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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It would be really easy for this to be a McBook - a bit of Irish myth, some green waffle, lots of pop-culture and eye candy - but its better than that. For all it does not take itself too seriously, it puts its hero Atticus (and his big dog Oberon too) in real danger, always creates doubts about betrayal by someone, and doesn't shy away from the gore - and the consequences - and also shows us enough emotion that we always take it seriously.

It really helps to have read the first three books though.

In fact, if you havent read those, do so at once: they are not only each self contained, but also a trilogy complete in themselves, and the first chapter in the ongoing multi-book Iron Druid Chronicles. Those first three books dealt with how Atticus almost accidentally became a godslayer and then ultimately assassinated Thor: now we are dealing with the consequences of that. Those consequences include dealing with Coyote, the Trickster. As you might guess, things are not as they seem. Atticus is well out of his depth at times here, and it shows.

On the other hand, author Hearne is writing Atticus with a good feel now: he's perhaps a bit too much the 20-something new age slacker he appears to be, and perhaps a little too invested in current pop-culture over that of (say) medieval Ireland, but in part this is explained and inferred over the course of the series. I also can't complain too much since a lot of it is banter with his dog that involves keeping score with sausages, and its just plain fun to read.

Book 5, Trapped, is due out in November - and set nearly 12 years in the future. Coincidentally, that's how long it takes to take an apprentice druid.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2012
(Originally rated on Goodreads) ** Spoilers **

In this part of the series we see the repercussions of taking down Thor and other quarrelsome, Norse gods. In this case, possibly having sped up Ragnarok (the end of the world). We, the readers, get our answers on what happened to the old widow and to the wounded Leif. We read about the new deal made by Atticus and Coyote pile up as he starts helping the trickster god and his Navajo (Diné) people. And we see how he furthers his teachings to his apprentice, Granuaile. I again loved the adventure and humor in this series; along with the new Navajo stories brought to life. And now I can't wait to read on what Atticus will do when Ragnarok approaches
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Here's the excellent news: this episode in the ongoing adventures of Atticus, a 2000 year old druid with cool, cosmically-charged tattoos and Gaia at his back is as good as the first in the series, Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles. The second and third instalments kinda wobbled a little bit - after setting up an excellent universe with a skilled supernatural dude at its core, Hexed: The Iron Druid Chronicles felt somewhat rushed, and Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles kinda threw too much into the mix all at once. In Tricked, the pace settles down again to a more even progression; the regular cast show up but there's a comprehensible number of minor deities and supernatural stooges to remember, and Atticus gets a chance to start building (another) new life.
Well. Once he's dealt with a pair of skulking skinwalkers, that is...

Kevin Hearne has used each adventure in this ongoing series to focus on a different set of beliefs and this time he delves into the fertile myths of the native Americans. Tricked is a lot less confused than the Viking episode (too many gods spoiled that broth), making the narrative more straightforward. The story is somewhat smaller but the threat is no less dramatic for all that the action takes place on a more intimate stage.
Regular readers will revel in the increasingly entertaining exchanges between Atticus and his enhanced canine companion (who frequently gets the best of his master with bad puns and wordplay, and has a taste for genre TV and 1980's action flicks), and there are solid appearances from other series regulars; Morrigan, the death goddess with a soft spot for the only druid left on the face of the planet; Coyote, the trickster of lore; a cast of vampires and werewolves, and Atticus' female apprentice. To be blunt, she's the weak link in the cast - the plot device who stands in for the reader in needing lengthy explanations about supernatural wossnames, and a little too similar to Harry Dresden's apprentice for comfort.
That minor whine aside, Tricked is a fine read. Snappy, inventive, lightly-written and with an internal logic and cracking pace which both speed the reader along but can withstand greater scrutiny during those 'hang on...' moments.
One of the best supernatural adventures series around. Definitely worth starting with the first three books - inconsistent though they may be - to get fully immersed in this intriguing, intelligent and exciting universe.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
You have to admire the sheer amount of author's talent! Kevin Hearne pulls it off brilliantly every bloody time!

*SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS AHEAD*

First of all I didn't know what to expect after the spectacular showdown in last book. Atticus went into hiding if you remember? Well, it didn't quite go as planned.

He made a deal with Coyote, Navaje trickster God, who impersonated the druid to make him look like he died. In turn Atticus would help the latter to create a gold mine on the land of his people from which they will draw money to build a source of alternative renewable energy in Arizona desert. Sounds like a fair deal?

Not really, if you remember that a deal with a trickster God will always mean that you will be somehow... you know... tricked? Instead of swiftly creating a gold mine, Atticus is drawn into a territorial conflict with two extremely dangerous and powerful skinwalkers, who are not only pissed off by Navaje invading their hunting ground, but spelled by a Norse Goddess, Hel, (a charming lady she is not) not to stop until they devour Atticus's flesh as a punishment for not joining Loki's army of supporters of Ragnarok.

No, really, I'm not kidding. Poor Atticus can't stop gaining enemies no matter where he goes.

Oberon is ever so charming and funny, Granuialle is continuing her studies as Atticus's apprentice, but there is so much tension and brutal savagery in frequent conflicts in Tricked, that these brief moments of calm feel like a breath of fresh air.

The book is pretty straightforward and mostly happens in one small town in Arizona, but it's so full of high-octane action, that you will keep feverishly turning pages until the very end. There is also a nasty surprise closer to the end, which forces you to reevaluate your opinion about one of the main characters.

What I also respect and like very much about Kevin Hearne is that each book manages to tell us about mythology, beliefs and traditions of different cultures (in this case, Navajo), and that, my dear readers, is priceless. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2012
This has to be my favourite book of the series so far and it's the first one I've wanted to give all five stars to.

You see, I've loved everything about the series prior to this book apart from one teeny tiny thing, which was that I didn't feel the main character, Atticus, had enough inter-character relationships. At least, nothing stronger than an acquaintance or a business relationship. And I felt that, had that been there, it would have given me something to connect with and follow as an ongoing development in amongst all the other general badassery that the books are jam-packed with. The only person Atticus really gave two hoots about up until now, as far as I could tell, was his hound Oberon. But in this instalment we have a developing friendship, a teacher-student relationship, a cute bit of flirting and also a betrayal that really added that bit of personal drama I'd been looking for previously.

Now onto the rest of the badassery I mentioned. This time, the mythology was mostly Native American in origin. Atticus has called in Coyote to help him stage his own death so that he might be able to stay in one place long enough to train Granuaille in her Druidry in relative peace. It's always easier to concentrate on a chemistry lesson when you don't have someone trying to take your head off, after all. Of course, Coyote, being the little trickster deity that he is, wanted something in return. That's how these things generally work. And so begins the part where it all goes to hell in a handbasket.

I really loved the plot for TRICKED. I thought it had excellent pacing, the mythology was interesting, the action scenes were exciting and, of course, there were some hilarious dialogue passages thrown in there for good measure.

And this time, not only were Atticus and Oberon hilarious together, but Granuaille can hold her own in the conversations too! She had a couple of great lines. There was an ongoing point-scoring game that carried on throughout most of the book which provided many laugh-out-loud moments. A favourite quote from that game between Atticus and Oberon was:

"Heh. I think you made your point, Atticus."

"Gods Below, Oberon, that was horrendous! You just violated the Schwarzenegger Pun Reduction Treaty of 2010."

"What? No, that didn't qualify!"

"Yes, it did. Any pun related to a weapon's destructive capabilities or final disposition of a victim's body is a Schwarzenegger pun, by definition. That's negative twenty sausages according to the sanctions outlined in Section Four, Paragraph Two."

My hound whined. "No! Not twenty sausages! Twenty succulent sausages I'll never snarf? You can't do that - it's cruelty to animals!"

"You can't argue with this. Your pawprint is on the treaty, and you agreed that Schwarzenegger puns are heinous abominations of language that deserve food-related punishments for purposes of correction and deterrence."

"Auggh! I still say it's your fault for renting Commando in the first place! You started it!"

As with the rest of the series, I listened to it in audiobook format. There aren't many series that I would honestly rather listen to than read, but this is definitely one of them. Luke Daniels is a narrating genius, and he really upped my enjoyment level. I don't know, if I'd have read them myself, that Oberon would have been quite as funny to me as he is, but the voice Daniels uses for him is so incredibly perfect and hound-like and just adorably enthusiastic- exactly as you'd expect a mind-speaking dog to be- that it just makes it a delightfully enjoyable and entertaining experience.

There was an excerpt at the end from the next book, Trapped, which I am now VERY excited to read to see how my new favourite UF trio are faring.

Well done Mr. Hearne. Another excellent instalment. Go and have a nice cup of tea, you deserve it.

5 Stars! '''''
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
This book is an enjoyable morsel to keep readers entertained between major book releases, in the continuing saga of Atticus, an Iron Druid in modern day America.

In this story, Atticus, the 2100 year old Iron Druid, is found in the Arizona desert fulfilling a promise to setup a native American ecological mining operation. He chats to elementals to get gold moved to the unlikely location, and has to deal with a wide manner of mythical entities, whilst maintaining a low profile, having recently faked his own death. The real charm of the storyline, though, is how he interacts with the other characters, especially his attractive female apprentice, and his surprisingly articulate hound, Oberon. There are various visits from deities such as the Irish gods like the Morrigan, the chooser of the slain, who turns out to be not unlike someone's eccentric hot single aunt. There are some casualties and some native American lore. I suspect the author, who lives in Arizona in real life, most likely was especially careful not to offend any native American readers by being disrespectful of their folklore. Oberon is the star of the show in some ways, as he is the funny man to Atticus's straight man.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of the series and readers who like urban fantasy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have been enjoying this series and this book was no exception, but perhaps was the weakest so far.
Here we see Atticus repaying a debt to help out some Native Americans and coming up against Native American mythology (instead of the Norse Gods we have met previously) and some bad guys that even he can't deal with. Told as before with both wit and charm and humour from his hound Oberon.
The joy of the previous books was his dealing with a variety of Gods and religions (a brilliant scene with Jesus in the last book) and how they all mingle and share existence (based on the model that Gods gain their powers from belief). Here there is less of that and a story that feels slightly padded, with much of Atticus explaining stuff to his apprentice/the reader. Some of his old friends and alliances are treated rather strangely and even the ending was a little...odd.
So it was okay but not as entertaining or clever as the previous books. Be interesting to see where the author goes next, but he needs to freshen things up a bit and not rely too much on sausage related humour!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2012
I really loved the first three books and was looking forward to the next installment. Sadly...I was somewhat disappointed. As usual the material is thoroughly researched and the authors knowledge of mythology is excellent, BUT, and this is where I dropped the rating, the plot is weak. Little really happens, the story feeling more like a 'filler' to prepare for the next adventures. The book is really fleshed out with the usual humourous dialogue between man and dog and lots of mythology explanations. As interesting as these are they did not really help the storyline which lacked complexity in the plot, with few real twists or 'cliff hanger must read next chapeter' moments.
Overall it was ok, hence 3 stars. I look forward to seeing if Mr Hearne ups his game in the next books. I hope so because I really enjoy the characters and ideas he has.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2013
Not the strongest book in the series and the shifting focus away from Tempe means that it's less grounded than the earlier books.

This is where the series really begins to turn into dedicated fantasy story telling without the urban elements that certainly the first 2 books possessed.

I found coyote and the main plot actually less interesting than the various sub plots and ongoing story arc revelations.

If you enjoyed the first three then you'll enjoy this one but it's not a high point.
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on 10 June 2015
The fourth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles sees a slight change in the circumstances of the characters as they relocate, and follow up on some of the debts leftover from the previous books.

While the plot is a little thin and repetitive, the humour of the narrative remains fantastic and is the chief selling point for the series. The dialogue between Atticus and his dog, Oberon, is actually laugh-out-loud funny and kept me entertained throughout. It's a pleasure to read and must have been just as fun to write.

In some places, I struggled to remember events from previous books that were referenced - slightly oddly I felt they were explained where they weren't really relevant to the new plot, but left vague where they were. This left me in a scenario where I was irritated by a particular character without really understanding how they fitted in. On the other hand, I did like that it made reference back to earlier books, and their events continued to have repercussions for the characters, rather than everything starting again from a blank slate.

So mixed feelings overall - not convinced it's the best story in the series, though it remains funny, and I'm going to keep reading.
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