Book Review: Hammered by Kevin Hearne

hammeredTitle: Hammered

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.

hammered 2

The Review:

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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by Niki Hawkes


Book Review: Hexed by Kevin Hearne

9595650Title: Hexed

Author: Kevin Hearne

Series: Iron Druid #2

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to “make nice” with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial non-aggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. The new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of WWII.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch-hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.


The Review:

I am happy to report that the second novel had all of the elements I loved about the first one (Hounded). The series is the unique voice in the urban fantasy genre and opens up possibilities for more than just the same old werewolf and vampire plots (as good as they may be). There are so many things done well – world building, character, pacing, adventure, and humor (to name a few) – that I almost have to get nitpick to find any fault with it.

I might be just getting a little impatient but I’m still waiting for some sort of profound character growth and development with the main protagonists. Thus far, he’s kept us readers at arm’s distance and we really haven’t seen him get overly involved emotionally in anything yet. It’s always a “just another day at the job” attitude emitting from him, and he’s such a great character that the author would need to add only a little to make him outstanding.

I think this is sort of why I’m still hoping for a love story to develop – I crave some of that internal conflict to help me really feel for this character. Heck, I would even settle for a sex scene with someone he actually, you know, gives a crap about. At the very least, I want the author to “hang a lantern” on why the protagonists isn’t seeking a mate. Whether it’s fear of losing them or just plain enjoyment of his promiscuity, I want to know. you would think someone who’s been alive for so long would have had love in his past, and I think it’s a too important element of story to continue ignoring completely.

Overall, this has been a highly entertaining series so far and I fully intend to keep recommending it to urban fantasy lovers looking for something different. The concerns in my review are really only minor ones when compared to the whole scheme of things, and the author still has plenty of time to address them in future books. For a more thorough evaluation of the series as a whole (so far), click the link above to read my thoughts on book one.

Recommendations: Hey, all you Harry Dresden fans – I think I just found your next series. :-)

by Niki Hawkes

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