By Kevin Hearne
Author: Kevin Hearne
- Series: Book 3 of The Iron Druid Chronicles
Publisher: Orbit Books
- ISBN: 978-0356501215
- Published: July 2011
- Pages: 352
- Format reviewed: Paperback
- Review date: 02/01/2023
- Language: English
Hammered is the third book in Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles series, following the story of Atticus O'Sullivan, a 2,000-year-old druid who runs a bookstore in Tempe, Arizona.
The plot revolves around Atticus trying to defend himself and his store from the wrath of the Norse god Thor, who has a personal vendetta against him. Along the way, Atticus is aided by a diverse cast of supporting characters, including his Irish wolfhound Oberon, who has the ability to communicate telepathically with Atticus, and Granuaile, a young woman who becomes Atticus's apprentice.
One of the things that stands out about this book (and the series) is the unique blend of mythology and modernity. Atticus is a ancient druid who has lived through numerous historical events and encountered a wide variety of mythological beings, but he is also very much a product of the modern world. He runs a bookstore in Tempe, Arizona and relies on technology like his smartphone and laptop to keep his business running smoothly, but can shape shift into various animal forms and wield powerful magic. This blend of the ancient and the modern creates a fresh and interesting take on fantasy that sets the Iron Druid Chronicles apart from other series in the genre.
The blend of the ancient and the modern is not only interesting, but it also serves as a commentary on the timelessness of myth and the enduring nature of the human experience. Atticus's interactions with the other characters in the novel, particularly Granuaile, highlight the ways in which the ancient and the modern intersect and influence one another. Granuaile is a young woman who becomes Atticus's apprentice, drawn to the ancient magic of the druids, but she is also very much a product of the modern world. She is highly educated, tech-savvy, and independent, and she brings a fresh perspective to the Atticus's world.
One of the themes that emerges in Hammered is the idea of tradition versus progress. Atticus is a traditionalist who values the ancient ways of the druids and is wary of the rapid technological advances of the modern world. Granuaile, on the other hand, is more open to the possibilities of progress and is eager to embrace new ideas and technologies.
This tension between tradition and progress is exemplified in Atticus's relationship with Thor, the Norse god who is the main antagonist of the novel. Thor is a traditionalist who values the old ways of the Norse gods and is hostile to the changes that have occurred in the modern world. Atticus, on the other hand, is more open to change and is able to adapt to the modern world in ways that Thor cannot.
I love the sense of humour that plays a big part of the book (and series). Atticus is a snarky and sarcastic protagonist, and his interactions with the other characters, particularly Oberon, are often laced with witty banter and humorous asides. This adds levity to the story and makes it a fun and enjoyable read. Oberon, Atticus's Irish wolfhound, is particularly noteworthy in this regard. Despite being a dog, he has the ability to communicate telepathically with Atticus and is a constant source of comedic relief. His wit and humour are a highlight of the novel and add a layer of depth to his character.
Hammered has a well-written and engaging story, with a fast-paced and action-packed plot from start to finish. The world-building is also well done, with a rich and detailed mythology that is seamlessly integrated into the story.
Overall, Hammered is a highly enjoyable read that is sure to appeal to fans of fantasy and those looking for a fun and entertaining story. Its unique blend of mythology and modernity, well-developed characters, and sense of humour make it a standout in the genre. A rewarding continuation of the series, or a good jump-point for those just beginning the adventure.
Written on 2nd January 2023 by Ant .