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.
“That’s what a skinwalker is: a mean asshole with a meaner spirit squatting inside.”
“I’ve run into some of those at the dog park,” Oberon said. “They’re usually attached to Chihuahuas.”
This book got so sidetracked in the middle of itself, it made me forget I was even reading the same book when I picked it up a second time. It is like Hearne realised he didn’t have enough material for an entire book, and then decided to do a whole bunch of unnecessary stuff to fill the word requirements. I found myself once again enjoying the parts with the actual story in them, but yawning through the parts that were just filler. Unfortunately this was another unnecessary book in the series. A way to tide the characters over until the events in the next book while giving the fans something to show they’re still alive and creating a new life after the events in Hammered. I’m not certain why Hearne thought it necessary to show us this book. Not completely unnecessary, but not strictly necessary either unless the later books turn out to be much different that I guess they are going to be.
Good news! Atticus isn’t as much of a fucking asshole in this book! Too bad he is still incredibly annoying and self-centered and selfish. Not really any dickish moves, but the story doesn’t really set him up around people he can play pranks on. Unfortunately, Atticus has also gotten a new life motto which is “not my circus, not my monkeys”. Despite all evidence to the contrary, nothing at all is his fault, all he wants to do is be left alone, and damn every consequence for this new life motto because he is going to follow it until a car tries to land on his head. Literally. This book was so incredibly frustrating because of this new motto because he kept refusing to do what was necessary to get done until the last possible moment against several fronts. It just dragged everything out way too long.
More good news! Finally we have a good showing of Native American lore in a series filled with European lore despite taking place primarily in American. Bad news: it is all Coyote and skinwalkers. Seriously, Hearne? You have included every Celtic and Norse deity, bugaboo, and creature you could possibly track down including many most Americans have never heard of before. For your Native American book you’re only going to include the two most trite creatures in the entire genre?! Oh, wait you included a medicine man, I guess that makes up for it? (It doesn’t. I’m salty.)
There isn’t much to talk about Tricked as its own book because there really isn’t a lot of story there to talk about. Tricked is mostly once again a cleanup book for the problems Atticus created in Hammered. On its own this is a terrible book, as part of a series it is barely adequate to keep you going until you can read the next.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Iron Druid Chronicles series page!