Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
This was probably my least favourite installment to date; that being said, I’m still giving it four stars because Kevin Hearne’s humor and sharp writing continue to dazzle me even though in this particular instance the story did not. TRAPPED felt like a segue book; it’s twelve years later and the time has come for Granuaile to become a druid, but in order for that to happen the author had to tie up a few loose ends and introduce new plot threads. I still found it to be an enjoyable listen; Oberon always manages to bring a smile to my face, and Luke Daniels is an incredibly talented narrator who could make algebra sound interesting.
All of the previous novels in this series have revolved around a particular lore whether it is the Tuatha Dé Danann or Thor the thunder god. This installment introduces Olympian mythology which I’m assuming will be the main focus of HUNTED and dabbles in Norse a bit as well, but otherwise it’s mostly about Granuaile. When she first showed up in THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but her character has grown on me over the last few novels, and she really shines in this latest one. I like how she challenges O’Sullivan at every turn and yet is still the yin to his yang. I was so happy with the turn their relationship takes in TRAPPED.
I continue to consistently laugh out loud whenever I listen to these audiobooks. Oberon’s up to his usual antics except this time it’s a new religion called Poochism, and he now gets double the attention because Granuaile can speak to him too. Atticus’ “Nigel from Toronto” identity makes another appearance along with a fun (and accurate) pop culture reference about the Leaf’s hockey team and their penchant for suckage (fyi I’m a Habs fan). In fact, this novel is full of Canadian Easter eggs because the gang even hides out in good ol’ Manitoba for a stint. O’Sullivan’s fifteen centuries of blaming the dark elves for EVERYTHING finally comes to bite him in the butt too when they decide that enough is enough.
Luke Daniels continues to hold me in thrall with his infectious energy and authentic narration. His enactment of Oberon is always good for a chuckle, and he makes a splendid Atticus O’Sullivan as well. Heck, even his rendition of Granuaile is good! I don’t think I’d be finding this series nearly as entertaining as I am without his voice in my ears. Daniels is equally as skilled at delivering punch lines as he is upping the pace during the action scenes; although, this installment was a little tamer that its predecessors because he didn’t have to read from a giant squirrel’s POV or sing one of the wolfhound’s silly songs.
I gave my guy book 1 for Christmas, and at the time of this review’s writing, he’d jumped ahead of me and had already started reading HUNTED; I’m told that it’s his favourite installment so far. Now, coming from a man who normally reads only a couple of novels a year read, six in two months is a testament and a half to this series’ awesomeness. TRAPPED is the worst of the best and when you’re talking about Kevin Hearne’s writing that still means that it was pretty darned good.
I worried when book 4 ran out of steam at the end and book 5 is all war and gore and none of the enchanting character insights and interactions. The author is bored or tired, but the narrator is still in great form. It ties up loose ends if you need that but I wish I hadn't wasted my time with it
I started the Iron Druid Chronicles some time ago and liked the books, but it was the narrator that I really liked. And now someone's gone and had him reading Shakespeare or something for the last six months... what happened? He used to sound like a guy, telling me his story (which was a big part of the attraction), and now he sounds like a Narrator, With Extra N, all deep, abnormal voice and over-pronunciation like I'm listening to Theatre.
Otherwise, the book was pretty good... it continues the saga into the beginnings of Ragnarok. I especially enjoyed the part where Granuaile is able to shift and Oberon is laughing at her. *I* was laughing so hard I nearly wet myself, and had to excuse myself from the office to outside.
I just wish the ending was a little more climactic... maybe it's because I'm listening, not reading, but the endings always seem so rushed. Overall, it was pretty good, though I liked some of the previous books better.
When I read the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, I was so happy to find a fresh story with a like-ably flawed hero and his dog. I'll be honest, I've professed my love of all things Oberon so often it's almost embarrassing. But he's here in all his bacon-loving glory. And I'll just say it - I can't stand a hero who's supposed to be hundreds or thousands of years old and has the mentality of a teenage boy. Atticus is witty, but he's not stupid. And he's often wrong, because he's human, but that's what makes it fun when the angry gods are chasing him around.
If you're reading this review, then you've probably already read the rest of the series. Maybe you got annoyed with Coyote, or didn't like the sad bits in the previous books. Trapped moves beyond that, and Atticus has to pay for his previous shenanigans with Granuaile and Oberon at his side, but it's all fun. I found myself enjoying Trapped as much as I'd enjoyed anything in a long time. Plus, there are dark elves. I'm going to keep it spoiler free, but trust me, you won't be disappointed. Five Stars.
I can't wait for Hunted.
This was another excellent installment in the continuing saga of the Iron Druid. If you liked the previous books, you will love this one as well. If you have not listened to the other books, I recommend you start there.
If you are like me and are always looking for other books you may like, you might wan to try Brandon' Sanderson's "The Stormlight Archives: The Way of Kings," "The Scar," by Sergey and Marina Dyechenko, "The son of Neptune" by Rick Riordan, the most recent installment in the Kris Longknife series by Mike Shepard - "Furious" - although I think this installment in the series did not really advance the story as much as I would have liked, it still moves the story along some. Please find out what other reviewers have to say before deciding if to read any of the above series. I enjoyed them all, but some more than others. If there is a book you enjoyed, please share it. Thank you.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at FanLit.
It’s been a long 12 years, but finally Atticus O’Sullivan is finished training his druid apprentice, Granuaile. Atticus and Granuaile faked their deaths and have been living in a trailer under the names Sterling Silver and Betty Baker, hoping they can get the training done before the gods find out they’re not really dead. (Kevin Hearne doesn’t tell us much about what happened during those 12 years, but he did write a novella, Two Ravens and One Crow, about an adventure that Atticus and the Morrigan had at about the halfway mark. You don’t have to read Two Ravens and One Crow before reading Trapped, but if you plan to read the novella anyway, it would work best to read it first since the adventure told in Two Ravens and One Crow is relevant to the plot of Trapped.)
For the reader, it doesn’t really feel like 12 years has gone by because Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon don’t age (thanks to Mortali-Tea). Probably the most significant aspect of the 12 year interlude is that all this time Atticus and Granuaile have been pining for each other, but their master/student relationship has, at Atticus’ insistence, remained strictly professional.
Now it’s time to bind Granuaile to the earth. This involves a weeks-long tattooing binge during which the earth will instruct Atticus about which forms he will need to ink all over Granuaile’s entire body. Sounds like fun. The problem is that just about this time the gods, who are out to get Atticus and to stop him from training an apprentice, discover that Atticus and Granuaile are not only alive and well, but are about to create a new druid. They do not want that to happen. Also, Atticus finds out that he must go to Mount Olympus to do the binding. What luck. So now our two favorite druids and Oberon, their trusty Irish Wolfhound, are in danger again and may be walking into a trap. Can they stay hidden under the gods’ noses long enough to complete the binding ceremony? Also, does the appearance of Loki mean that Ragnarok is right around the corner?
There’s lots of action and intrigue in Trapped as the druids and their dog visit the faery court (which is a big disappointment to Granuaile), travel to Mount Olympus, and then spend a lot of time hiding, sneaking around, running away, and fighting Roman, Greek, Norse, and Celtic gods, as well as vampires, dark elves, and even clowns. It seems like every dark supernatural creature has a reason to want Atticus and Granuaile, Earth’s last two druids, to be definitely dead this time. Some readers will probably think Hearne threw in too much at this point (where’s the kitchen sink?), and I would tend to agree with them, but others will, no doubt, find it amusing.
The main reason fans love THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES is the characters, and they’re in fine form, as usual, in Trapped. Atticus and Granuaile are terrific heroes, as always, and their bacon-loving sidekick Oberon provides some intelligent humor. In this installment, Oberon is working on his own writing career. Very cute. I love Kevin Hearne’s sense of humor (which means that his books automatically go on my TBR list forevermore).
At the end of Trapped it doesn’t feel like much got resolved. Compared to the previous installments, there’s very little closure in Trapped, and there’s even a cliffhanger. Readers will be glad that the next book, appropriately named Hunted, has just been released. I’ve been listening to this series in audio format which is brilliantly narrated by Luke Daniels. I highly recommend this version. I’d also like to say that I think the cover of Trapped is the best cover yet. I wish I had a poster version to hang up in my bedroom. (Except, I don’t do that anymore.)
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
It was faced paced, funny and keeps you wanting the next installment.
Closest would be the Dresden Files crossed with Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.
Oberon.. of course. He is the anchor for the series.
It would be a spoiler but if you've read the series you will see it coming a mile away.
great book, wonderful series, Oberon rules!
This book is entertaining like the previous four books; however, style and story lines are pretty much the same here. This book is probably more entertaining due to narrator that it would be otherwise. The voice of the hound is very well done once again. Iron Druid again mocking a powerful being and running around to avoid the repercussions of his previous actions.
There are couple of problems for me in this series. First, story pretty much told from a single character's perspective lacking others point of view. Most folks who use to reading more sophisticated fantasy books would notice the lack of perspectives from other characters.
Second, Iron druid seems to be either too powerful or other players in the book (including major deities from various myths) are not putting their powers to good use which basically is the symptom of the first problem. I cant help but think that this is fantasy equivalent of fast food that it does not seem to have a lot of substance
Regardless, it is an entertaining book and I burned through it in few days. I would recommend this book, and would happily pick up the next installment.
For those of you have have read the previous IDC-books, this is more of the same. And by that I mean, more of the same awesomeness. Oberon is very present in this book and that adds to the story in a very sausage and beef way.
For those who haven't read the previous IDC-books, aww... I wish I had five unread IDC books, I would feel like the richest man on earth. Buy and listen to:
Hounded, Hexed, Hammered and Tricked first and enjoy!
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I took a bit of a break between the previous book in this series and this one. But I am very glad that I came back to it. This was one of my favourite instalments so far...
There was a bit of romance that I think any series readers would have already seen coming. I don't know that it added anything to the story, however. It was not detailed or graphic and, actually, the sex scenes were treated more like interlude between events... something that was there just to give the sense of time passing.
There is plenty of Oberon too. Not so much that he got annoying, but enough that it was pretty funny when he did 'speak up'. There was just a bit of mythological history in here; quite a bit less than some of the other books in the series. I liked that Hearne didn't try to turn it into a myth text book.
The story is told via a series of vingette encounters with the 'bad guys' and I have to admit the overarching storyline that held these little segments together was a little on the sparse side. It felt mostly like: attack A, escape and investigate, attack B, escape and romantic interlude, attack C confront the source and resolve.
Hah... even saying all that, I still really enjoyed this book. The pacing is terrific, Oberon is terrific, even Atticus has some decent one-liners. I don't think you'd enjoy it nearly as much if you hadn't read the rest of the series. There is no cliffhanger, but I will be reading the next in the series.