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.
Atticus now has to pay his debts, firstly breaking into Asgard to steal apples that will give Laksha the immortality she craves when she plants them to grow her own. Atticus uses the trip to get a lay of the land so he can then settle another debt to a vampire friend by bringing Leif, Gunnar and a few others back to settle their personal vendettas with Thor. Knowing that he will probably have to go on the run if he survives Asgard twice, Atticus starts to settle his affairs and prepare for a new war against the Norse Gods, The Hammers of God and an angry Bacchus, making leaving Tempe an urgent priority.
I found the original trip into Asgard a little confusing to be honest. I'm not greatly familiar with Norse mythology (haven't read the books I own on it yet!) so all the place names and travelling between them just kind of overloaded my brain a bit and I found it all a little hard to follow. It was the same on the return trip in places-my short term memory isn't great so I struggled to remember which God was where, where they were and where they were going. People with better memories will probably not get that confused though. I just found that and the Druid ethics lectures to Granuaile a bit heavy in places.
The actual plot was still interesting. We are introduced to new characters who all have a grudge against Thor for ruining their lives and I loved the campfire tales that they sat and told about it, just before battle, which really united them as a group. It made me want to hurt Thor myself and I had no sympathy for whatever was coming to him. I particularly liked Perun with his humour and hard drinking! I hope to see more of him through the series. I also enjoyed the planning stages of the second raid where Jesus comes to hang out with Atticus and try to persuade him not to attack Asgard. There are a lot of funny moments here when the Hammers of God attack, though some Christians may be offended by this part of the book. I actually enjoyed the addition of him into the plot and found the whole scene funny and entertaining.
"This is one of those situations where I have to stop and ask myself, 'what would I do?'.."-Jesus
The downside to this plot of the attacks on Asgard is that we do see a bit less of Granuaile, Hal, Mrs McDonagh and Oberon, as none of them go on the adventures. Hal is fearing that if something happens to his Alpha Gunnar on the trip, he might be forced to become the new Alpha, and begs Atticus to protect Gunnar. What we do see of Oberon is pretty funny as always. He is just the coolest hound and I'd love to see him hang out with Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones...that would be really entertaining! This time Oberon is becoming obsessed with the perfect drink.
"Out of the steam and the foam and the froth, a man in white with poor eyesight will craft a liquid paradox and it shall be called The Triple Non Fat Double Bacon Five Cheese Mocha!"-Oberon
The action scenes in this book are excellent as always. The Hammers of God attacking Atticus in front of Jesus, the raids on Asgard, the Frost Giants determined to kidnap a half naked Goddess, the fight against the Norse Gods...it was all fast paced, exciting and devastating all at the same time. The humour is there but this book is a bit darker and more emotional than the previous books with several situations that ensure the series will be taking off in a new direction.
I still enjoyed the book and I'm curious as to what will be coming next.
Read November 2016.