Books Magic Urban Fantasy

Trapped: Not as bad as the previous book in the series

TrappedTrapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles #5) by Kevin Hearne
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars

After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

After having read the previous book in the series, Tricked, I was almost at the point of giving up on this series. The reason I did not was because I quite liked the first two instalments in the series and I really do not like to drop a series in the middle of things and thus rarely do it. This book is an improvement over the previous one. I am happy for this of course but, as you might deduce from the above, I do not really consider it a major feat and it just brings the book up to an average level as far as I am concerned.

Oberon and his chatting with Atticus is still quite funny and in this book Granuaile becomes part of the conversation, sometimes with rather hilarious results. That really annoying jerk Coyote is gone from the picture which was not a moment too soon and there is none of that ridiculous hail to wind power and sabotage coal mines nonsense. Atticus also does kick quite a bit of behinds in this book and it sure does not lack action.

Unfortunately, Atticus is still not behaving anywhere near what one would except from a 2000+ year old druid. He is rash, immature and his decision making skills leaves much to be desired. I am not sure if this is purely intentional by the author or he, given the generally TV-show/Comics magazine level of the story, is simply unable to bring the kind of sophistication that one would expect from such a character to the story.

The first two books were much more down to earth and not so much over-the-top than this one is. Most of the supporting characters where humans or at least “simple” supernatural beings like witches, vampires and werewolves. Now almost everyone we encounter in the book is a superhuman deity of some kind. In addition, most of them behave like total jerks. To me this drags down the book a lot. Also he kills off and disposes of said deities like there was no tomorrow. I do not like that too much either. Gods are persistent objects in the mythological universe to me and killing them off left right and center is what you would expect from a cheap (or even some expensive ones) Hollywood script.

I do not think that I am spoiling things too much when I write that Granuaile finally does get bound to the earth and becomes a druid. She has also been well trained and picked up some bad-ass fighting skills. I quite liked this.

On the not liked side I have to say that the reference to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider when discussing philosophical matters and deities was just silly although as an engineer at CERN I might of course be a bit biased on this. In any case I think the author should give up on the philosophical matters. He do not seem to have the skills to make these kind of discussions particularly interesting.

On the whole though this book was a much needed improvement over the previous instalment and brought me back from almost-about-to-quit to good-enough-to-read-one-more-of.

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