Monday, October 8, 2012
Iron Druid Chronicles/Book 4
Del Rey/April 24, 2012
Druid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert.
But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shapeshifters called skinwalkers. Just when the Druid thinks he’s got a handle on all the duplicity, betrayal comes from an unlikely source. If Atticus survives this time, he vows he won’t be fooled again. Famous last words.
This is a series that continues to surprise me. It is funny, smart and completely entertaining. The more I get to know Atticus, Oberon and now Granuaile, apprentice to Atticus. I do think Mr. Hearne has really hit his stride in Tricked. For some series, the fourth book could turn out to have a "been there, done that" feel to it but Hearne continues to show growth in his characters, keeping them interesting and entertaining.
Atticus O'Sullivan doesn't lead a quiet life. He'd like to enjoy some peace and quiet but as soon as he survives one near death experience he's called upon to lend his exceptional talents to another potential crisis. Along for the always intense ride are his Irish Wolfhound Oberon and Atticus' Druid apprentice Granuaile. The relationship Atticus and Oberon have goes beyond owner and pet. They share a unique bond allowing them to communicate telepathically. Which also allows the reader to enjoy Oberon's wicked sense of humor.
Atticus and Granuaile's relationship continues to develop as their characters develop. I really like the direction they're going and the pacing. The author is taking his time and really allowing this friendship to deepen before bring on the romance. Whether they ever become romantically involved is still undecided but it looks to be heading that way. If they do I don't see the romance to be front and center but stay in the background with the magic and world building continuing to take center stage.
The world of the Iron Druid has numerous inhabitants, in addition to the humans, and can get a bit overwhelming. Hearne does well in making the mythology, characters and their abilities form a cohesive world. I do like how some of the well known mythology is refuted by Atticus because he was there when it happened. It's amusing hear him spin a story, taking a grain of truth and turning it into fact. The secondary characters each have their place within the story and are well developed in relation to their importance to the overall plot.
Tricked hit all the sweet spots providing action, humor and intelligent characters. I'm thankful the wait for the next installment is only a month away!
Iron Druid Chronicles ~
A Test of Mettle ( free short story/author's website)
Two Ravens and One Crow (novella/e-book)
Trapped (November 27, 2012)