Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
After 12 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.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 2 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 27, 2012|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #6,507 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#87 in Contemporary Fantasy
#91 in Urban Fantasy
#174 in Paranormal Fantasy
Top reviews from the United States
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I've read a lot of science fiction and fantasy and honestly, next to no author can write a realistic immortal or near immortal character. I've only found like maybe one or two authors who can.
Kevin Hearne is not one of them.
Immortal/near immortal characters, despite having lived for thousands of years, still can't think their way out of a paper bag, still make impulsive decisions, still have emotions typical of a Jersey Shore reality TV show cast member. They've gained little wisdom over the centuries, and learned nothing in their thousands of years except how to fight with weapons really really well.
I'd hoped Kevin Hearne would be different, but no, slowly over the last 2 books, he's made Atticus his "Marty Stu". Atticus is his wish projection of himself. He even looks like him - take a look at Hearne's author picture.
If Atticus stopped taking his Immortali Tea, he would look like Anna Nicole Smith's 90 year old ex-husband, except 200 times worse. Only magic keeps him looking like a young surfer dude. Regardless of how he looks, he SHOULD have the wisdom, caution and understanding of someone who reached maturity and wisdom ages ago.
Humans can reach this level in less than 1/5 the time Atticus has lived.
So why is Hearne writing him like he's a horny teenager? He only LOOKS like one, he isn't one. Why is Atticus all but panting over Granuaile like a virginal 15 year old? I got so sick of his mental 'battle' to not 'give in' when you knew damn well he would.
I'd hoped for better, that Hearne would not allow his Atticus to fall to the typical convention of every other writer.
Ye gods, even John Wayne was so embarrassed at being 24 years older than one of his leading ladies in one of his movies that he stopped agreeing to being cast as a romantic lead. Now THAT is the correct attitude of a mature and wise man who knows he looks ridiculous chasing after women young enough to be his daughter.
Atticus salivating over Granuaile is just disgusting.
He's old enough to be her great grand father dozens of times over. He should be wise enough to know better, but no, despite the line between teacher and student, he makes sure she knows he's lusting over her so she'll fall in the sack with him as soon as she 'graduates'. Which she does, and Hearne makes sure the readers know they did it full time for 3 days with a dog watching and making commentary. Gag.
SO disappointing to know, even in the magical world, when a old coot like Atticus uses magic to make himself look younger, he still prefers REAL young women, and not wise women his own age who use magic to make themselves look younger. Guess he doesn't like the mental competition? Probably, since Atticus never tires of conversations about sausages or poodles with Oberon, which I grew tired of 3 books ago.
Just goes to show, for some men, no matter how old - real world or fantasy - there is no place for older women.
In Hearne's world of Atticus, there are only ancient men who only look young and real hot young women. Ancient women witches who make themselves look young - like Atticus does - are looked on with disgust and real old women are treated like grandma. There is no inbetween.
Atticus SHOULD be attracted to wise women of his own generation who are also magic users and do what he does so they have something in common. Granuaile is a child compared to him. I'm hoping Hearne is trying to point that out by making 30 something year old Granuaile act like a 19 year old in this story. She's "Oh, wow"ing and "That's incredible..." like a high school graduate who just went to Europe. She also pouts, and is a braggart fighter (Hearne has her beating gods in matches when they've had centuries of practice and her less than 12 years. Yeah riiiiiiiiight.)
How nice it would have been to see them settle into a real partnership based on mutual respect and for Granuaile to come into her own wisdom and to be sophisticated and discerning and to have found lovers her own age along the way and for Atticus to have encouraged that without offering himself up as a potential partner.
But nope. Old grandpappy goes after MUCH younger woman and wins her. Yuck. Just yuck.
Ever see the movie "American Beauty"? Middle aged character Lester spends much of the movie lusting over underage teenage high school cheerleader Angela. He lusts over her so much, she notices and flirts with him outrageously. At a key point in the movie, she finally gives in and his reaction? Does he do an Atticus and spend 3 days in bed with her?
Nope. Lester comes to his senses and realizes she's a child compared to him - and he gently, fatherly, tells her to get dressed and to leave.
Wish Atticus had done that.
So I gave a couple of stars for the world Hearne has created. It is compelling. But his two main characters - one of them supposedly thousands of years old - have devolved. Atticus the character is no longer interesting. We used to be able to see the modern world through his older eyes, now he's basically any modern guy you'd meet on the street who can do magick. Hearne might as well have made him 25 years old. He acts like one.
Hearne writes Granuaile - a 30+ year old woman - like a college girl on Spring Break. He seems unable to write a woman character where her primary qualities are NOT her looks. What do we know about Granuaile? She's a red head barmaid with quite a rack that Atticus - and most male characters in the books - are looking forward to seeing.
You know a little bit about her father and her Midwest mother, but that's pretty much it. That's all the characterization we get of her.
So, Hearne writes Granuaile as a hot bar girl. In this book Granuaile pouts and gives Atticus the silent treatment for about 2 chapters before coming clean with what's bothering her.
Her problem? She's upset that all the ancient gods she's meeting are not like Jesus.
Atticus has supposedly been training her for 12 years. Training her on what? Obviously not anything like ancient myths or comparative religions. She's clueless to Paganism 101 - that the majority of ancient pagan gods had nothing to do with being a role model for mortals. The ancients had morals and ethics but those concepts had little to do with their religions. That's the hardest thing a modern person converting to paganism from Christianity has to get their mind around. 12 years in, Atticus never has mentioned this to his apprentice.
Not sure I want to continue the series. Atticus is now a disappointing dirty old man and Granuaile is not clever or interesting.
The overall arc of the series is definitely evident here, but I kind of don't feel like this book is a unified whole. It was more a series of parts that happened roughly at the same point in time, but the narrative wasn't entirely cohesive. I'm sort of willing to put up with that in a longer series where many of the books are already published (as was the case here). But if I had read this right after it was released, and without the next volume available, I would probably not have been very happy.
In this book, a lot of what Atticus (the POV character) has done/said previously in the series is coming back to haunt him. Unintended consequences and all that. Although in previous volumes, his sense of morality has been just a bit different (presumably due to the time and place he was raised), he's got a strongly human side here. I think he does feel some guilt for what he's done (or let be done) in the past, and some of the actions he takes are attempts to make amends for that (especially towards the end, with the Norse goddess Freyja).
I'm not sure that appropriate amounts of time were spent on each part of the story. There was a rather long sequence in, say, the first 2/3 of the book, where Atticus's apprentice Granuaile was finally being bound as a druid. (Kudos to the author, by the way, for basically saying "twelve years passed" without describing them in agonizing detail.) Of course there are interruptions and celebrations, and the interruptions do serve to further both the plot of this book and the series arc. But Granuaile's tattooing (the final step in being bound) took a long time.
And then events that had been simmering earlier in the book got short shrift. The final battle scene was quite brief. And Oberon (Atticus's dog) kept getting left behind rather than going on adventures with Atticus. It's almost like the author was given a page limit he couldn't surpass, or else he got tired of writing and had to finish something up. The epilogue seemed out of place, as well. (It fit with the events of the story but shouldn't have been an epilogue since it was setting up the action of the next book.)
That being said, there were some things I did like. Atticus's changing relationship with the Norse gods is interesting. I also liked the introduction to the dark elves and assume we will be seeing them again soon. Atticus's attitude towards Granuaile is refreshing. He does exhibit a desire to keep her safe -- but he fully respects her martial abilities, as well, and he expects her to make her own decisions and not to blindly follow his lead. I think this attitude is fitting, considering what Atticus has to say about female warriors in the Celtic pantheon.
Also well-done were the islands where time moves differently, and the way Atticus both introduces them and uses them to his advantage later (and Granuaile's reaction to them, as well -- simply because it was genuine and Atticus did not expect it to be so). We're starting to see what elements make a Druid and what elements make an ancient (Atticus) or modern (Granuaile) human, to separate Atticus as a person from the idea of a Druid. (And yes, Atticus is somewhat immature here. There's no way around that.)
The setting for this book is quite a bit different from previous novels. Most of it takes place in/on different planes of existence and/or in remote places. There are few scenes in cities and we do not experience Arizona or the Colorado desert as we did before. So this takes a bit of a detour from urban fantasy. I'm fine with that because I read a lot of traditional fantasy, as well. But keep in mind that it *is* a switch from previous books.
The writing style is pretty much the same. Granuaile can now hear Oberon's thoughts, as well, and the author employs this to humorous effect. We get a couple of guest narratives; these have become a staple in this series. Yeah, they're kind of like big infodumps, but they provide necessary background and there aren't really any other ways to work that information in. I would not say there's a great deal of character development, but there are bits and pieces. It's about average for a first-person POV novel that's later in a series.
In the end, pacing was a bit uneven and the plot was not really unified (nor was it neatly tied up at the end), although there were also enjoyable elements and I thought the worldbuilding was great. At any rate, I'm going to continue reading the series because I *am* invested in what happens going forward. 3.5 stars.
There’s a lot I enjoyed in Trapped. The story is action-packed and fast paced as Hearne throws a myriad of obstacles at Atticus. I appreciated the chase, and also seeing how accomplished Granuaile has become, even before she gets her druidic powers. It was also great to see Atticus finally become proactive and go on the offensive for once. The interplay between the two of them and the continued will they/won’t hey of their potential romance amidst the mayhem, was well done.
On the downside, the book was predictable, especially with dragging out the binding. There was a lot of running around, but very little if anything was resolved. This left me somewhat undecided about how to rate the book. I was glad Granuaile finally becomes a druid, but disappointed that everything else that happens was obviously set up for future novels (the Dark Elves, Loki teased again, the vampires).
Overall, I enjoyed Trapped but it still felt like a bridge novel - filler between two greater stories. I’m eager to see what happens with the Dark Elves and, eventually, Ragnarok, but hope the next book has a more self-contained plot.
Top reviews from other countries
Also twelve years has passed but really there is no sense of which year this is set in. Given that the first book was written in 2011 (and presumably set then)this must be set in around in 2023 yet no mention of any changes to the world is really made. Presumably the economic crisis is resolved enough that Greece still has a relatively booming tourist industry (Hearne gets bonus points from me for setting the Greek action in a couple of towns I know).
I'll continue reading the series to find out what happens but I preferred the earlier ones where the antagonists were small scale local nuisances rather than world affecting gods.
Mostly, I liked and enjoyed it.
The characters are eminently likable and the powers they have
is well limited so they are not overpowered.
The language used is really good to read, funny, witty, able
to get the feel of the story and circumstances across.
Unfortunately, this is not as good a book as the previous ones, there are some story
hanging points and the ending suffers, somehow the book has a piece-meal feel to it and
the parts seem too random and not integrated well.
The book finishes in a cliff-hanger but instead it feels unfinished and leaves a bit of an
It is not all bad, in fact it is an enjoyable book. However if the previous part had been at the same level as this one, I would not bother reading the next one.
Of course it
Being alone, he is forced to make faustian deals in order to get the firepower to fight enemies which are literally gods but at last, in this 5th book, he is managing to train his 2nd and only living apprentice, the lovely Granuaile. Now, it could be two druids instead of one against a plethora of threats including the original force which annihilated the druidic order.
Sacrificing a little humour and entertainment, this is still a very enjoyable book. This book sets develops both plot and characters leading to a cliffhanger that sets up the scene for Atticus and Granuaile to fight back against the mysterious antagonist which killed all the ancient druids leaving Atticus the lone survivor.
Granuaile is really coming into her own and is becoming herself rather than a side kick - I can't wait to see what happens with her :)
Keep reading. It's worth it :)