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.)
This was the point where I started hoping Kevin Hearne wasn’t pushing the books out too fast. The sense of marking time was very strong. Not enough of significance happened while there was far too much surface complication, not to say confusion. And though I can see the attraction of running through / pinching from the various pantheons — well, let’s just say I hope the next one has a clearer plot line because the humour alone won’t keep these on the TBR list.
Tizz, I liked Hunted better. Let me know what you think.