Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Hammered by Kevin Hearne

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne are just about the perfect mindless entertainment – the books are full of a fun humor, they are largely set in Arizona (where I live) and they are short, quick reads. Hammered (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound) is the third book in the series and it picks up after the first two and continues forward with Hearne’s fun and irreverent style.

Atticus, the world’s last Druid, has a promise to keep – he must help a vampire and a werewolf kill the Norse god Thor, who it seems is a grade-a asshole. He knows that there will be consequences to such an action, and several other gods have mentioned as much to him. It’s time to start digging up the roots he grew in Tempe, Arizona and move on. And it’s time to kill another god.

These books aren’t particularly deep, the characterization doesn’t really go beyond Atticus and his dog and if one thinks too hard on everything, the world that Hearne has created would come crumbling down. And that doesn’t matter one bit since the books succeed in what they want to do – provide a fun, exciting adventure in a creative setting with magic, gods and all sorts of mythological creatures. In Hammered Hearne keeps the fun rolling.

One aspect that I was happy about in Hammered is that there seems to be a lot less of the wish-fulfillment we got in the first two as Hearne settles in to tell the story and escalate the terms a bit. That and the fact that Hearne is happy to have Atticus and friends really shake things up.

So, if you’re looking for a fun, creative urban fantasy series that is quick to read and not particularly deep, The Iron Druid Chronicles may be just what you want. The humor is over-the-top and often caters to geek culture and the adventure is high in a world where all the myths and legends seem to be true and all the gods are real, yet the world is remarkably just like our own. A cool character kicks a lot of ass and he has a faithful dog for a sidekick and a sexy young apprentice along (who I really hope will become more involved in the stories to come). And the bonus is it’s all set in Arizona, a setting rather underutilized in the world of urban fantasy. I can’t wait to read more and Tricked (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound) will be published in April, 2012, so I won’t have to wait long.

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