Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronichles, #4)

Tricked (Iron Druid Chronicles, #4)Tricked by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hm. This wasn’t what I expected at all. I was tempted to give Tricked only three stars, but then I decided against it because Hearne’s writing and research deserve some reward after all. That said, me counting pages to the end is never a good sign, and I caught myself doing it more than once.

I didn’t mind the extensive worldbuilding and the occasional mythology lessons in the first two books, quite the contrary. I got a little tired of it in book three, but I was tempted to skip entire passages in book four. And yet I didn’t because I was determined to carefully read every single word so that I can be sure the problem is him, not my lack of attention. And guess what? It’s him. There was simply not enough to connect the huge infodumps in this book, especially in the first part. While I’m always up for a challenge and I’m more likely to enjoy a book that actually teaches me something new, it still bothers me when parts of it read more like a textbook than like an actual novel.

With a group of Norse gods hot on his heels, everyone’s favorite Druid Atticus Sullivan must come up with a solution that will keep him, his hound Oberon and his apprentice Granuaile safe. Fortunately for them all, he’s made some friends along the way too. With a little help from the Morrigan and Coyote, he succeeds in throwing them off his trail by faking his own death. But making a deal with a trickster god, however benign it may seem, is never a good idea! Pretty soon, Atticus has to face an even worse enemy – one he’s learned very little about in his two thousand years of existence.

Coyote is a common enough character in urban fantasy. I liked him in Patricia Briggs’ River Marked, really loved him in Allyson James’ Stormwalker series, but I think Hearne came closest to what I imagine a trickster god would be like. Both Briggs and James portrayed him as mischievous, but ultimately benevolent; however, Hearne clouded his intentions a little bit, made him even more unpredictable, and quite a bit dangerous.

This is the first time that I really felt the tiredness and the emotional depth I would expect from someone with two thousand years of experience. Atticus has millennia of losses on his shoulders and I loved that Hearne explored that part of him a little bit. I understand why he can’t dwell on his emotions too often, I do, but it’s unavoidable sometimes even for him. It was a nice change.

Usually I try to suppress any emotions that savor of regret, because they are invariably aperitifs to a main course of depression, and for the long-lived, that’s a recipe for suicide. But that doesn’t mean they can’t sneak up on me sometimes.
And, like, gang-tackle me.

As for the romance, in the interview he gave the lovely Missie at The Unread Reader, Hearne promised us a love interest for Atticus in Tricked, and he certainly didn’t lie. But if you’re expecting some big romance, you might end up disappointed. There are just subtle hints of one, more reluctant attraction than anything else, and it doesn’t affect the plot in any way. I, for one, appreciate this about the series. If I want romance, I read PNR. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be happy if Atticus and the person he’s interested in get their HEA, I would. I just don’t think it needs to be a priority for Hearne.

I had pre-ordered this book about three months before the release date, just to be on the safe side (my paranoia knows no limits – what if ALL the copies were sold before I managed to get one?), and I will pre-order the next one. Hearne can easily be forgiven for this weak link in the series, he has more than earned it with the first three books.


  1. lol book paranoia
    fun review

  2. This is an excellent review. I am hoping the next book doesn't disappoint. I haven't read this series...was this information dump necessary for ARC development within the series? It almost sounds like he needed it to get from point A to point C. I too pre-order books in advance ..sometimes before they even have a You are not alone in your paranoia! Hehehe

  3. Lovely review, Maja! Info-dumping can be pretty problematic for me as I don't have the patience or the attention-span to tolerate it. I'm glad this was a good read for you otherwise and I definitely need to start this series myself. :)

  4. I'm sad you didn't enjoy this one as much, Maja! It's weird that there's so much info dumping; you'd think that would taper off by book four, right? But it sounds like it was still pretty good, and I really enjoyed the first three, so I'm still looking forward to it :)

    Great review!

  5. Bummer, itbsounds good but not as great as the others,but still Hearne provides a nice departure. I am kind of glad it doesn't delve into a heavybduty romance. Atticus is kind of funny as a man whore.

  6. LOL to book paranoia!! I'm a victim of that too -- I'm pretty sure I did the same thing with pre-ordering Insurgent because I was so worried everyone was going to line up to get it at midnight or something! x) (Especially after it was voted best book of 2011 on GR!)

    This was an awesome honest review, Maja! I've only heard amazing things about this series before, and every time, I get a little bit more anxious because my aunt still hasn't sent me her copy of the first book yet! x) But even though this installment wasn't as amazing as you'd hoped, I'm glad that you still enjoyed it :) I tend to be a little more forgiving for authors I already love too, and I'd LOVE to add Kevin Hearne to that list! <3

  7. I should probably read this series. I haven't because the main characters is 2000 years old, and I feel that it's extremely difficult to give such a character enough emotional depth. Since we can't phatom what it's like to live that long, it's simply too difficult to portray it... Or so I've found. If you say that this time the weariness show through, though, I might want to try it out.

    The trickster God is another bonus. Let's be honest. most authors still prefer their characters to be "good". I like grey. Not anti-hero kind of grey, but real, morally questionably grey. Or even better - amoral grey. I think that a book with a character coming close to it is worth reading!

    And then there's my innate geekines, of course. *sighs* Infodumps and all, I should get into this series before the volumes pile up and I can no longer make my way through it...

    Thanks for the review, Maja! It really gave me a push in the library's direction! :)

  8. I wanna kick myself for not reading this series yet. I have the four books, i have the four can you believe that? and I havent started any yet ughhh! It sounds soooo freaking good I loved your review Maja. as always. <3


  9. Hmmm.... I thought I'd avoid reading this review until after I read the book myself, but then I couldn't resist. Now I don't know what to comment on first. I'm kind of sad. Not about the romance, I wasn't expecting something prominent because as you said, it's not PNR, but about the textbook style info dumps. I too feel like we already got enough of that. But then again, how else are you supposed to keep a story about a 2000 year old druid who's been there done that going?

    Ron's comment up there is great. Very insightful for not having read the series.


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