Hammered by Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: Iron Druid Chronicles #3
Published by Brilliance Audio on July 5, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 9 hours, 36 minutes
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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.
Having read the entire Iron Druid Chronicles before, this is my second time listening to Hammered. While I don’t give away any spoilers, I will note that my feelings about this one were definitely altered having listened to it and the entire series previously. That said, I actually enjoyed Hammered more this time around.
Making good on his promise to the powerful witch Laksha to obtain a fabled apple from a Norse god, Atticus finds a “backdoor” into Asgard, then weaves a ridiculous tale of the Roman pantheon aiming to hurt the Norse pantheon to lay blame for the tragedies he causes while on his task. But Atticus isn’t done! He follows up these acts by heading back into Asgard with friend Leif and a handful of scorned immortals, fulfilling his promise to assist the vampire in his quest to kill Thor.
Hammered is an interesting and exciting adventure for Atticus. He makes some extremely poor choices, even after warned not to by two different, trusted gods. I enjoyed the expanded world beyond the Tempe area and loved the new-to-the-series mythology. I appreciated that the majority of the world-building is presented as fact, rather than trying to convince the reader through telling. Additionally, the humor is spot on, especially in the front half of the book. In chapter 3, Atticus creates a Star Trek-inspired religion, with “angel” Spock and “devil” Kirk providing advice. And in chapter 1, he thinks “There is a reason Bath and Body Works doesn’t have a line of products called Huge F*cking Squirrel,” and I laughed out loud.
In the grand scheme of things, it was interesting to go back and relive these events. I certainly misremembered parts, which probably worked in my favor (I remembered the killings being worse than they are actually). As in my first read, I still think there are too many needless deaths, and I remain frustrated that Atticus doesn’t heed the warnings. The battle with the Norse gods is a bloody, mean-spirited battle, which left me unfulfilled and sad. However, I see Atticus’ point that his word would’ve been no good, and appreciate that he does make an effort to try and get everybody out of Asgard safely, even asking them not to go in the first place.
There are a few very touching moments as Atticus concedes it is finally time to move on from Tempe. His reflection on his reasons for always moving and never loving again are profound. We find out he was married and experienced deep, true love for two centuries! It’s been over 500 years, and he’s afraid to set roots and love again. But he does love Oberon. And now he has a friendship with the Widow MacDonagh and his obligations to Granuaile. It’s actually a very moving self-reflection as he makes the decision to leave Arizona.
Hammered is probably the strongest story to date. The entire book flowed smoothly from beginning to end, even with the lengthy backstories in the middle of the book (Mr. Hearne is ever the storyteller). I enjoyed the connections forged between Atticus and his companions, but the overall story of revenge was tough to swallow. Since I know what happens next, I’ll leave it at that!
The series continues to be shared via the first person of Atticus, who is hiding out in Tempe, AZ, and therefore speaks with an American accent. Mr. Daniels successfully alters dialogue based on gender, species, age, and ethnic origin, making each character wholly unique. The story’s narration is elevated to a new level this time around. Mr. Daniels expanded his repertoire of voices, adding several gods and accented characters. From a blowhard god to a whimsical wizard, from dimwitted frost giants to a gentle dessert elemental, each is unique and appropriately fit the persona of the character. Mr. Daniel’s captures the essence of Mr. Hearne’s characters and makes them more. He fills each with emotion, therefore making the events that much more memorable and real.
Listen to a clip: HERE
A Test of Mettle from Two Tales of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
Iron Druid Chronicles #3.5
Source: Purchased (Audible)
A Test of Mettle is a short story shared in the first person POV narration of Atticus’s apprentice, Granuaile. The story takes place concurrently with book 3, Hammered, when Atticus is in Asgard. Granuaile is keeping her promise to Sonora, the desert earth elemental, by ridding the river of an evasive species, when she is attacked by wild animals.
I enjoyed experiencing Granuaile’s perspective. I liked seeing how Granuaile interacted with Oberon since she can’t hear him, therefore neither can I. I also enjoyed seeing her survive her trials and get a new perspective of her enjoyment and desire to become a Druid. We also see a glimpse of a dark side to Granuaile as she thinks about a time in the future when she will be able to destroy her stepfather.
Narration: Mr. Daniels keeps his narrator voice softer and lighter than what he uses for Atticus and therefore, appropriate for this female lead. Because of this, there is no confusion who is narrating the tale.
Share your review/ thoughts on Hammered:
I thought it might be fun to link up reviews so we can find them all easily. It can be a link to Goodreads or a blog, or wherever you have a review (short or long).
The chat will be Sunday, May 7th
COYER Challenge is adopting our Read-along. You can read about COYER and join that challenge or just the Facebook community chat HERE. On the Sunday after the review posts, they will host a FB room (like we do for COYER book club) at 12 PT, 2 CT, 3 ET and 9pm Europe, for a one hour chat. You do not have to join the COYER challenge to participate, only the Facebook group.
Here’s your to-do list:
- Find your copies of these books, borrow them from a friend, get them at the library or buy them
- Read book 4, Tricked by June 2.
- Read book 4.5 Two Ravens and a Crow, available separately in audio, but now included at the back of Tricked in print and ebook. This was originally in the anthology Carniepunk. There are 4 others which are part of Besieged (which we will read later).
- Make note of a favorite quote or two as you read the book.
- If you haven’t read the books before, make a list of questions you have for the discussion. If you have read them, please don’t spoil new readers.
- Enter the giveaways!
Interviews with Kevin:
2011- Jul 1: Amalia Dillin interview
2011- Jul 20: Beauty and Lace interview
Who said (enter the answer in the Rafflecopter, don’t put in the comments)
Who said “Should I give them my respect or my pity?”
There are other options in the rafflecopter for you to enter discussion questions and quotes to share.
The quote for Who said “I find the college children delightful. I’d like to have a drink with them, too. ” in Hexed is Leif.
The villain was many – witches, the Rabbi, the Bacchants.
Observations and questions you shared from Hexed:
(Thank you so much for sharing!) If you can answer any of these questions, you can do so in a comment.
- I think the audio narrator really lends to the overall story, he does a great job with the characters and accents
- In Hexed, the fact that Atticus looks only 21 made a lot more sense and had definite advantages.
- I’m looking forward to meeting Thor!
Quotes you readers shared from Hexed:
“”Witches tend to be cat people.”
“Aw, why’d ye put away yer twig and berries?” the widow teased when I emerged. “I thought ye were goin’ t’give me somethin’ to confess on Sunday.”
“You killed my father,” he snorted in a basso profundo rumble. “Prepare to die!” “Inigo Montoya? Is that you?”
“Douglas Adams was right. There is nothing so massively useful in the universe as a towel.”
“Dropping a werewolf into a witch fight is like dropping a tank into a snake pit. The snakes might have fangs, but the tank isn’t going to feel their bites.”
Be sure to enter the giveaways!!!
For US new paperback copy of Tricked ,and for Intl a paperback from Book depository. The giveaway is international, as long as Better World Books ships there free of charge (find that out here!)
For a US / Canadian winner, this will be a full set of SIGNED trade paperbacks by Kevin Hearne.
For an Intl winner, it will be $50 at Better World Books. The giveaway is international, as long as Better World Books ships there free of charge (find that out here!)
Time to start reading Tricked by Kevin Hearne for the 2023 Read-along! #giveaways #giveaway @BooksofMyHeart Click To Tweet
We are doing one book every 4-5 weeks, posting on Fridays. We will have a review with the team here at Books of My Heart plus some of our friends.
Mar 3: Hounded – Stephanie @ Once Upon A Chapter
Mar 31 Hexed – Lillian @ Mom with a Reading Problem
May 5: Hammered – Jen @ That’s What I’m Talking About
Jun 2: Tricked – Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys
Jul 7: Trapped – Rachel @ Waves of Fiction
Aug 4: Hunted – KC @ Books of My Heart
Sep 8: Shattered – Berls @ Because Reading
Oct 6: Staked – Sophia @ Books of My Heart
Nov 3: Besieged – Kimberly @Caffeinated Reviewer
Dec 1: Scourged – Anne @ Books of My Heart
Dec 17: Q & A with Kevin Hearne
- Sunday Post –1 October 2023 @kimbacaffeinate @readingreality - October 1, 2023
- 🎧 Saving Emma by Allen Eskens @aeskens @garytiedemann @GodfreyTweets @SaskiaAudio #JaninaEdwards #TimothyPabon @mulhollandbooks #LoveAudiobooks - September 30, 2023
- 🎧 Murder at the Merton Library by Andrea Penrose @AndreaPenrose #JamesCameronStewart @KensingtonBooks @TantorAudio #LoveAudiobooks - September 28, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: