24 January 2012

Hammered - Kevin Hearne

The Blurb: Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully - he's ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he's asked his friend Atticus O'Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. Plus things are heating up in his home base of Tempe, Arizona. There is a vapire turf war brewing, and Russion demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plane of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry Norse gods, and the hammer wielding Thunder Thug himself.

So, here is the third Iron Druid book. Atticus is making life quite difficult for himself, attracting the attention of a lot of different gods, witches, vampires and all round bad guys. It makes for good reading though.

His first item of business is to go and steal a Golden Apple from Asgard to repay a promise made during the happenings in Hexed, to someone who has proven that you do not want to get on her bad side. And one thing about Atticus is that he repays his debts, even if he knows that in doing so, he pretty much screws himself. His Word is his bond and he stands by it. That is why that when he agreed to help Leif - his vampire lawyer, friend and sometime consumer of Atticus' blood - kill Thor, he meant it. 

The Morrigan warns him not to fo it. Jesus warns him not to. Yes, Atticus and Jesus hangs out and does some shots. It's one of my favourite scenes from the book. But Atticus promised.

He rides the giant squirrel, confers with frost giants and we meet some elementals along the way. We also find out why Thor is such a giant asshat. Leif, Gunnar and three other very strong people who have real issues with Thor goes on this mission. The final fight scene is done bloody brilliantly.

The story ends quite abruptly, in that it doesn't really end. The book stops, but it leaves the tale unfinished. At least his next book is around the corner, otherwise I would have been really pissed off at Mr. Hearne. 

All in all, Hammered is the best of the three published Iron Druid novels. The jokes are hilarious, and I really laughed myself half to death when Atticus described the difficulties in transporting five people between planes. Read the book, you'll know the part I mean when you get there. The passages where the Thor death squad describes their reasons for doing what they are doing is very touching. It brings sense and purpose to what is about to happen.

Clues are dropped about what is going to happen in the future books, but done in such a way as to really not interfere with the story told. All in all, it's brilliant. 


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