I’m happy to say this was the best of these books yet. Makes sense. The urban fantasy I’ve read all start to crystallize around books three and four. That’s usually when you’ve got enough set-up and characters that you can start moving the pieces around in more interesting ways, and building on what you’ve already laid out.
Here, we’ve got Atticus and his apprentice Granuaile on the run, both of them having newly faked their deaths (well, Atticus fakes his death starting on page one, and Granuaile’s comes mid-book) so that the Norse gods and all of the other pantheons who have it out for Atticus will leave them along long enough for Atticus to take the twelve years necessary to train Granuaile into a new druid. Only thing is, Coyote played a significant (and painful) role in the faking, so now they owe him a huge favor, and he’s cashing in right away. He tells Atticus he needs help opening a gold mine on the Navajo reservation, which would involve Atticus asking the Colorado elemental to actually move gold to the place Coyote has chosen. Only, the spot seems to have been chosen with care. There are two skinwalkers there, killing people and generally being terrible, and guess who Coyote thinks will take care of them.
Aside from any story featuring skinwalkers scaring the crap out of me, I really enjoyed all of this. The Coyote plot was interesting. I liked that Hearne made the Navajo such a large part of the story, as they’re a large part of the state of Arizona as well (and I still continue to really get a kick out of knowing where most of the places in these books are). But I actually liked the subplot the most, with the fallout from Leif’s recovery from last book.
I hope the next few books are as good as this one, and not as pointless as the second one.