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Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Five [Format Kindle]

Kevin Hearne
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Chapter 1

You know those spastic full-body twitches you get sometimes when you’re almost asleep and your muscles want to play a practical joke on your brain? You startle wide awake and immediately get pissed at your nervous system, wondering what the hell that was all about. I’ve caught myself talking to it before: “Damn it, Dude”—yes, I call my nervous system Dude, and the Dude abides—“I was almost asleep, and now you’ve slain all the sheep I was gonna count.”

What I felt as I walked on the Kaibab Plateau was kind of like that, except it was Gaia doing the spastic full-body twitch. It was more of an uncomfortable shudder that I felt through my tattoos, like when you step barefoot into the garage in winter and your nipples pucker up. But, as with those nervous muscle spasms, I got irritated about it and wondered what the hell was going on. And while I wasn’t about to go to sleep, I was about to enjoy the culmination of twelve years of training an apprentice—and, save for the first few months of it and a harrowing episode halfway through, I’d conducted it all in peace. Granuaile was finally ready to become a full Druid, and we’d been searching for a place to bind her to the earth when I felt the tremor. I shot a question to the elemental, Kaibab, in the cocktail of feelings and images they use instead of language: //Confusion / Query: What was that?//

//Confusion / Uncertainty / Fear// came the reply. That chilled me. I’d never heard confusion from an elemental before. The fear, on the other hand, was perfectly normal: Despite their awesome power, elementals are afraid of almost everything, from placer mines to land developers to bark beetles. They can be real scaredy-cats sometimes. But they’re never uncertain about what’s going on with Gaia. Stopping in my tracks and causing Granuaile and Oberon to turn and look at me quizzically, I asked Kaibab what there was to fear.

//Plane across ocean / Early death / Burning / Burning / Burning//

Well, that confused me too. Kaibab wasn’t talking about an airplane. He (or she, if Granuaile had been the one talking to the elemental) meant an entire plane of existence, a plane that was tied to earth somewhere on the other side of the globe. //Query: Which plane?//

//Name unknown / God from plane seeks you / Urgent / Query: Tell him location?//

//Query: Which god?//

The answer to that would tell me what plane was burning. There was a pause, during which time I stalled with Granuaile and Oberon. “Something’s up with Kaibab. Hold on.” They knew better than to interrupt, and they took this news as an invitation to be on their guard, which was wise. Anything worrisome to the avatar of the environment you currently occupy should rouse you to a caffeinated state of paranoia.

//God’s name: Perun// Kaibab finally said.

Almost unconsciously, I sent //Shock// in reply, because it was truly my reaction. The Slavic plane of existence was burning, perhaps even dead? How? Why? I hoped Perun would have the answers. If he sought me in hopes that I had them, we’d both be disappointed. //Yes / Tell Perun location//

I’d also like to know how Perun even knew to ask for me—did someone tell him I’d faked my death twelve years ago? There was another pause, during which I filled in Granuaile and Oberon. Thanks to Immortali-Tea, they hadn’t aged any more than I had.

<Hey, isn’t Perun that hairy guy you told me about, who can turn into an eagle?> Oberon asked.

Yep, that’s the one.

<I’ve always wondered why he doesn’t shill for shaving cream or razors with twenty-five ultrathin vibrating blades. He’d sure move a buttload of product.>

I don’t know why, but perhaps you’ll get a chance to ask him.

//He comes// Kaibab said. //Fast//

“Okay, incoming,” I said out loud.

“Incoming what, Atticus?” Granuaile asked.

“Incoming thunder god. We should move near a tree and get ready to shift away to Tír na nÓg if necessary. And get the fulgurites out.” Fulgurites would protect us from lightning strikes; Perun had given them to us when Granuaile was just starting her training, but we hadn’t worn them for years, since all the thunder gods thought I was dead.

“You think Perun is going to take a shot at us?” Granuaile asked. She shrugged off her red backpack and unzipped the pouch containing the fulgurites.

“Well, no, but . . . maybe. I don’t know what’s going on, really. When in doubt, know your way out, I always say.”

“I thought you always said, ‘When in doubt, blame the dark elves.’ ”

“Well, yeah, that too.”

<I don’t think those are very practical solutions to doubt,> Oberon said. <They don’t leave you feeling satisfied. “When in doubt, eat your neighbor’s lunch” is better, because then you would at least be full.>

We stood in a meadow of bunch grass and clover. The sky washed us in cerulean blue, and the sun kissed Granuaile’s red hair with gold—mine too, I suppose. We had stopped dyeing our hair black because no one was looking for two redheads anymore. And after twelve uncomfortable years of being clean-shaven—my goatee had been distinguishable and damn difficult to dye—I was enjoying my new beard. Oberon looked as if he wanted to plop down and bask in the light for a while. Our backpacks were weighted down with camping gear that we’d bought at Peace Surplus in Flagstaff, but after Granuaile retrieved the fulgurites, we jogged over as best we could to the nearest stand of Ponderosa pine trees. I confirmed that there was a functioning tether to Tír na nÓg there and then looked up for signs of Perun’s arrival.

Granuaile noticed and craned her neck upward. “What’s up there, sensei?” she wondered aloud. “I don’t see anything but sky.”

“I’m looking for Perun. I’m assuming he’s going to fly in. There, see?” I pointed to a dark streak in the northwestern sky trailed by lightning bolts. And, behind that, at a distance of perhaps five to ten miles—I couldn’t tell from so far away—burned an orange ball of fire.

Granuaile squinted. “What’s that thing that looks like the Phoenix Suns logo? Is that him?”

“No, Perun is in front of it, throwing all the lightning.”

“Oh, so what is it? A meteor or a cherub or something?”

“Or something. It doesn’t look friendly. That’s not a warm, cozy hearth fire that you gather ’round with your friends to read some Longfellow while you toast s’mores. That’s more like napalm with a heart of phosphorus and a side of hell sauce.” The lightning and the fireball were turning in the sky and heading directly our way.

<Um. Hey, Atticus, think we should try that escape route just to make sure it works?> Oberon said.

I hear ya, buddy. I’m ready to scoot too. But let’s see if we can talk to Perun first.

The sky darkened and boomed above, making everything shudder; Perun was traveling at supersonic speeds. He crashed into the meadow about fifty yards away from us, and large chunks of turf exploded around a newly formed crater. I felt the impact in my feet, and a wave of displaced air knocked me backward a bit. Before the turf could fall back to earth, a heavily muscled figure carpeted in hair bounded out of it toward us, panic writ large on his features.

“Atticus! We must flee this plane! Is not safe! Take me—save me!”

Normally thunder gods are not prone to panic. The ability to blast away problems tends to turn the jagged edges of fear into silly little pillows of insouciance. So when an utter badass like Perun looks as if he’s about to soil himself, I hope I can be forgiven if I nearly shat kine—especially when the fireball whoomped into the crater Perun had just vacated and sucked all the oxygen out of my lungs.

Granuaile ducked and shrieked in surprise; Oberon whimpered. Perun was tossed through the air toward us like a stuntman in a Michael Bay film, but, upon rolling gracefully through the landing, he leapt back up, his legs churning toward us.

Behind Perun, the fire didn’t spread but rather began to shrink and coalesce and . . . laugh. A high, thin, maniacal laugh, straight out of creepy cartoons. And the fire swirled, torus-like, around a figure twelve feet tall, until it gradually wicked out and left a lean giant with a narrow face standing fifty yards before us, his orange and yellow hair starting from his skull like a sunburst. The grin on his face wasn’t the affable, friendly sort; it was more like the sociopathic rictus of the irretrievably, bugfuckeringly insane.

His eyes were the worst. They were melted around the edges, as if they’d been burned with acid, and where a normal person would have laugh lines or crow’s-feet, he had bubbly pink scars and a nightmare of blistered tissue. The whites of his eyes were a red mist of broken blood vessels, but the irises were an ice blue frosted with madness. He blinked them savagely, as if he had soap in them or something, and soon I recognized it as a nervous tic, since his head jerked to the right at odd intervals and then continued to twitch uncertainly afterward, like a bobble-head doll.

“Go, my friend, go! We must flee!” Perun said, huffing as he reached us and putting one hand on my shoulder and another on the pine. Granuaile followed suit; she knew the drill, and so did Oberon, who reared up on his hind legs and leaned one paw against me and the other on the tree.

“Who in hell is that, Perun?” I said.

The giant laughed again and I shuddered involuntarily. His voice was smooth and fluffy, like marshmallow crème—if the crème also had shards of glass in it. But he had a thick Scandinavian accent to go with the nervous tic.

“This p-p-place—is M-Merrica, yes?”

A twitch, a stutter, and an English-language learner. He’d drive me insane just listening to him. “Yes,” I replied.

“Hah? Who? Thppt! Raah!” He spat a fire loogie and shook his head violently. Perhaps this was more than a twitch. It might be full-blown Tourette’s syndrome. Or it might be something else, as the signs all pointed to a highly unpleasant conclusion.

“Who gah, guh, gods here?” He giggled to himself after this, pleased that he’d managed to ask the question. There was a disturbingly high squealing noise coming from his head, like the sound of fat screaming in a frying pan or air slowly leaking out of a balloon. The giant rested his hands on his knees and scrunched up his shoulders in an attempt to steady his noggin, but this had the unsettling effect of turning his flamelike hair to actual flames. The noise intensified.

Revue de presse

“It may be possible that Hearne and Atticus are the logical heir to Butcher and Dresden.”―SFFWorld
 
“[Atticus is] a strong modern hero with a long history and the wit to survive in the twenty-first century. . . . A snappy narrative voice . . . a savvy urban fantasy adventure.”—Library Journal, on Hounded
 
“Superb . . . eminently readable . . . plenty of quips and zap-pow-bang fighting.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Hounded

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3286 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 322 pages
  • Editeur : Del Rey; Édition : 1st (27 novembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0089EHIPO
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°58.638 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Dans la lignée des autres Iron Druid Chronicles 24 février 2014
Par fenchurch
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Peut-être même meilleur encore que les précédents, parfois un peu trop riches en rebondissements.
Les personnages gagnent encore en profondeur, leur évolution au fil du temps est très agréable à lire.
Un style fluide, simple et enthousiasmant dans un univers sympathique.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 28 décembre 2013
Par Vesuvan
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Toujours un humour omniprésent qui rappelle les affaires dresden (c'est un compliment), un univers très original et agréable. A lire sans hésiter.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  539 commentaires
32 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 More of a Good Thing 27 novembre 2012
Par Skuldren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
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. There was just something about Hounded, Hexed, and Hammered that hit on a higher level. There was more laughs, action and entertainment. But Trapped still throws in some humor and enough excitement to keep things interesting. Oberon still pops in with some hilarious dialog, and I really like Granuaile's progression. Yet the further Granuaile progresses, the more I feel Atticus regresses. He just doesn't seem to be growing much as a character. He's still childish at times and doesn't think very far ahead. Of course he is 2,100 years old, so if he was going to change any as a person, he probably would have done so already. Perhaps it's just an odd, unavoidable circumstance. Still, I would imagine there's more to Atticus' character that could be revealed, and as a reader, I'd like to see that head somewhere.

One thing that hasn't suffered any in the series is the crafty development of the plots, both short term and long term. There are a lot of plot threads in Trapped that get weaved around with promises of blossoming into something in the future. For instance Leif is still in the gray area between friend and foe, and Atticus predicts Leif may have an ambitious agenda of his own. The Morrigan is still playing a game against Brighid for control of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Plus there is finally some movement on Atticus and Granuaile's love life. Meanwhile some old story threads come back to bite Attiucs on the ass in the way of dark elves and dwarves.

Overall, I give Trapped a four out of five. It was an enjoyable read and entertaining addition to the series.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Pretty darned good. 1 mars 2014
Par RabidReads - Publié sur Amazon.com
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). In fact, this novel is full of Canadian Easter eggs because the gang even hides out in good ol’ Manitoba for a stint. O’Sullivan’s fifteen centuries of blaming the dark elves for EVERYTHING finally comes to bite him in the butt too when they decide that enough is enough.

Luke Daniels continues to hold me in thrall with his infectious energy and authentic narration. His enactment of Oberon is always good for a chuckle, and he makes a splendid Atticus O’Sullivan as well. Heck, even his rendition of Granuaile is good! I don’t think I’d be finding this series nearly as entertaining as I am without his voice in my ears. Daniels is equally as skilled at delivering punch lines as he is upping the pace during the action scenes; although, this installment was a little tamer that its predecessors because he didn’t have to read from a giant squirrel’s POV or sing one of the wolfhound’s silly songs.

I gave my guy book 1 for Christmas, and at the time of this review’s writing, he’d jumped ahead of me and had already started reading HUNTED; I’m told that it’s his favourite installment so far. Now, coming from a man who normally reads only a couple of novels a year read, six in two months is a testament and a half to this series’ awesomeness. TRAPPED is the worst of the best and when you’re talking about Kevin Hearne’s writing that still means that it was pretty darned good.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 came for the Druid, stayed for the dog 14 octobre 2013
Par JEdward - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Oberon is the true hero in this story ;) he's definitely the coolest non-human character ever.

4 more words required...
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Iron Druid Chronicles 17 avril 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
They are my very favorite series. I love to read, love these characters and the theme. Am anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Druid adventures
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 still good if you can get past the uneven pacing 12 mars 2015
Par Sneaky Burrito - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
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. 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.
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