Hammered by Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #3
Published by Brilliance Audio
Published on: July 5, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 9 hrs & 40 mins
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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.
This installment pours on the geeky with its abundant Sci-Fi Fantasy references, and even though a lot of the LORD OF THE RINGS and STAR TREK shout-outs were lost on me, my guy has now taken up reading this series so kudos to Hearne for spanning multiple genres! This author’s wacky sense of humour is also another huge draw for me; between Oberon’s love for bitches and sausages, and Atticus’ questions about vampire poop, it’s impossible to not crack a smile while listening to HAMMERED. And, last but not least, there’s Luke Daniels’ priceless narration of Ratatosk the giant squirrel! If that doesn’t get you laughing, well, you may just be a lost cause.
I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy Kevin Hearne’s personal spin on the various myths he covers in THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES. This time around, Atticus finds himself sneaking into Asgard to steal a golden apple by riding a giant squirrel up the roots of the world tree. His literal interpretation of an ancient lore seems downright insane at first but he quickly proves his skeptics wrong and thus his outrageous plan to defeat Thor is born. Each of the four characters that team-up with the druid in their quest for vengeance gets a full chapter to tell their vendetta tales which I found to be extremely interesting. I always enjoy a good “how I became a werewolf / vampire” story.
Oberon doesn’t play as large of a role in this book as he has in previous installments which made his doggie moments all the more precious. I wish there’d been more of them but Atticus helped to pick-up the slack by being even more outspoken than usual. Readers also get to learn a bit more about Tahira, O’Sullivan’s long lost love which helped to add some depth to his character. I’ve now come to accept that my favourite druid won’t be pairing up with a lady friend anytime soon but as long as Hearne continues to pepper his stories with goddess sexy times my appetite for romp scenes will remain satisfied.
Luke Daniels’ versatility as the narrator of these audiobooks continues to amaze me; all of his character voices are distinctly identifiable whether he’s reading from a dog’s POV or that of Ratatosk. I have to give this man serious props for not sounding like Alvin the Chipmunk while he narrated the latter’s dialogue! Hearne’s multifaceted writing style can’t be easy to convey but Daniels tackles every nutty curve ball with ease.
HAMMERED’s ending was bittersweet, even though they are successful in reaching their end goal, the price of their success was extremely high. Lots of characters die, including a few secondary ones, and I was left feeling skeptical about how the Mrs McDunnah cliffhanger will play-out in the future. Although, this wasn’t my favourite installment, the hilarious hijinx of Atticus and Oberon are always worth a listen and I took comfort in learning that there’s beer in Irish heaven!
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