Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: Hammered by Kevin Hearne

Title: Hammered
Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #3
Pages: 310
Publisher: Random House
Date Published: July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Library

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 plain 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.

My Review:
Seriously...Hammered is THE best book of the Iron Druid Chronicles and from the sheer awesomeness of the first two, that is saying a lot. Whether it is the scene where Atticus is describing what "squeeing" is to a 1000 year old vampire (complete with a description of when and how Atticus himself squees) or a car chase told in alternating shakespeare quotes and lol catz speak, I was laughing my ass off the entire time I was reading. I feel the need to just pepper this review with quotes because they were SO epic. If you haven't started this series, please do so immediately and tell me about it so we can laugh over all the completely ridiculous, yet awesome, fabulousness that happens in this AMAZING book!
There's a reason Bath & Body works doesn't have a fragrance called "Big F*****G Squirrel".
And that my dear friends, pretty much sums up Atticus's attitude in general. I love the way he interacts with mystical characters and shows total disrespect towards the gods. (The squirrel mentioned is guardian to one of the sacred roots of the tree that houses Asgard, the home of the Norse gods). Atticus is irreverent, yet cautious. I mean, staying alive for centuries proves that he knows how to watch his tongue around crazy, self important deities, but that doesn't stop the non-stop snarky commentary inside this wonderful man's mind. I wish I could have an Atticus shoulder angel who just provided a verbal, witty, hilarious play-by-play of every event in my life. Though I probably would get sent to the funny farm for laughing out loud 9940 times a day.And of course darling Atticus isn't the only fab character we get to experience first hand. We get the delightful, sarcastic, totally ADD puppy Oberon (though not as much as I would have liked!) and the centuries old vampire Leif. We get to know both Lief and Gunnar(the local pack alpha) a hell of a lot better, as well as being introduced to my favorite side character so far...Jesus Christ. :)
Awesome! I just bullied Jesus into taking a shot with me.... We ordered the insanely expensive stuff, seventy five dollars for a 1.75 ounce pour of premium Irish whiskey, because when you're doing a shot with Jesus, you don't buy him scotch.
The book is very lighthearted at first--how can it not be with the opening scene revolving around a giant squirrel with small mental capacities piggy-backing Atticus to the realm of the Norse gods? His adventures are quick and light and full of "har-de-har-hars", as Atticus single handedly trips up an entire pantheon of gods.Yet as the story continues, the playful hilarity transitions into something much darker, emotional, and meaningful. The action in the last half of the book is non-stop and it's SUCH an emotional roller coaster ride! I was laughing my ass off on one page, then on the next I was tearing up and sniveling like a little baby! One of my favorite "emotional" sections was the segment where all of the 5 challengers who want to kill Thor have a delightful week of male bonding so that they can better work together to destroy the Thunder God. We got to delve deep into the minds of not only our favorite Alpha-werewolf and Viking-Vampire, but also the histories and traumas of an entirely new set of characters from another thunder-god to a shaman-type dude with sweet ninja skillz. Then we are rewarded for this week of "story-time"  by the joy of THIS little quote when the boys think they have bonded enough to get to Asgard.
Getting five men to simultaneously touch me and the root of a tree was vaguely akin to a game of homoerotic twister.
 Bahahah!...Homoerotic touching aside, it was really cool to see so many different types of characters and gods interacting towards a common goal. Even though normally I would be very sad to see Thor killed (especially if he looks like Chris Hemsworth...)...this series paints him blacker than any villain out there. So...Death to the Thunder-Thug!!!

One interesting thing I have noticed not only with this series, but with male authors in general,  is that they seem to let important characters die a lot more easily than their female counterparts. I don't know if us ladies just get too attached to our MC's to kill them off, but it definitely seems to me that the guys are always cutting someone down just to tear at our heartstrings. Hearne appears to have no problem axing a few of the characters that you REALLY grow to love and respect. I was kind of sad and upset about the deaths at first, but they really add to the story and depth of the plot so guess I can grudgingly appreciate it. Particularly if they come back to life in later books like it seems like they will (fingers crossed!)
I give Hammered 5 Keys! To be perfectly honest, if you didn't find these quotes hilarious and immediately get the urge to run out and start your own Iron Druids collection, then we probably shouldn't be friends. This series is definitely an epic cornerstone of the Urban Fantasy universe and I will probably have my own Squeeing fan-girl moment if I ever have the fortune to run into Kevin Hearne somewhere because I'm so impressed and even occasionally moved by this series. Hammered is the best one yet and believe me, it isn't because the first two are stinkers. It seems like everything in the first two books were building up to the fabulousness that is the third one and we get a lot of closure as one story arc seems to be ending while another one begins. This is an excellent, hilarious, interesting, and original series that brings a breath of fresh air to the Urban Fantasy world. If you aren't going out to find your copy immediately, then we can't be talking right now :P


  1. Gorgeous review, Andra! I loved this big showdown of a book, definitely the best one so far! :) Looking forward to reading Tricked, it will have to be really different from the rest of the books.

  2. The quotes you picked were awesome! I loved this book. I adore this series! It is and clever! Wonderful review Andra! :)

  3. Hammered is more epic than the last two installments, the stakes have never been higher and Atticus is in for a hella wild ride. I love that the world that our favourite druid lives in isn't static, there are far reaching consequences for everything that he has done and Atticus and his peoples have to adjust and change to deal with everthing. I don't want this to be a spoilery review, so I will just say, that if you enjoyed the previous two iron druid chronicles, then this one will BLOW YOUR MIND!
    If you are new to Kevin Hearne's books, I implore you to start with the first Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles It'll be too hard to follow if you don't start from the beginning.