12700306Oh Atticus.  What have you gotten yourself into this time?

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne is one of my favorite fluffy series.  Hearne is lauded as the next Jim Butcher, and his character Atticus O’Sullivan as the next Harry Dresden, and for good reason.

Atticus is the last Druid on earth, and that’s Druid with a capital ‘D’.  He can work earth magic like no one’s business, and so long as he is in contact with Gaia, he can draw on her strength to heal or enhance his.  He has werewolf and vampire lawyers who help him cover up supernatural messes and drum up new identities when the need calls for it, and they in turn have a group of ghouls on speed dial for messy clean ups.

Now Tricked is the forth book in the series so far, the first three being Hounded, Hexed, and Hammered.

In Hounded, we are introduced to Atticus and his Irish Wolfhound Oberon (who is just fantastic by the way).  A lot of ground work gets laid down here for the next three books, and we’re introduced to the Irish pantheon, one of whom has been hunting Atticus for centuries.

And that’s the story of the day folks!  Hounded is all about confronting this god, who has hired a cabal of witches to help him, and taking him down.  Hexed is about Wiccans and finishing off the witches that were introduced in Hounded, and Hammered deals with the Norse mythology.  We go to Asgard, home of the Norse pantheon where Atticus takes on Thor with the intent of killing him.  Needless to say, win or lose that doesn’t turn out very well in the end.

Tricked here deals with, interestingly enough, Native American mythology.  Navajo to be precise.  A few books back, we met the Native American trickster god  Coyote himself, and Atticus made a deal with him.  And now Coyote is calling in the deal, but being a trickster god, there’s always a catch.  And this one is skin walkers!

Now skin walkers are basically human beings who have been courted by some seriously bad mojo with a brain and turned into witches who can literally take the skin of an animal and fit inside it, becoming a stronger, faster version of the animal whose skin they wear.  Skin walkers are wicked fast and super strong, if you’re lucky enough to get a shot off, congratulations!  You’ve just pissed it off even more.

So Coyote knows the skin walkers are around, and that they’re a problem, and he fully intends for Aticus to deal with them, but of course telling Atticus this would just be too easy and way less fun.

But that’s not the only trick in Tricked.  Turns out that Hel, the Norse goddess of death, is running around loose in the world thanks to Atticus’ shenanigans up in Asgard, and that he may have very well had a hand in speeding up the Ragnarok time clock.

Not to mention the fact that pretty much every omnipotent god from every pantheon is watching him very closely to see what he will do next.

No pressure, right?

The thing is with Atticus, he doesn’t go looking for trouble, he’s just too pig headed to back down when he should.  His pride gets in the way of a lot of things, and a lot of people get hurt because of it, and he covers it up by saying ‘I was keeping my word’, ‘I was only trying to survive’, yada yada yada.  But life is a learning experience, and just because you’ve lived longer than most anyone out there don’t mean you can’t learn a few more things.  Old dogs, new tricks and all that.

For me personally, the reason why I like Atticus and Dresden so much is because they’re flawed and human just like us.  Ok, yeah they’re a couple of bad asses that can throw some serious magic mojo around and most likely take out most everyone or everything that crosses their path the wrong way, but they make mistakes just like you and me.  The only thing is when they screw up people tend to die.

But aside from Atticus being a thick headed S.O.B most days, The Iron Druid Chronicles is quite enjoyable, providing you like the light fluffy reads.

Enjoy folks.

Next up: Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon

9065265Orphaned as a child and raised by vampires, Abigail Yager lives for one purpose, and one purpose only: To avenge the deaths of vampires everywhere. To destroy the merciless Dark-Hunters who stalk and kill her adoptive race. But most of all, to find the one man responsible for brutally murdering her family: the ex-gunslinger Jess “Sundown” Brady…
Resurrected from death by a vengeful Greek goddess, Jess must hunt and destroy the creature who’s assassinating Dark-Hunters. The last thing he expects to find is a human face behind the killings—and especially one resembling the human who’d murdered him centuries ago. Jess knows he’s not the one who slaughtered Abigail’s parents. But now he must convince her of his innocence—and cross the abyss between human and vampire—before the darkest of powers rises to destroy them both…