Monday, 23 January 2017

Book Review: Tricked by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid #4)

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.

My Review: 
*This review contains big spoilers that happened in book 3 so read with caution*

The Gods of Asgard are seeking revenge on Atticus for leading the raiding party that killed some of their number, so The Morrigan and Coyote agree to help him to fake his death in a desert bloodbath, with Granuaile's death to follow later. In return Atticus agrees to help Coyote plant gold at a mining operation nearby to provide a future for Coyote's people that doesn't damage the environment as much. Of course Coyote fails to mention that two local skinwalkers are determined to stop the operation at all costs, tricking Atticus into dealing with new enemies. But there are more problems as Leif fights a vampire war on his territory which Atticus won't get involved in and the Goddess Hel decides to use the Asgard deaths as a chance to start Ragnarok early...

Atticus rues the decision to go near Asgard. Hal and the Pack are unhappy at the death of Gunnar and Pack members blame Atticus. Leif remains seriously injured as he tries to recover from the head injury that should've killed him and Atticus wonders if saving him was the right decision. He is determined not to get involved in a vampire war, feeling that taking Leif to Asgard and saving his undead life more than make them even. Having to fake his death just confirms that he must disappear as the Tempe police are already chasing him over past events and strange deaths.

"I was about to yank him off his feet and then hump his leg, proclaiming him to be my bitch."-Oberon

He, Oberon and Granuaile have moved into new territory with new names to get a new start but the sight of Hel using the dead body of Mrs MacDonagh to move around in is disturbing and when Atticus refuses to help her start a war, she decides he must die. It is with luck and the help of a magical friend of Coyote than a brief victory is won. Coyote has landed them in more trouble as the local skinwalkers seek to kill them all and when Hel possesses them to hunt down Atticus, things take a deadly turn for everyone at the mine. Coyote does as little as he can get away with at the mine but his intervention becomes necessary as the skinwalkers are now hunting Atticus every time he leaves the mine to do work for Coyote.

I was concerned about the books moving away from the nice life that Atticus has in Tempe with all his allies nearby, which I was so enjoying, and I was unhappy at a particular death in the last book especially with it all happening off-page, which left me feeling a bit cheated as there was no real chance to mourn her. Staying in Tempe is impossible, however, for plot reasons but I actually enjoyed the new environment and story in this book. There is a lot of action which is always good and I liked both the sequences at the mine and Atticus trying to escape the skinwalkers by moving between planes and places. Atticus really has to use all of his knowledge and experience to get out of the mess that Coyote has landed them in.

The humour of course comes in the form of Oberon. As always, he is involved with word games, quote wars and sausage wars with Atticus which never stop being fun for the reader! In this book he has also become obsessed with social experiments and has decided that any time Atticus meets a woman, he must introduce his dog as Snugglepumpkin as this will reduce even the toughest woman to a simpering wreck who will then coo and cuddle! Atticus is embarrassed at having to openly call Oberon something so dumb but Oberon insists that he needs test subjects!

"I am Snugglepumpkin, hear me roar!"-Oberon

Atticus is forced to realise that everything has changed with the move out of Tempe. His former relationship with the Pack is ruined though Hal continues to be his friend and lawyer, but even Hal is finding that being around Atticus is a lot of trouble. His crush on Granuaile must be stamped down so he can continue to train her to be a Druid, but it is clear that she also has feelings for him, which amuses Oberon. Having to trust Coyote with your life is never good and Leif continues to try and draw Atticus into his vampire war. There is also the fear that Asgard will discover the deception or that Bacchus or another enemy will find him. But when betrayal comes it is really shocking and puts Oberon in great danger.

The series continues to be greatly enjoyable!
Read November 2016. 
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

1 comment:

  1. For those avoiding the review because of spoilers, here is Oberon's latest obsession! In this book he has also become obsessed with social experiments and has decided that any time Atticus meets a woman, he must introduce his dog as Snugglepumpkin as this will reduce even the toughest woman to a simpering wreck who will then coo and cuddle!