So far The Iron Druid Chronicles have been crazy fun and entertaining. Trapped is no exception. Atticus, Oberon and Granuaile have successfully faked their deaths and are working to get Granuaile fully trained as a Druid.
Did I like Trapped? Yes, for the most part. Was it special? Afraid not.
I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t connecting with this installment but it finally hit me towards the end. It felt like several short stories and novellas cobbled together to create a novel. It wasn’t as cohesive and fell a little flat in spots. Here are the high/low-lights:
- After 12 years of training, Atticus is finally ready to bind Granuaile to the earth and make her a full-blown Druid. Problem is, we don’t really get to see any of this. The 12 years are glossed over and all we really know is that she had physical training (apparently she is now a bad ass fighter), learned several languages and knows most of the chants and bindings. Now all she needs are her tattoos so that she can communicate directly with the elementals and can shape shift. This was a let down for me. I wanted to know more about her training and honestly felt several books could have been devoted to the subject. Maybe then I would have grown to appreciate her more as a character. Right now she is pretty bland and hasn’t earned a place in my nerdy heart.
- The fae and misc. gods have realized that Atticus isn’t dead and that he’s close to binding another druid. Anti-climactic. Yeah, some of them want to kill him but that’s been the theme from book one. Nothing new. The gods pull some mumbo-jumbo to try to trap him during the binding (which takes 3 months) but it felt kind of forced.
- Bacchus – meh. Who cares? It’s too easy for Atticus to outsmart him so the reader just doesn’t feel any tension.
- Lief – okay I’m going to get a little spoiler-y here for prior books. We know that Lief was using Atticus and put both him and Oberon in an unforgivably dangerous situation. Yet, Lief still maintained that he really did create a friendship with Atticus. He makes a surprise appearance in Trapped and Hearne does a good job of showing the current state of their relationship while leaving many questions unanswered. It will be interesting to see where this leads.
- Too much of a forced cliffhanger. Just my opinion.
- OBERON! The star of the show and the primary reason I still loved this book. Favorite Quote: “You know I’m right. Dogs are much smarter about this. Bitch comes into heat, the Marvin Gaye song plays, puppies in nine weeks. Leaves more time for playing and napping when you’re not worrying about all the things humans worry about after sex. I swear you spend more time worrying about it than doing it.”
- Now to be a bit of a Debbie Downer. There have been several scenes throughout the series when I felt Atticus did things that weren’t very Druid-like. I don’t expect him to be perfect but his role in life is to protect the earth and not to cause harm to other, innocent living things, right? When Ratatosk (the squirrel who runs up and down the tree of life) was killed a few books ago due to Atticus’ actions, it really caused me to stop and think. No, Atticus didn’t kill him but he created the scenario where he knew that would be the outcome. Ratatosk was innocent and died just to help Atticus out of a jam. I didn’t like that. In Trapped, Atticus not only hurts innocents (dryads) while trying to fight the gods, we also find out that one of his past actions led to massive deaths amongst a race. Again, he didn’t kill the creatures directly but he made a conscious decision that caused their deaths. Basically he pointed a dangerous person in their direction (yes, to help himself out of a jam) with no real thought of the possible outcome. If this continues it will become harder and harder to pull for him. As a reader, I’d like to see him learn from these mistakes and take some real responsibility. I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Still good but just not great. 3/5 stars.