Review: Tricked by Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles #4)
April 24 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Yummy Man – Atticus O’Sullivan
From Goodreads –
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.
Tricked is the fourth installment in Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles series and boy does the title fit the book to a tee. We know that Coyote is a trickster and we know that Atticus needs help closing up some ‘issues’ that came up in the previous couple of books, but even knowing that didn’t prepare me for what poor Atticus has to endure in this latest installment.
Let me explain.
Atticus is all about honor. Well, his honor cost him a big Huge favor and the favor was redeemed in the third book which left Atticus with the wee bit of a predicament of being hunted down for all of eternity by big ol’ scary ‘men’ who want to see him dead. So he asks a favor from Coyote who in turns wants a favor from Atticus. This book is all about Atticus’ favor to Coyote. Confusion much? Well don’t worry; it’s not confusing at all in the book. Instead it’s “did he really just say that? did he really just ask that? what is he going to do about it? is he really going to do that? how is he going to get out of this? wow Atticus is amazing and Kevin is a genius!” The story in Tricked is filled with moments you can’t believe you just read. Some are funny, some are beautiful and many are surprising. From the time I opened the cover to the time I closed it on the last page, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Atticus is a Druid. The last one. So cool. (Not cool that he’s the last one. The part about him being a Druid. That’s cool. You know, in case there was confusion.)
Where do I start with Atticus? He is a bloody brilliant character. I think that about sums him up right there. There is a reason he is on my favorite characters list and it’s because he’s bloody brilliant. I love how, even though he’s over 2,000 years old and has Earth’s magic as his disposal, he is still just human. He doesn’t know it all and is not afraid to admit when he doesn’t. He loves his friends and is loyal to the end. He is vulnerable but not weak. He a SO smart and clever and fun-ny. He tells stories in this series, it’s how many of the situations Atticus gets himself into are explained without being boring recaps, and I swear I could listen to him talk all day. Okay, maybe not all day since I’m sure I’d have to get up to pee at some point, but you know what I mean.
I LOVE Atticus’ relationship with Granuaile. It’s strictly platonic, seeing as he is her teacher and all, but it’s so lovely to read. It’s not complicated and messed up. It’s not filled with unnecessary angst. It’s just two friends who are now teacher/student and who happen to have a bit of an attraction to one another but are fighting it for the greater good. Their relationship is written smart, as is their dialogue together. I must admit that sometimes I find myself thinking “oh for goodness’ sake, just kiss her, kiss her!” but that’s just my inner romance reader crying out. Really, even though there is no straight up romance in this book, the richness of the relationships makes it unnecessary.
Oberon has to be one of the most likeable characters ever. Yes, he is a dog. I am well aware of that. But Atticus, with all his magic mojo, has made it that he can understand Oberon’s thoughts and that in turn the dog can understand Atticus. In this series, we are privy to their ‘conversations’ and they are some of the funniest and most charming parts of the books. And I found that in this latest installment, Kevin kicks it up a notch and makes Oberon even more adorable. Almost all of my giggle-out-loud moments that occurred while I read this book – and there were many let me tell you – came from Oberon and Atticus’ talks. I LOVE how Kevin writes their relationship and I LOVE how Kevin writes that dog. Just brilliant.
You learn a lot about aboriginal mythology in this installment. Learning about the different gods and goddesses and creatures from various times and nations and histories is another one of my most favorite parts of this series. I mean it’s all so interesting! Kevin has added his own twist on it all and turned to myths into incredible realities. Amazing.
New characters are introduced in this book but I can’t say if we will see them again in future books because as much as I enjoyed them, I just can’t see them playing much of a role later one. The villains were just yuck as usual and the way Kevin describes them makes your skin crawl. (That’s good by the way.)
Another thing I really appreciated was how Tricked ties up all the little things that occurred in the last few books. By the end of this book, Atticus is ready to move on with his life and start fresh. Well, as fresh as he could considering he’s a Druid and will always have people out to get him and such. I was very content with how this book ended and the feeling I got. Atticus is in a good place as am I.
OMG and Leif!!! *smack with open hand* *kick in parts no man wants to be kicked in…with steel toed boots…covered in upside-down tacks* I get why he did what he did but still. *smack with closed fist* And to think I felt sorry for him. *mumble grumble*
And totally random here, the first page is awesome. Funny funny funny.
Kevin Hearne continues to astonish me with Tricked. His story telling is just amazing and his imagination is so rich, you can’t help but get sucked in. His characters are amongst the best and his world is extraordinary. If you liked the first three, you will love this one. And if you have yet to try this series, don’t let the fact that it is written by a boy and the lack of *bow chicka wow wow* scare you away. It really is a series worth trying.
Giggle worthy quotes
“’Now, who do you suppose started all that stuff about Bigfoot and Sasquatch in the first place, hmm?’
<Oh, no. You can’t be serious.>
Granuaile’s expression indicated that she was less than credulous. ‘Atticus. The Patterson film is widely regarded as making Bigfoot famour. But it’s also widely regarded as a hoax.’
‘And it was. It was me in an ape suit. I did a custom job, put some fake hairy breasts on there, and once they lost me, I shifted away and laughed my ass off.’”
“’First we need to get a buttload of nails.’
‘A buttload? How much is that?’
Granuaile rescued me with her superior knowledge of indefinite units of measurement. ‘I believe that’s slightly more than a shitload but much less than a fuckton.’
“’This sucks more than anything has ever sucked before. You know what we look like? A couple of emo douche bags.’
‘Well, look at the bright side, Granuaile. Emo Douche Bags would be a great band name.’
<That’s brilliant! It’s already the unofficial name of more bands than I can count.>