Hammered - Kevin Hearne Good things about this book: As usual, filled with action and excitement and plenty of humor, as Atticus and his friends make their way to Thor's realm to settle a score with the thunder god. I liked how this specific scenario gave rise to the opportunity for each character to share their personal story. A nice touch by the author to give each person a chapter to tell their tale, and I have to say I enjoyed that one particular section of the book very much.

Now, for the things I didn't really like: well, if I'm going to be completely honest, there's only one thing, and it's the main character.

The Iron Druid Chronicles stars Atticus O'Sullivan, a 2000+ year old druid, and a total guy's guy. When I read these books, I can't help but think of the old saying "boys will be boys". The urban fantasy male protagonist is an elusive creature indeed, but of the handful of series I've read, I've noticed some similarities. Atticus certainly fits the mold, especially in the fact that he always seems armed with an arsenal of geeky pop culture references, ready to fire them off at any given occasion for some cheap laughs.

Don't get me wrong as I've always loved this aspect of characters from Harry Dresden to Sandman Slim, and some of the jokes and references can admittedly be quite nerdgasm inducing. I appreciate these kinds of books for their ability to provide fun and easy entertainment, but Atticus? Sigh.

He's supposed to be more than two thousand years old. I know what Hearne is trying to do here, and I like that he hasn't made Attitus all mopey, emo, and jaded with all that he has no doubt seen over the centuries, which is what a lot of authors seem tempted to do with immortal characters (ahem, like vampires) these days. It's great that he's trying to set Atticus apart from cliches by making him light-hearted, modern and in tune with the times.

Still. Atticus is incredibly juvenile, and you'd think 2000 years would have imparted some measure of maturity and dignity on anyone. I mean, come on, "Your Mom" jokes? That immature, smart alecky frat boy attitude just gets tedious and annoying after a while, especially the moment I realized I didn't buy the fact that this is an act by Atticus to fit in anymore, that this is actually WHO HE IS. Now I remember why I waited so long to continue this series.

It's not that I don't like his jokes or his references. These books are incredibly humorous because of Atticus, I'll give them that. But to have him be like this all the time? He has become "that guy" at parties who has a knack for spewing out funny internet memes and quotes from movies and cartoons, but is in fact not that witty at all and completely devoid of anything original to say. It's tiresome and quite honestly not very believable, considering the character's history. It almost seems sometimes like Hearne is out of his depth when trying to write his main protagonist. The other problem with filling these books with current and transient pop culture memes and references? Let's see how popular this series will be in like 10 years.

If only Atticus was dialed back a bit, I think I could really love this, but I can only take him in small doses. I still want to continue the Iron Druid books, but once again, I think I'll take a long break before I pick up the next one.