Hammered by Kevin Hearne is my favorite installment of the Iron Druid books so far, in a series I already loved!
Atticus begins the book traveling to Asgard to purloin the magical golden apple he promised to steal for Laksha. He is also scouting it for a return with Leif the Vampire and Gunnar the werewolf, to whom he has also made promises, this one being to help them kill Thor, who is not the, shall we say, wholesome and upstanding character we find in the Chris Hemsworth movies. With the aid of Perun: Slavic God of Thunder (and a helluva lot friendlier lightning tosser than Thor), Väinämöinen: Shamanic hero of the ancient culture of Finns, Zhang Guo Lao, Taoist magician and One of China's Eight Immortals, (had to copy these from Wiki to have any hope of getting the spelling right????), and the Frost Giants they invade Asgard in their quest for vengeance.
This novel was funny! The scene where they encounter a couple of coupling frost Giants made me laugh so hard I had to put down the book, and not for the prurient or sophomoric reasons you might expect. Plus there were great backstories concerning why each of the Warriors hated Thor. And there wasn't a wasted word or a false note in the whole book. I know this wasn't literature but for what it was it was a virtually perfect book! The plotting and pacing and sheer storytelling, the blend of myth, magic, action, and humor, and the utter lack of pretension are forcing me to do something I've never done before; give 5stars to a work of genre fiction. If I ever meet Kevin Hearne I might 'squee' as Atticus did when he met Neil Gaiman????
Firstly a huge thank-you to Grasshopper for suggesting that if I liked my fantasy with a large dollop of humour I might enjoy this. I did, very much.
Atticus Sullivan, a 2,000 year old druid, is trying to lead a 'normal' life in a small town in the Arizona desert - as normal a life as anyone can who has pinched a sword that an Irish god thinks is rightfully his and who has been looking for it for the last 2,000 years... Add in various Celtic deities, a coven of polish witches and a giant Irish wolfhound who has fantasies about a harem of black French poodles and you get a splendid romp with plenty of genuinely funny moments.
Being a dog person I particularly enjoyed Atticus's telepathic communications with Oberon, the wolfhound, who is all dog and desires sausages only slightly less than the black French poodles but the whole book was huge fun.
I'll definitely be searching out the next books in the series.