"...your charms are like Macros..."

Tricked - Kevin Hearne

In the wake of the realms-shaking events in Asgard, Atticus takes a cue from Lucifer and, with the aid of some righteously enraged thunder gods and his allies Coyote and the Morrigan, convinces the world he doesn't exist anymore. Not all Asgardians are fooled by his disappearing act, and his actions have paved the way for certain parties to hasten the ultimate Norse endgame. But like all tricksters, Coyote's aid comes with a price tag- a hefty one that even Coyote didn't quite estimate- plus with Leif out of commission, a few lesser vampires have arisen to fight over his territory. What's a druid to do...?

Writers of all stripes could take a few lessons from this series. It's multi-layered, fully vested in its myth and mythos- this one centering on Navajo traditions and lore- and well focused on both the character and story arcs. There's also some excellent insight into Atticus' past and a fantastic primer for how to fake a murder scene good enough to fool CSI along with a few other intriguing scientific and magical techniques. Lots of UF authors who think they're so good at this stuff should take notes, especially as Hearne is gracious enough to thank those who helped him out with it.

The best thing about Hearne's books- the characterizations and humor- remain strong. It's guaranteed you'll find something to 'lol' about at least once every chapter. ("You can call me... Roy." Yeah, I saw what you did there!) And the Schwarzenegger Rule deserves an entry on the TV Tropes page. He's also good at crafting some interesting imagery with his colloquialisms, which adds to the fun.

With their expanded roles in the book, Coyote is given some surprising depth and Granuaile finally comes into her own, no longer just a pretty face wanting to learn the ancient arts. And even in an all-too brief appearance Morrigan is still the kind of goddess a man would willingly go to his death for (as is her due), and Oberon remains a dog for all seasons.

The only real drawbacks to the series also remain- things still get way too over-the-top for me at times. Though I'm learning to live with it, Atticus comes off too often like a Gary-Stu version of Highlander. Not only has he been around a long time and seen and done incredible things- fair enough- but he crops up too often at pivotal junctures and impacts certain events. It just feels forced and overbearing.

I've said before that Kevin Hearne is the modern Christopher Stasheff, right down to the at times excessive verbiage, and Tricked only serves to cement his reputation as a spinner of tall tales. You won't be disappointed.