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.
I am afraid that I do not feel that this book series is improving. One of the things that makes these books fun to read are the fairly hilarious dialogue between Atticus and his wolfhound Oberon and, luckily, this is still there. Unfortunately this is pretty much the only enjoyable element of this book and even this is somewhat diminished by Oberon being disabled for a good chunk of the book. Sure, Atticus and Granuaile are not too bad together but anyway, some lines of fun dialogue do not make a book alone.
The story in this book is fairly ludicrous and contrived. Apart from a few paragraphs at the beginning it does not really advance the main story very much. This I could live with if it did not feel like this story is mostly an ill contrived filler. Worse is that it seems to be put together only to give the author an opportunity to do some preaching about environmental issues and native indian affairs. The semi-bad guy Coyote wants to build windmills and solar power plants. Atticus goes away like some uber-hippie sabotaging coal mines and Granuaile reveals that she wanted to become druid to get revenge on some relative that is in the oil business? What the f…? That’s just a load of things coming out of the rear end of a bull and certainly not what I want to read about in a book.
Even without these elements the story would not have been very good. We are talking about a 2000 year old druid who is tricked like a schoolboy by Coyote. Not funny. It is a shame really. This 2000 year old thing is really what intrigued me to start the series and could have been used to good effect but it really has just been wasted so far in these books.
These books have all been quite light reading and I was not expecting much in terms of plot but at this point I have serious doubts as to whether I want to continue this series. I am stubborn and really really do not like not to finish a book series that I have started so I probably will but the next instalment better be an improvement over this one.