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Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5 Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 604 customer reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Trapped is the fifth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles. It also represents a large step forward in the timeline as Granuaile finally completes her training as a Druid. While the previous books have all focused on a particular pantheon, Trapped shifts equal light upon the Norse, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Tuatha Dé Danann (the Irish gods). At first, Atticus and Granuaile have to dodge wrathful gods as they struggle to complete the binding process. But once that is completed, Atticus has to deal with his promise to the Norse gods to help them stop Hel and Ragnarok.

A lot of time passes in between Tricked and Trapped. It takes Atticus twelve years to train Granuaile, and all of it happens off page. When this story kicks off, the training has already been completed and she's reading for the binding ceremony to seal the deal. However that time span in between books isn't a complete void. Readers will definitely want to check out Kevin Hearne's eNovella Two Ravens and One Crow as it fills in some important events halfway through he time gap.

There is some cool stuff to look forward to in Trapped for long time readers. Perun, the Russian thunder god returns, as does Leif the ancient Nordic vampire. Newcomers include Loki, the Nordic dwarves and dark elves, Hermes and Mercury, as well as Theophilus, the oldest living vampire in the world. There are battles with the dark elves, Bacchus and his minions, a run in with Loki, and a full out battle in Hel against her draugar armies and her wolf brother Fenris. All of it builds up for the big show down against Loki and Hel, which is yet to come.

In comparison to the other books in the series, Trapped is on par with Tricked, but falls a little short of the first three novels.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
This was probably my least favourite installment to date; that being said, I’m still giving it four stars because Kevin Hearne’s humor and sharp writing continue to dazzle me even though in this particular instance the story did not. TRAPPED felt like a segue book; it’s twelve years later and the time has come for Granuaile to become a druid, but in order for that to happen the author had to tie up a few loose ends and introduce new plot threads. I still found it to be an enjoyable listen; Oberon always manages to bring a smile to my face, and Luke Daniels is an incredibly talented narrator who could make algebra sound interesting.

All of the previous novels in this series have revolved around a particular lore whether it is the Tuatha Dé Danann or Thor the thunder god. This installment introduces Olympian mythology which I’m assuming will be the main focus of HUNTED and dabbles in Norse a bit as well, but otherwise it’s mostly about Granuaile. When she first showed up in THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but her character has grown on me over the last few novels, and she really shines in this latest one. I like how she challenges O’Sullivan at every turn and yet is still the yin to his yang. I was so happy with the turn their relationship takes in TRAPPED.

I continue to consistently laugh out loud whenever I listen to these audiobooks. Oberon’s up to his usual antics except this time it’s a new religion called Poochism, and he now gets double the attention because Granuaile can speak to him too. Atticus’ “Nigel from Toronto” identity makes another appearance along with a fun (and accurate) pop culture reference about the Leaf’s hockey team and their penchant for suckage (fyi I’m a Habs fan).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think this is very much a transitional book in the Iron Druid series. It builds a lot on events of the previous books and you will be lost if you haven't read those. So my first piece of advice: don't start with this one!

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.
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