Kevin Hearne’s fourth installment of the Iron Druid Chronicles, Tricked, is a stark improvement over the previous title. I mainly believe it’s because Oberon and his witticisms are back in full force, but also, the story itself leads to a bit of closure. Tricked ties up several loose ends, but still leaves enough intriguing story lines available for additional books.
The book opens with Atticus faking his own death, with the help of Coyote. Coyote’s price for his help is that Atticus must move gold to a certain place in the local reservation so that the locals could open up a mine, and invest that capital into creating clean, renewable energy—wind and solar power—which sounds a bit too good to the druid.
Of course it’s not that simple. Nothing ever is. Hearne’s Iron Druid books do not lack for story. Within each book, there’s a central storyline and about an additional 4-5 subplots going on. In the case of Tricked, the main story is about the wrath of two skinwalkers who are terrorizing the Indians on the reservation. Also involved in this story are vampires, Hel (of the Norse mythos), draugr (aka, crazy strong undead dudes also of the Norse Mythos), several angry thunder gods of different pantheons, and probably others that I’m forgetting. There’s a lot going on, but Hearne manages to keep everything straight. Luckily, most of the subplots get resolved quickly and don’t drag on to butt heads with the main storyline.
I’m glad that this series of books was recommended to me, and I too recommend them to others, especially if you like The Dresden Files, ancient mythologies, or just plain ol’ good, fun stories. I recommend the audio version read by Luke Daniels, his reading and characterizations are perfect!