Friday, October 2, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "Tricked" by Kevin Hearne

Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #4)
Narrated by Luke Daniels
(Iron Druid Chronicles #4)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Violence)
Urban Fantasy

Random House -- Published on April 24, 2012
Audiobook, 10 hours and 41 minutes
Read in September 2015
Purchased from Audible


First Person Narrative, Alternate Universe, Animals, Comedy, Fae, Magic, Mythology

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.

"The best trick I ever pulled off was watching myself die."

Tricked is the fourth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles which follows the adventures of a 2000 year old druid who is currently known as Atticus O'Sullivan.  It has been a few years since I visited with Atticus, Oberon, and the rest of the gang, but I was able to easily jump back into the world and enjoy myself.  This was also my first experience with this series in audio and it is definitely how I plan to continue it.

This particular installment takes place shortly after the events of Hammered where Atticus and his friends travel to Asgard, end up killing Thor, and throw the entire Norse cosmos into chaos.  Due to these events, Atticus has decided that it is time for him to disappear for awhile in order to properly train his apprentice, Granuaile, as a druid.  He enlists the help of the Navajo god, Coyote, to fake his death.  With Coyote being a trickster god, it soon becomes clear that he has hoodwinked Atticus into helping him battle a pair of dastardly skinwalkers.  And, since this is an Iron Druid book, there are various other mythological situations that Atticus finds himself in until he can finally get off the grid.

The strongest aspects of this series are the world building and the character of Atticus.  Kevin Hearne clearly has an affinity and respect for all the mythologies of the world and he showcases them throughout this series.  Tricked focuses primarily on Navajo culture, but there are sprinkles of Norse mythology thrown in as well.  I love how the various deities and spirits pop in and out to either help and hinder Atticus's effort.  And Atticus himself is just a joy to read about.  He is a genuine guy who has a great sense of humor that also hides the loneliness that comes from being older than almost everyone else around you.  But, he is not perfect and this book shows how bad things can go when he doesn't let go of his pride.

What helps keep Atticus grounded is his Irish wolfhound, Oberon, who speaks to him telepathically.  Oberon's comments are always the highlight of any Iron Druid Chronicles book and he really keeps things lighthearted even when it is all turning to shit.  Here are some of my favorite Oberon quotes from this book:

**"That’s what a skinwalker is: a mean asshole with a meaner spirit squatting inside.”
"I’ve run into some of those at the dog park," Oberon said. "They’re usually attached to Chihuahuas."
**“No worries, Atticus. I will snarf surreptitiously. And I should get bacon, because my adverb was two syllables longer than yours, plus a bonus for alliteration."
**“Saint Lassie smiles upon me! It's Coyote, with a bag of goodies.”
There are some other side characters that keep things going.  I really like Atticus's apprentice, Granuaile.  She is eager to learn, but also isn't afraid to call Atticus out when he is being ridiculous or arrogant.  I think she is a nice foil to him though I'm not sure what I feel about the possibility of romance between them in the future.  I'm all about romance usually, but I think they work better as friends rather than as lovers.  Readers also get to spend time with Coyote and his Navajo workers as well as Atticus's lawyers, a werewolf named Hal and a vampire named Leif.

Overall, I found Tricked to be enjoyable.  The reason why I'm not ranking it as high as I would have thought is that, upon reflection, I felt like the plot got away from the author at times.  It seemed like there was too much going on since some storylines went away for awhile and then came back with no warning.  There were a few subplots that I thought could have been edited out in order avoid confusion.

But, if you want an easy to read series with plenty of humor and fantasy elements, you can't go wrong with the Iron Druid Chronicles.  Atticus is a great hero to get behind and his friends help keep the reader up to date on what is going on.  And, if you are a fan of audiobooks, I can't recommend Luke Daniels's narration enough.  His Oberon voice had me giggling every single time.  Tricked was far from perfect, but still fun and a nice break from reality.

“Druids were supposed to be forces of preservation, not destruction, and I could not dance around the fact that my stupid pride had turned me into a misbegotten cockwaffle.”

1. Hounded
2. Hexed
3. Hammered
4. Tricked
5. Trapped
6. Hunted
7. Shattered
8. Staked (Coming 2016)

Goodreads -- Author Website

Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- Audible

1 comment:

  1. Luke Daniels is AMAZING for this series. He just rocks it. Looooove the audiobooks.


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