Saturday, March 16, 2013

Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Last year I discovered Kevin Hearne's hip 2,100 year old druid Atticus O'Sullivan in his series of Iron Druid books and he quickly became a guilty pleasure.

I have to admit I was getting a bit tired of Atticus himself and the rather formulaic feel of the books. I was pleased see that at the end of Tricked it appeared that one story arc had ended, and the snippet of Trapped that was at the back of the book confirmed this by indicating that it took place 12 years after the end of Tricked.

Atticus, his witty wolfhound Oberon and his beautiful apprentice Granuaile are enjoying being thought dead by all and sundry, which leaves them in peace. It makes it easy for Atticus to train Granuaile.

They are startled out of their anonymity by the appearance of a distressed Perun (a slavic thunder god that Atticus befriended in the earlier books), he's being pursued by a mad Loki and once that leads to Atticus, all his old enemies: various Celtic deities, Norse deities, Bacchus and an ancient vampire, all come looking for him.

Despite 12 years having elapsed between Tricked and Trapped nothing much has really changed. Granuaile gets her full druidhood, but she doesn't seem to have learned that much really. Oberon is still the most enjoyable character to read and Atticus, while his pop culture wisecracking (I especially liked a comment referencing a meeting between Granuaile and Nathan Fillion at Comicon) is still fun and can make you crack a smile now and then, the formula is still very much in evidence and use. I can kind of understand why these deities have issues with Atticus, he really is annoying. It's almost like he pushes their buttons just because he can and then gets surprised when they come after him. You'd think he may have learned a bit of restraint over a lifetime spanning more than 2,000 years.

Hearne's main characters are remarkably inconsistent, especially Atticus and Granuaile, they seem to act the way they do for as long as it's convenient to the story to have them do so, once it becomes unnecessary they change. Oberon tends to act in character the most, but he is a dog.

The plots of the Iron Druid books are fairly irrelevant things, they're really only there to give Atticus a vehicle for which to hang his endless jokes and pop culture references on.

The books are fun, they're easy to read and move quickly. You just don't want to think about them too hard.

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