning. Lastly, the more you use your kenning, the faster you age. I love that there is a trade off for magical powers (both in getting the powers and in how they are used). It makes them feel more real.

The things I really loved about this book was the characters (I’m sure you’re all surprised, since I love character driven stories). There are several characters to root for in this story. There are people who may not survive, but you love the time you spent with them. I really enjoyed learning about all the kennings. I’m really excited to see where book two goes from here (waits patiently for release date of book two). I highly recommend this story, just know that it isn’t a light read.

A Plague of Giants Audiobook Narration

4.5 Hearts

I knew that I would love the narration of Luke Daniels, but this is my first book with Xe Sands (which really surprised me. I thought I had listened to her before, but I can’t find anything. I did meet her at RT17 in Atlanta. She was very sweet). I will say that these two did an amazing job with the narration of this book. There is a large cast of characters and they nailed them all. Xe narrated all the parts told from a female’s POV and Luke from the males, but they both had to male and female voices. They also used array of accents, from both male and female voices. I love all the voices they chose. I can say that I truly felt that I enjoyed this story more listening than I would’ve if I had read it.

Kevin HearneKevin Hearne is the NYT bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles, as well as two forthcoming series: The Seven Kennings, an epic fantasy trilogy, and Tales of Pell, a fantasy series co-authored with Delilah S. Dawson. Books 1-8 of the Iron Druid Chronicles are out now; BESIEGED, a collection of new Iron Druid stories, will be out July 11; A PLAGUE OF GIANTS, the first book of The Seven Kennings, will be out Oct. 17.

Narrator: Luke DanielsLuke Daniels was born into a family of actors. Both his father and mother have been performing and teaching for almost five decades. It is because of their influence that, from a very young age, Luke and his two brothers often found themselves in rehearsal halls at repertory theatres all over the country; watching innumerable productions of Much Ado, Julius Caesar, and Midsummer’s.

Luke’s first theatrical role came at the age of 5 as Fleance in a production of Macbeth. He immediately loved the creativity and camaraderie of the theatre. (It also didn’t hurt that he was allowed to miss school for certain performances.)

Over the years Luke has performed at many repertory theatres across the country, including the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Connecticut Rep., and Hope Summer Rep. in Holland, Michigan. Luke has his Bachelor’s from Western Michigan University and his MFA in performance from the University of Connecticut.

Luke has worked professionally as a director, teacher, audiobook narrator, voice-over, commercial, and industrial actor.

But he maintains that the greatest role he has ever played is that of a Father to his daughter.

Narrator: Xe Sands

Narrator: Xe Sands

Narrator: Xe Sands

Xe Sands is an award-winning narrator known for her authentic characterizations and intimate delivery. She has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance, and visual art, including recordings of Wonderland by Stacey D’Erasmo, The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro, and Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman. Sands has also been recognized for her engaging romance narrations and was named Most Impressive Narrator Discovery for titles such as Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins and On Thin Ice by Anne Stuart.

Audible Twitter Website

I like to thank Penguin Random House Audio for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 4
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. That is fascinating about the kennings, how they become, how they pay for using magic, and the world. I had my eye on this one for after I (someday) finish all the Iron Druids.
    Neat that the narrators worked so well together. I already like Daniels, but I’ve only heard of Sands.

    Great review, Melanie!

    • Xe Sands is a great addition for this series. I hope you get a chance to try it. It was a fun start to a series.

  2. oh a new series. I might have to try this. These are both great narrators. Magic is a favorite things for me so I hope I can fit this in to my schedule. Anne

    • I hope you get a chance to try it Anne. It is a really fun story.

  3. I really need to try this author, the plot sounds complex but quiet interesting

    • It was a very complex story, but it kept me with my earbuds in as much as possible.

  4. You’re not as late as me to the party… I still haven’t read any of his books 🙁 Believe me, it’s on my priority list. It’s just my priority list is so long! I’ll have to add this series to the list – good to know they aren’t related so I can pick up whichever. Glad he still has his fantastic narrator!

    • I know exactly how you feel. I say the same of other authors when I read other blogs. I feel like I’m very late to the party. So many great books and authors out there.

  5. Oh that sounds really interesting. I really like how people get their powers too.

    • I really liked that part. That there is a trade off for having these powers.

  6. You know I love the Iron Druid Chronicles, so I am anxious to check this out. Sounds like it is a win, and I like that is so different. Can’t go wrong with a book narrated by Luke Daniels either, I think hes my all time fav.

    • I like that it’s different too. Shows how talented Kevin Hearne really is. I’ve seen some reviews for it where people didn’t like it. I think it is because they were expecting something like Atticus. I was expecting that too. It was fun to have something different, though.

  7. Oh It sounds good Melanie. I love it when an author surprises me by really changing things up and it sounds like he did for you. On my list!

    • He did and I love him for it. I like seeing authors make changes. I do miss the humor that I got with Iron Druid, but I really like this world he built here too.

  8. I’m for sure going to have to give this another go when my head’s in the right place for it!

    • I really think you should. I could see how you could DNF, if you weren’t in the right headspace for a complex story. This is not a light read.

  9. I was waiting to see what you thought of this new book. I kind of figured he would go this route in his writing but did any of his humor sneak through? Is this pretty High Fantasy along of the lines of Jordan and *hack* Martin or a bit lower like Sanderson? At least that’s my “range” – hahahahaha! Like I said, my hubs and I have been waiting for the reviews 🙂 Thanks, girl!!!

    ps. I’ll save you the trouble, don’t bother checking my blog. I’m currently in distracted-mode 🙁 tee, hee…

    • I haven’t read any of the authors you mentioned. I wouldn’t say it is as high fantasy as Lord of the Rings (based on movies). I haven’t read a lot of high fantasy, so it is hard for me to say. I would just say that this is a really great first book of a series. It is long and complex, but such an enjoyable read. I don’t know if I helped at all.

  10. I love this series because of Luke Daniels. I’m behind on this series but hope to catch up soon. This one sounds good and I do like the idea of a dual narrator for some of the books.

    • This is actually a new series. I love the Iron Druid, but there is only one book left in that series.

  11. I hope we don’t have to wait long for the next book. I loved the overall feel of this one and agree, I wouldn’t have lasted long reading it. I loved the narration and how it pulled me into this massive story. It was fun listening with you!

    • Me too. I saw him tweet about it today. He doesn’t know the release date yet, but “he is working on it”. It was fun listening with you too. I’m excited for the next book.

  12. Your FIRST Xe listen?!?!? WHAT?!?!?

    Sigh I’m going to listen to this one before the end of the year. I can’t do it at work because like you said you have to really pay attention. I’ll sit down one weekend and listen to it.

    • I was surprised with that hadn’t listened to her yet too. I loved her voices. I will have to find more of her work. I think you will enjoy this story, once you get into the story a little more.

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