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. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian 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 gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.
A quest, a chase, and a paranormal road trip to kill a god. The last druid is working hard to get on the most dangerous bad lists and I loved having Luke Daniels as the narrator telling me how Atticus got through on the skin of his teeth.
Hammered is the third book of the Iron Druid Chronicles that I’m slowly making my way through in audio with the wry, amusing Luke Daniels telling the story. This Urban Fantasy series really must be read/listened to in order because each installment builds on the ones before it. In fact, the pair of adventures in Hammered is a result of Atticus cleaning up his debts to those he asked a favor in the previous book.
Each book, it seems Atticus is engaged with a new mythology and this one was the Norse myths since Atticus ventures to Asgard and tangles with the Norse gods. The first time alone and the second time with Leif the Vampire and Gunnar the werewolf. This was all guy adventures away from Phoenix. There were brief look ins with the Widow, Granuielle and Oberon, and even Coyote.
I enjoyed this one. There were some hilarious moments like Atticus and Oberon discussing the possibility of a bacon cheeseburger latte and Atticus encounter with Jesus.
But that said, I felt it was not as engaging as the first two stories. There is a lot of downtime on the action, but not in a way that kept my focus. In the first part, Atticus is having a mental angel on his shoulder thing with Spock and Kirk the angels then later, there are background stories for why Leif and Gunnar want to go after Thor. It wasn’t boring per se, but it didn’t move the plot along, either.
The ending definitely had me sharply back in focus and ready for more of this series which I’m glad I can move right into the next on.
On a side note, I did pause to read the freebie on Kevin Hearne’s blog: Test of Mettle that takes place during the time when Atticus is off with Leif and Gunnar. It’s Granuielle’s story and it was a good one.
What makes this series an even better experience for me is definitely getting it in audio with Luke Daniel’s narration. He gets the large cast of characters with their accents and personalities oh-so right. At this point, I feel it would lose something for me going back to just print editions for the rest of the series.
All in all, it was good, but not a favorite of the series. It is moving toward bigger things so that I can accept. I highly recommend the series for the fun quips, culture references, paranormal world building and characters.
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