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Tricked by Kevin Hearne – review
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.
What I expected: In the third book of the series, I was very much disappointed in the hero – while he had proved himself a bit childish and selfish in the first two books, he went a bit far for my liking last time. So when I picked up the fourth, I was expecting more of the same, perhaps just in a new direction. I am very much taken by heroes I can like – those I want to care about and find out more about, so Atticus was in the negative in my books. I was hoping that this would change in the fourth book, perhaps finally learning a lesson or two from his mistakes. Although, one would think that after 2,000 years a body has to have made some mistakes already and should have learned a great deal from that. Then again, they do say that history is doomed to repeat itself….So, I expected more of the same from Atticus.
What I got: I did not get what I expected. Atticus is growing up! I’m so proud! Not only is he taking the training of his apprentice seriously, but he is also taking a lot of other factors into account when weighing each decision. We also get to learn a bit more about his past, and we definitely learn more about some Native American mythology. It was an interesting story with Atticus and his apprentice stuck in the middle of his poor decisions and having to deal with the consequences of making a deal with a trickster.
What I liked: I liked that Atticus is growing up and even learning from his apprentice. I liked that the author has retroactively fixed the caffeine issue I had in an earlier book. I liked learning more about Navajo mythology, as well. I also liked that at one point in the proceedings, Atticus admits out loud to another character that he can be overly smug.
What I did not: I found that while the struggle in this book was a difficult one, all of the magic seemed effortless and easy and very, very quick. I’m not a geologist, but I would think that it would take a great deal of continual minimal shifting to bring one type of mineral to one place without collapsing the systems that have now lost that mineral. I don’t know that this is true, but it seeems logical – the Earth is a place of balance, change one thing, and you have to change another to keep the balance. True, having the Earth’s own elementals do the work for you should make it easier for you, and you wouldn’t even have to understand the whys and the hows. But having all of that delicate shifting occur in a mere few hours seems a tad too easy to me. While this isn’t something that would make me dislike the book, it did feel like a shortcut.
Cover Talk: I’m a little mystified by this guy’s goatee – it looks like ginger colored sod, it just is so thick and straight. Otherwise, I like the style of the image and the interaction, the fact that it shares the same branding as the others in the series and that it is attention-getting to draw in the eyes.
Would I recommend? Definitely. However, if you are just now learning about Atticus O’Sullivan, I suggest you start at the beginning – these books could technically be read as standalones, but there are definite benefits to reading them in order so that you can understand all the undercurrents with certain characters.