by Kevin Hearne
Paperback, 338 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Random House Publishing Group
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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.
This is a spoilery review. Read at your own risk!
Tricked picks up a little while after Hammered. In Hammered, when Atticus helped Leif and the rest of the gang to go to Asgard to kill Thor, they also managed to injure other gods and wreak havoc to all of Asgard. This caused thunder gods from different pantheons to hunt Atticus and silence him permanently. But with the help of Coyote and the Morrigan, Atticus managed to fake his own death, hoping to get them off his back, if temporarily, to have enough time to train his apprentice, Granuaile.
For me, the fourth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, Tricked, has been the best installment in the series so far! In a way, this was the most different as well. Atticus, Granuaile and Oberon left Arizona for Colorado for two reasons: one, because Atticus was supposed to be dead; and two, to keep the end of his bargain to Coyote. Coyote was a character I liked in book 2, and even though he managed to stage a cruel trick to Atticus again in this book, I couldn't bring myself to dislike him. If anything, I was more amused by him in this book. Coyote was a trickster god and it was second nature for him to trick people. It was also something Atticus had prepared himself for. What he didn't prepare himself for, though, was the betrayal of someone he considered as friend. I felt really bad for Atticus because it was only in this book that I realized how he was always used by the people whom he cared for.
In Tricked, we also find out what really happened to the widow, Ms. MacDonagh, in the end of Hammered. I have to say that whatever it was, it totally spooked me. We also meet a new character, Hel, the daughter of Loki, who was the creepiest being I've encountered in this series. I'm pretty sure she's going to be a major villain in the upcoming books. We also get to learn more about Tahirah, Atticus' wife of 200 years, and what happened to the children he fathered. It was one of the saddest scenes in all the books for me; another one was when both Oberon and Atticus got injured close to death, and still, Atticus could only think about Oberon's safety. I might have shed some tears on that scene.
Like all the books in the Iron Druid Chronicles, Tricked was full of action-packed scenes, gore, hilarious dialogues and character deaths. Although Tricked wasn't as fast-paced as the other Iron Druid books, I found it strangely refreshing. Atticus and Oberon were as hilarious and badass as ever, and Granuaile became even more amusing. There's also a teaser of Trapped, the fifth book, on the back of Tricked and oh my god, what a tease it was! I absolutely cannot wait for Trapped!
Rating: 5/5 stars