20 agosto 2011

Review: Hammered

Publisher: Del Rey (2011)
Format:  Mass Market Paperback | 310 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy 
Description (Goodreads): "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."
Still not quite there. In terms of story, characters and world-building. The most interesting thing so far is Hearne's world as it deals with the different pantheons of ancient gods and goddesses. While most urban fantasy books feature supernatural creatures there are not many who focus on old religions. It's refreshing and you can tell the author has researched the subject at least a little, which is always good as it makes everything a bit more... 'realistic'.

While Hearne continues to develop his world in the third installment of "The Iron Druid Chronicles", there wasn't any real progress as far as Atticus is concerned. He is still a bit too smug (as he, himself recognizes in this book) and does not really display that much wisdom. He is far too immature and not layered enough for someone who's supposed to be more than 2000 years old. Not saying he can't act immature, but he doesn't display a different, more complex personality...ever (unless you count quoting Shakespeare). On a brighter note, I really like The Morrigan, ahah. Now she is a great character.

I still don't see the purpose of Granuaile, Atticus' apprentice. I mean, yeah she's probably there as the hot female who falls in love with the protagonist (at least it seems to be going that way) but Hearne has made a mistake with this character. She really has no distinguishable features besides the fact that she's... well, pretty. She doesn't have special powers or abilities, nor will she have them in the foreseeable future. She also doesn't have much of a personality. And... well, she doesn't really participate much in the action. She's just there.

Oberon is a cute character that provides humor but is, ultimately pretty superfluous as well.

So, character-wise, the series really needs more development. Atticus just isn't charismatic... at all.

In terms of plot, this book didn't have much of one. I mean it was a bit ridiculous, really. A bunch of guys decide to kill the Norse god Thor because he is a big, immortal bully. Some of what he did was bad (I liked the chapters where everyone shared their particular grievances with the Norse god of Thunder) but the single-mindedness of the group and Thor's completely unrepentant character made all of the action very... blah. Basically the problem was... character development.

Overall "Hammered" was better than the first but not as good as the second book. The author seems to be building his world slowly adding more information with each book. But there is still some confusion about the mythology.
The characters are the series weak point: they're too stereotyped. As for plot, this book seemed to be filler although there are a few clues that point to something more elaborate happening in future books. A nice read within the genre but still not good enough to stand out, even if male protagonists are rare.

2 comentários:

Ana C. Nunes disse...

E a opinião sobre o segundo livro? Ficou pelo caminho? :P
Ainda por cima dizes que o 2º foi o melhor.

slayra disse...

Parece que sim... não tinha muito para dizer. :P São todos parecidos, na verdade. O.o