Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: November 27, 2012
Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #5
Source: eARC from Random House
Reviewed by: Jenn
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.
Okay, before I start talking about the book, which can be summarized as AMAZEBALLS or SIX KINDS OF AWESOME, I need to send a little love to the talented Gene Mollica, the photo-illustrator who has brilliantly and gorgeously captured Atticus on the covers for the series -- and now Granuaile as well. (He's also done work for authors like Patricia Briggs, C. E. Murphy, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Molly Harper, J. N. Duncan, and L. A. Banks, to name a few, and you can see these, and more, over on his website.) Covers like these are why I'm so reluctant to switch over to only e-books (plus the whole licensing vs. owning thing). I love seeing this books on my shelves!! The cover for TRAPPED is by far the elaborate in the series and I'm just so thrilled to see Granuaile portrayed -- and much as I've pictured her in my mind.
Now that I've gotten my artist fangirl squeeing out of the way, brace yourself for some author-related squee. No cover, no matter how gorgeous, is enough to keep me hooked on a series unless the words thrill me, and Kevin Hearne really knows how to deliver the thrill. TRAPPED is one of those books that you'll start, get sucked into, and then wonder where the past three hours of your life went when you finally finish off the epilogue. The author writes engrossing stories filled with ever escalating action, humour, and world building and it takes a stronger person than I am to put one of his books down before the end. And TRAPPED is even more of a mind trap (ha ha!) than the previous Iron Druid Chronicles -- Del Rey really ought to put a warning sticker on the cover!
So why was this book so great? It's a bold step in the right direction for the series. One of the big risks? A twelve-year time jump. Time jumps are dangerous in any series (regardless of medium) and some are better executed than others. I was a little nervous when I first heard that Kevin Hearne was doing this but it ended up giving the series a nice kick that made the book exceptionally exciting. Granuaile has completed her training and she just needs to be bound to the earth to become a full-fledged Druid, which really opens up her role in the series. She's obviously not as experienced as Atticus but she's now better equipped to hold her own against the legion of folks who are trying to track them down. And she does it with flair. As much as I would have liked to see her throughout her training, the Granuaile we get in TRAPPED rocks my socks. And, for the shippers out there, we do get to see Granuaile and Atticus tackle their attraction and feelings for one another (but I'm not going to tell you what happens because that's no fun).
There are other familiar faces who appear in TRAPPED, since most of Atticus' acquaintances, allies, and enemies are long-lived, if not immortal. I'm not going to spoil it for you by saying who but we do see a lot of key characters from previous chapters of the series, some of whom appear in the most unexpected of ways. I love that Kevin Hearne keeps bringing surprises to the table while dealing with the ramifications of all of Atticus' previous actions, which is really the heart of TRAPPED.
Fans of the one and only Mr. Hearne are sure to be thrilled with TRAPPED as it contains all of the wit, action, and pizzazz of previous novels, and more. Oberon continues to be one of the best animal sidekicks in the genre and you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see how Atticus will extricate himself from the situation that's built up around him. If you haven't preordered your copy, you best run to the bookstore or click on the links above so that you can see all this for yourself.
And if you want to chat TRAPPED, you can find me on Twitter or leave a comment below!