Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)

Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles, #3) - Kevin Hearne 3.5-4 stars========== I'll update soon with quotes and more =====================Really, really tough ending. This is the 3rd book in the series, and the one where Atticus has to make good on his promises to Laksha (the witch) to grab a golden apple from Asgaard and to help Leif kill Thor v1.0 in Asgaard.Oberon and Granuaile aren't in this book very much. The book focuses on Gunnar, the alpha leader of the werewolf pack in the Phoenix area (Atticus' laywer, Hal, is 2nd in command), Leif (Hal's law partner and a vampire), and Atticus.Hammered is a very good title for this book! It starts out with a major BANG, with shocks and surprises for everyone, including Atticus. And it just keeps going from there... the v1.0 pantheon of Norse gods gets involved and most are wiped out by the end of the book.We also meet some new characters, most of whom I'd never heard of before and had to look up. And many have names I couldn't begin to type or pronounce. Let's just say that Perun, a Slavic god of thunder, and Zhang Gao Lao are some of my new fav characters in this series. We also get to meet several of the frost giants from Jotunheim.This is a tough book to read, once the big battle begins. It's tough to follow all the action, since it happens in battle-time, which means fast and furious. And the names of the various characters involved sometimes had me confused about who was whom on which side. Before the fatal trip to Asgaard, both Jesus and The Morrigan warn Atticus that killing Thor will have major consequences. And The Morrigan is concerned - she possible sees Atticus' death (it's unclear). Because the Valkyries are the equivalent of the Morrigan in Asgaard, if something does happen to Atticus, Morrigan can't assist Atticus - which means that their deal about him not dying is null. So that causes several tense moments. (Except that knowing the series continues means that Atticus doesn't die. And that can't POSSIBLY be a spoiler to anyone, can it?)It's a tense, tough, emotional book. But we learn so much about Gunnar and especially Leif. Leif has been so mysterious for so long... it's nice to finally know more about his life, even before he was a vampire, and why he has such a beef with Thor. In fact, we learn all the stories of those involved in the battle about why they hate Thor. Yep, this isn't your Marvel comics Thor; this Thor is a true jerk. It's easy to see why so many in the god-world (and paranormal world of Kevin Hearne), want this guy dead.More another time... I want to include some more thoughts, especially about how Hearne continues his philosophical/religious discussions in conversations between Jesus & Atticus and Atticus & Perun.