Today will be a book review two-fer, since it’s been a while since I did any reviews. Also, since I didn’t finish HAMMERED in 2014, it seems like it would be cheating to start the 52 Books in 52 Weeks for 2014 with a book that doesn’t count. Instead, TRICKED will be my first official of the 52 Books.
Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Three
HAMMERED is my least favorite of the Iron Druid Chronicles, so far. What can I say? Atticus ignores all sorts of good advice and causes much trouble in order to save face. That’s never been something I liked in a protagonist. Granted, he does mostly redeem himself in the end by realizing what a huge mistake he made and trying to determine how to fix it (though there really isn’t any fixing it). You can also just tell by the ending of the book that the next one, TRICKED, is going to bring all sorts of troubles down on Atticus because of his actions in HAMMERED.
Another reason I didn’t like this one as much as the first two is because there’s not nearly enough of Oberon. I love the witty dog-and-druid banter, and since the dog doesn’t go with them to fight Thor, he’s plain old not in as much of the story.
I did enjoy the pre-battle stuff, though. I loved seeing Granuile get to do her very first druid-like action and get to talk to some elementals. That was a nice glimpse into what it will be like to see her as a druid (since I’ve read some of the book jackets of the later books and know that everyone survives long enough for her to be a druid).
I also enjoyed meeting the other folk that go into Asgard and battle with Atticus. The other gods and immortals (and mortals) who have a bone to pick with Thor tell some fun stories before all the death and destruction starts.
Tricked: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Four
I liked TRICKED a little more than HAMMERED, for some obvious reasons. 1: Oberon was in it more. 2: Atticus was trying to cope with his stupidity from HAMMERED, and trying (though often failing) to take the good advice he was being given. 3: Frank is an awesome character, and is a mortal who has a touch of his own magic, so is someone that Atticus can talk to about some of the supernatural stuff that is going on.
I also liked the Native American mythology stuff that was included, though I have no personal experience with those myths/religions and so don’t have the connection to them that I do with the stories that I am at least partially familiar with. (On that note, I would love to see more with Greek & Roman gods, since I know those so much better than any of the other mythologies. And I don’t count the encounter with Bacchus in HAMMERED, because that was one of the parts I disliked about that book.)
This was still not a book up to the par of the first two in my mind, though. I liked it, but not nearly as much. (Better than book 3. But still.) Coyote is not nearly as likable in this book as prior ones, partly because it has become questionable whether he is an ally or not. He’s certainly living up to his trickster reputation more than before, which is good for his character development and believability (if not for Atticus’ potential survival).
While neither of these stories were new favorites, the audio presentation by Luke Daniels is still superb. He does a great job of portraying Atticus. Even if I were to read the books myself, I would now forever hear his voice narrating the books. Side note, though: his pronunciation of several words has changed. I’m not sure the reasoning for this, but it sometimes pulls me a tad out of the story when it happens. Perhaps this was a correction of an error on prior books, or perhaps there was just a longer period between recordings and he forgot how he’d said some things previously. I don’t know, and it really doesn’t matter much. It’s a small matter, just something I noticed.
All told, this make a solid addition to the series, but not one I’ll need to re-listen to anytime soon for additional enjoyment. (Whereas I could easily listen to the first two books in the series again anytime.) I do look forward to continuing with the series, though, in the hopes that once Granuile gets some of her own magic she can keep Atticus from being quite so abysmally stupid as he sometimes gets. I’ll also be curious to see what happens with a potential relationship once the student-teacher things has relaxed a bit.