Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: Iron Druid #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 2/5 stars
The Overview: 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.
I’m finally ready to admit that I’m just not getting everything out of this series that I hoped I would. I’ve given it the benefit of the doubt for three books now, and unfortunately found this one to be even more disappointing than the first two. Hammered was one giant tangent – sort of enjoyable tangent, but way off-story nonetheless.
There wasn’t any part of it that was particularly plot advancing, at least in any way that I found meaningful (okay, maybe there was one thing, but it was less than a page long so I’m not counting it). I mentioned in my reviews for both Hounded and Hexed that I wanted to see some sort of character growth for Atticus, but this novel continued the trend of being externally focused. I also wanted some sort of love story, not just a series of sexual encounters with flawless goddesses. In short, I needed something real and relatable… but was disappointed yet again.
In Hammered, Hearne essentially took the element of the series that I was least interested in and made it into a novel. There were so many other plot points that he could’ve expanded on, so I’m bummed it took this route. I will note that this is entirely a preference thing, so don’t let it sway you if the synopsis sounds exciting. I think the reason I was disappointed was because of personal and expectations rather than any fault with the author – I always had the impression he was telling exactly the type of story he intended to.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this series is great for light in-the-moment entertainment (which is sometimes just what the doctor ordered), but is not the type that draws you in emotionally. I enjoyed it in the moment, for the most part, but I won’t be remembering it for years to come, that’s for sure.
Recommended Reading: for those who want a fun, adventurous, he-man story with a cheeky comic-book flair. Also for anyone who doesn’t mind an entirely external-driven story.
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