Hammered by Kevin Hearne
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.
By the end of Hexed, the second book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, Atticus had made two deals and was in debt to two very powerful people. The first, an Indian witch named Lashka who in turn for helping Atticus kill a dozen bacchants requested that he steal for her an immortal youth-inducing Golden Apple. The second person was Atticus’ long-time friend and lawyer Leif Helgarson a Nordic-vampire who in exchange for helping Atticus take down a coven of evil witches and demons would require Atticus’ help in killing Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. Both favours require Atticus to travel between planes and to the world of Asgard; both favours also put Atticus in a lot of trouble.

Atticus does not want to go to Asgard, he does not want to make his existence more known to those that might want to smite him or put the ones he loves in danger but he gave his word and despite receiving two warnings from two gods of two different religions he is still going to go ahead with his quest, a quest that he might not walk away from. Hammered definitely had a different feel to it than the first two books in this series. It was still a fun and humorous read but there was also a more serious tone interspersed throughout the narrative as well as an obvious hint that things were about to change forever and not necessarily for the best.

I enjoyed this third volume but not as much as its predecessors. Although there was interesting back stories revealed on not only Atticus but Granuille (Atticus’ apprentice), his friend Leif, and Gunnar, the Alpha werewolf of the Tempe pack, there were also stories shown about other characters that were introduced for the first time in the novel that I wasn’t too interested. It was my least favourite part of the novel and wished would have been done differently or cut down shorter. Still, if you are a fan of the series this is definitely not an instalment you should skip; many changes take place in this volume as well as hints of things to come. I believe this book was not only the end of an ARC but a set-up to the next one.

4 out of 5