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Trapped, by Kevin Hearne cover image
Modern/Urban Fantasy
Del Rey
Year Published
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Not Rated

Trapped, by Kevin Hearne

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

Trapped is the fifth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I read the first book in the series and was floored. It was fast-paced, humorous, and the Iron Druid concept was cool and something different for the urban fantasy field. The other books in the series were up and down, but all entertaining. This one is no exception.

In this book, we skip twelve years, to the end of Granuaile's training, Atticus' apprentice. She's ready to be bound to the earth. But Atticus discovers that he has to bind her on the European plate, and someone has managed to block all of his access to Europe except for an area around Olympus. At the same time, someone appears to have revealed the fact that he isn't dead, as nearly everyone believed, and once that secret's out, Atticus has numerous gods out to kill him. The fact that he has to bind Granuaile somewhere near Mount Olympus suddenly feels like a trap.

This book was again a fun romp as Atticus attempts to bind Granuaile, his trusty wolfhound Oberon helping them out, while dodging attacks from all of those out to get him. There's plenty of action, lots of magic, and some significant character development between Atticus and Granuaile as the book progresses. I didn't mind the twelve year shift in time, established in the previous book, although you don't really get a strong sense that that much time has passed at all, since none of the major characters really age at all, and of course the gods don't age either. So the twelve years is sort of shrugged aside. The best part of the book was the relationships between Atticus, Ganuaile, and Oberon.

The main reason I didn't give this book higher marks is because the conflict lacked any real strong focus, and most of those plot lines are left open at the end of the book. He has Bacchus after him, Loki, vampires, and dark elves. All of them have good reasons for wanting him dead, mostly reasons brought on by Atticus himself. We learn fairly early on that someone has orchestrated some of the attacks, but we never learn who in this book. Only one of the plot lines is really resolved, the rest put on hold, and even the one that's resolved sort of comes out of the blue. And the plot thread that ends the book is mentioned once early on and then left alone until the very end. And that plot thread appears to have been developed mostly in the "between" novella Two Ravens and One Crow only available in ebook format (which means I haven't read it).

So, all of this together made the book feel unfocused and unfinished. The more significant plot threads are left dangling and the ones resolved felt minor. And the book more or less ends on a cliffhanger, with an attack. Thus, the book is a bit unsatisfying overall. I still enjoyed it, and it moved some of the plot threads forward, but it still felt like a transition or set-up book, not a single story in itself. I'll be reading the next novel, of course. But I'm hoping it has a more satisfactory ending than this one.

Joshua Palmatier / Benjamin Tate
Trapped, by Kevin Hearne on Amazon

Trapped, by Kevin Hearne on Amazon

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