Book 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’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 Asgaard, 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.
SABINA: I blame Laurie for getting me hooked on the Iron Druid Series. Actually, I should thank her, and if my delicious chocolate cookies would make it through customs, she would DEFINITELY get some! ;-)
LAURIE: HA! You are such a tease. I keep being promised foodie treats. I’ll just have to wait til you come visit me and I’ll chain you in the kitchen, supply you with books and groceries and eat the plunder. Sorry, go back to writing your review. Besides, you have nothing to complain about, you love this series as much as I do!
SABINA: Hmm, maybe I just have to postpone my trip to the states… :-) Try and explain that in the airport; “reason for visiting?” “Uhmmm, restrained to my friends kitchen to bake, read and…why are you looking at me like that?!”
No, seriously, it is no hardship to love this series, believe me. I’ll admit it does take me some time to read the books, but that’s ‘course I like them and don’t want to misunderstand things – just like I usually don’t rush through Suzanne McLeod’s books. Sometimes you can devour books – sometimes you just can’t let go and you enjoy the story the author has to tell and you really don’t want it to end.
In Hammered, Atticus is forced to keep a promise he made to Lakasha – to steal an apple. But not just any plain, old apple. No, it HAS to be one of Idunn’s golden apples. Idunn is a Nordic goddess – an Asa. So Atticus goes to Asgaard to steal an apple. But his journey is not going to be unnoticed. And what the hell do you do when you’re face to face with the All Fader – Odin himself? I’ll let a little spoiler go right now: Atticus makes a big mess in Asgaard, but makes it out of there. In one piece.
But that’s not saying he’s safe – or the one he loves and cares about is safe. Atticus is warned – from several deities – he should NOT return to Asgaard with his little hunting party, he should NOT help them go after Thor. But Atticus has given his word, and once given, he doesn’t want to break it. Promises are to be kept.
But standing in front of not only the thunder god, Thor, but also his father – Odin and other great gods and goddesses and all you have is your wits, your friends and a handful of frost giants, what do you do?
I loved “Hounded” with the Tuatha Dé Danann and I adored “Hexed” with the polish witches and the Bacchants. But with “Hammered”, I’m sold. I’m home. I grew up with the story and tales of the Nordic gods and goddesses and I love them. And when one of my favorite authors tells a new and different story with the Norse? Oh boy! :-)
LAURIE: Not to sound too American, but I hadn’t thought about that connection. Of course it would resonate with you, my Viking Sistah! I agree, I thought he did a fantastic job. I, for one however, am still in grieving for the Giant Squirrel. He was a fine fellow. Stupid Norn’s. (I hope this isn’t too spoilerish but it does happen in like the first 10 pages so it would show up in a sample of the book on Amazon).
SABINA: Yes poor Ratatosk!! That wasn’t very nice of the Norns! But… Do you think it was the original Ratatosk they killed or a new version?
LAURIE: Oh, I definitely think it is the real thing. Hearn has no problem killing off dieties. Norse Gods don’t make out well in his books, however it is usually Atticus killing them off!
SABINA: True! Anyway…There are SO many good things in this book and I will not tell you everything, but I love Kevin Hearne’s humor. I mean honestly – how many do you know that in their first book would write “Look Mom, I’ve made this! Can we put it on the fridge?” on the VERY first page? In Hammered we see SO much more of Hearne’s humor and how he made me laugh. Let me tell you a secret: he NAILS male bonding and the way we all think that guys think, PERFECTLY!!!
LAURIE: I think you are right, Sabina. I loved the guys bonding around the campfire and telling stories. I also love the humor in these books. A lot of people compare Atticus to Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, and being a fan of both series, I see similarities but I think the difference is humor versus snark. I love Dresden, but he is much more snarky as opposed to just straight up funny. Not to say Hearn doesn’t know how to write snark, or pathos for that matter as well. Some people very close to Atticus do not make out well in this book, and it was heartbreaking.
SABINA: I almost cried in the end. It was so sad! And I have to agree with the dialog that Atticus has with Hal in the end.
LAURIE: I thought Atticus’s conversations with Jesus and Coyote were wonderful as well. You have to tread very careful if you bring Jesus into a fantasy book, if you know what I mean. People will read about Angels, and Satan, and demons and anything else...but you have to be extremely sensitive to how people react if you bring Jesus into the picture and I thought Hearne did a wonderful job. Also the conversation with Coyote was great. You know what a crush I have on Coyote. Love him as a demigod/archetype.
SABINA: Oh I know you do! He’s a wonderful character, Coyote!! :-) I love that Kevin Hearne brings the different dieties into the book. He did use Mary in the last one too. It’s brilliant!