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.
In my opinion Kevin Hearne was one of the best new urban fantasy writers in 2011 (and if you want my honest opinion one of the best new writers period in 2011). His books are exciting, full of intricate characters with well written dialog, and are jam packed with nonstop action. And Tricked, the fourth book in his Iron Druid Chronicles series, is no exception to this.
Tricked’s action and issues spring primarily from the ramifications of Hammered. Of course, unlike most books that act as a bridge for a significant change in the story arc, Tricked is an amazing book in its own right. That’s not to say that readers should not read the previous books in the series first, (being the fourth book in the series, not reading the other three books first would severely harm the reading enjoyment.) No, what is meant is that this book, like its predecessors, is well written, exciting, and full of fantastic characters, making it a must read for any fan of urban fantasy.
While so many things are incredible about Tricked and the entire series, what truly impressed me is how well Kevin Hearne balances humor, action, and a well developed plot. I honestly found myself laughing out loud at parts of Tricked (especially in the conversations between Oberon and Atticus), but at the same time couldn’t put the book down because it was too darn exciting.
Hearne delivers a whole new batch of interesting gods and creatures for Atticus to deal with in this book, which really spice up the story and establish a whole new storyline for readers to get into. That brings me to another thing I love about the series and Ticked specifically, how well Hearne melds the different myths and religions while not detracting from the overall story. Hearne is a master of lore and it’s obvious in the way that Tricked flows from one god and situation to the next without skipping a beat, giving enough information so that readers who are unfamiliar with the god will understand, but at the same time not be overburdened with needless information.
All in all, Tricked is a fantastic book that is perfect for fans of Jim Butcher, Ben Aaronvich (another great new urban fantasy author readers should check out), and Patricia Briggs. Readers will be drawn to the edge of their seats, and will be fully unable to proceed in any other activity until the last page of the book is finished. Another must read from the impressive Kevin Hearne.
10 out of 10
Publisher: Del Rey
Published: April 24, 2012