❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋Hammered, the third book of The Iron Druid Chronicles, has all the same elements that has made the series so enjoyably awesome, but this time around it comes with an extra helping of darkness.
In return for Leif's help in the fight against the bad witches in Hexed, Atticus has to help his friend take down Thor, the Norse god of thunder. The original Thor is not the hero that the Marvel Universe has portrayed him as, but has ruined thousands of lives and killed many more just because he can, including Leif's. However, Atticus's general survival strategy over the years has been to stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. To prepare, Atticus uses his promise to get some Golden Apples as Laksha's payment for getting rid of the twelve Bacchants as a chance to do some advanced scouting in Asgard. Despite multiple warnings of the consequences of going against Thor, Atticus and Leif team up with Gunnar, a sorcerer, and frost giants in order to take down a common enemy.
So far, I would say Hammered is the strongest installment in the series. There are so many excellent scenes and it's still so packed full of its trademark humor that had me laughing out loud. The book also ended on quite the cliffhanger that left me gasping and wishing that I had Tricked on Playaway, too! I know I've mentioned this in my other reviews, but I love Luke Daniels' performance as the narrator! My favorites are still Oberon, the Widow MacDonagh, and Leif. In the third book, we also introduced to some other good ones like Ratatoskr (the squirrel who runs up and down the World Tree and sounds like Gollum!) and Perun (the decent Russian god of thunder). I highly, highly, highly recommend this series and this installment, especially if you like Jim Butcher, Rob Thurman, Joss Whedon, and mythology (Norse, in this case).
Some favorite lines:
“Say no more,” Leif interrupted. “I understand. I will simply have to kill them all myself.”
"There he goes again. I’m telling you, Danny Elfman would love to get hold of those lines."
"Not John Williams?"
"If you've got some hopelessly overmatched heroes fighting evil and some Imperial types marching, John Williams is your guy. You need a song to make people reach for a box of Kleenex, talk to Randy Newman. But if you want creepy atmospherics and spine-shivering chords to back up your casual death threats, you gotta bring in Danny Elfman.” -Leif and Atticus on composers (Atticus's thoughts on composers seem dead on to me!)
“There are some sights that, once seen, can never be unseen. They replay themselves on a loop in your mind’s home-theatre system with Dolby surround sound until you’re so desperate to be rid of them that you'll resort to other loops simply to dislodge them for a while.” -Atticus (I'll never think of "It's a Small World" in the same way.)
“Now go and stake some vamps. Especially the sparkly emo ones.” -Atticus
"Druid's log, December 3rd: Hitching a ride on a frost giant's back is both entertaining and eco friendly." -Atticus doing his best Captain Kirk impression (Luke Daniels can do a very good Spock impression, as well.)
I read this from April 28 - 30, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.