Tricked (Iron Druid #4) by Kevin Hearne
Publisher: RandomHouse (DelRey)/April 24th, 2012
Iron Druid Chronicles
Kind thanks to DelRey for providing a review copy
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.
REVIEW (fairly spoiler free, but assumes you’ve read the first 3-if not, you may read my review of Hounded HERE)
In book 4 of the superb Iron Druid series, we rejoin my favorite Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, and the Morrigan in the Arizona desert, as they prepare to watch as Atticus rather spectacularly fakes his own death, with the help of the trickster Coyote, of course. Yes, you read that right. Atticus is about to watch “himself” be obliterated by a few gods that want him dead (see book 3, Hammered.) What follows is indeed spectacular, and laugh out loud funny as the gods discuss Atticus’ demise with Morrigan (playing her role with aplomb.) Well, now that Atticus is “dead”, he’s feeling pretty good, since, for the first time, no one is after him, and he can train his apprentice, Granuaile, in peace. Yeah, riiiiight. We all know that Atticus is kind of a trouble magnet, in spite of his best efforts, right? Indeed, Coyote, who was a big part of Atticus’ faked death, needs a favor, and it’s a biggie. Coyote wants to help out his people, who are suffering in a dying town, but little does Atticus know, this also involves fighting some extremely nasty skinwalkers. Think berserker Tasmanian devils with one track minds set to “kill, kill, kill.” Yes, they’re that bad. Oh wait, add some pretty hefty magic to that equation too. Atticus is tough, but the skinwalkers are off the charts. Then there’s that pesky vamp problem…
If you haven’t discovered this series, yet, get thee to a bookstore and snag ‘em, or download them, however you roll, because it just keeps getting better and better. I laughed so hard during the first half of this book that I may have squirted tears a couple of times, and the action in this one pretty much never lets up. Poor Atticus is also put through so much, physically, that I was genuinely worried for my fave Druid a couple of times. There’s lots of meaty stuff in this one, and the author wraps up some major story arcs and gives Atticus and Co. a fresh start. The author takes a bit of a break from the thunder gods to tackle Navajo lore, which I found fascinating, and we also got to know Granuaile a lot better (she’s smart, kicks butt, and has Atticus’ back at all times.) Oberon, the big, adorable, meat-lovin’ ball of awesome that is Atticus’ longtime friend and Irish wolfhound, is funnier than ever and his heroics in this one might get you a little bit teary.
The problem with these books is, upon finishing, I want to gush and tell everyone all about it, and I want to tell you, my loyal readers, all about it too, but that would totally spoil the fun, yeah? Reading an Atticus book is like visiting a lifelong friend and knowing you’re always going to have a kick-ass time. How Kevin Hearne does it Every. Single. Time, I have no idea, but he does, and he just keeps piling on the awesome. Tricked is packed with thoroughly engrossing characters, fascinating mythology, creatures that will make your head spin, lots of action, and a ton of heart. I dare you to give this series a try and NOT fall completely in love! Luckily, the next book, Trapped, is out later this year, and I have no doubt it will blow me away!