Review by Alexius White
After I finished reading all of the novels in two of my favorite novel series, the Joe Pitt Series and the Dresden Files, I was looking for a new of urban fantasy series to hook onto. I think I’ve found it in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. The Iron Druid Chronicles follows Atticus O’Sulliavn, the last Druid. In the chronicles, Atticus finds that the simple choices he made early on in life can and are affecting him now. Hammered is the third novel in the chronicles, and the first one I read. The first novel in the chronicles is Hounded and the second is Hexed. I have not read either; yet, but I can’t wait to.
Kevin Hearne’s Hammered is told through the eyes of Atticus O’Sulliavn. Atticus is about 2000 plus years old and runs an herbal tea and book store in Tempe, AZ. In the first part of the novel, Atticus owes a witch a golden apple and he has to go to the Norse plane of Asgard to get it. In the opening scene of this novel, Atticus is face to face with a giant squirrel. You really have to read the novel to truly appreciate just how massive the squirrel is and how good the opening really is. Like with any good story there is always another reason for the hero to put his life on the line. The second reason, Atticus is in the Norse plane is to map the plane, so he can help his friend Leif Helgarson, the vampire who is in charge of the whole state of Arizona, repay a debt to Thor, the Norse god of thunder, who is a murdering bully. However, when two gods of completely different faiths tell you not to do something, it may be best just not to do it.
Hammered takes place in Tempe, AZ and different parts of the Planes (or the Never-never). The novel’s time frame is hard to keep track of because a large part of it takes place in the planes and time is measured differently there. The planes in the novel are interesting because there is a different plane for each faith. At one point, Atticus tells his apprentice that he has gone to a few of the heavens. Yes, that’s heavens with an “s” meaning there is more than one.
There were a lot of things about this novel that I truly loved. It was really hard to narrow it down to just three things, but here they are. One is the pace. The pace of the novel is fast, amazingly fast. It only took me a day to read, if that. While reading it, there was never a point I didn’t know what was going on or where I felt lost. This was very surprising because as I said before I haven’t read the first two novels in the series. Therefore, for me to have gone thru it without any problems was pretty shocking. The second thing I really liked was the humor. It’s not the dark humor that most urban fantasy series have. The humor in the novel is urban fantasy but different. At one point in the novel, Atticus is explaining why Star Trek could have become a religion (Yep, Star Trek. Yes, I am a Trekie). Captain Kirk can be seen as the angel of emotion and Spock can be the angel of logic. Another truly funny moment is when Atticus’s Irish wolfhound Oberon describes the people who created Starbucks coffee. Atticus has a psychic link to Oberon which enables him to hear the dog’s thoughts. I had to stop reading after Oberon started on about Starbucks because I was laughing so hard. Oberon gets my vote for funniest urban fantasy companion. My third favorite part of the novel is the big fight scene. This fight is one of those fights where everyone knows and understands they will most likely not be going home after it’s all over. Even knowing this everyone stays and sees it thru. Atticus at one point tries to talk Leif out of it and tries to get the others to see reason, but it’s too late. There is no turning back once you star killing icons of faith. If I have to pick a fourth reason why I loved this novel it would have to be the fact that I want to be Jesus’s drinking buddy. (Yes, that Jesus. Read the novel. You will see.)
If you are a fan of urban fantasy novels, like I am and want to read something that is a little different even for urban fantasy then Kevin Hearne is the author to reach for. As I said before I loved this novel and can’t wait to read the others. It has a fast pace and is funny. I gave it five stars.