Monday, October 17, 2011

Hammer of Thor by S. Evan Townsend

They live among us. We know they are there. No government can control them; no authority can stop them. Some are evil. Some are good. All are powerful. They inhabit our myths and fairy tales. But what if they were real, the witches, wizards, and fairy godmothers? What if they were called "adepts" and used talismans to increase their power? The most powerful talisman in the world is The Hammer of Thor and Hitler stole it from its rightful owners, the Valkyrie. When American adept Francis Kader is reluctantly drawn into the effort to retrieve the Hammer from the Nazis, he begins a journey that leads him to a confrontation with Thor himself. Can a mere human hope to defeat an immortal god?

There’s a little bit of everything in this book. Espionage, magic, mythology, romance and all kinds of amusing characters.
Something that caught my attention from the moment I started reading, was the way the author sent us back in time with his writing. The protagonist speaks and even thinks the way someone in the 40s would and it helps set the mood extremely well all the way throughout the novel. This is not as easy to do as it might seem since our modern brains are so used to being politically correct, that it does kind of shock us to read, let alone write, certain things.

Since the Nazis have always been connected in some way to mystical aspects (the swastika is a magical symbol itself), the addition of actual magic is an interesting version to the events of that time period. As I always mention when characters have magic, though, there is a tendency to make them too powerful, therefore erasing some of the tension. It happens a few times throughout this book. Some things are resolved to quickly since the adept, or magical users, can make others do as they like. It’s hard to balance that kind of trick while still keeping the reader on the edge of her seat.

The plot is complex and it spans many years. There are a good number of characters that become involved with our hero, and there are many situations that lead up to the climactic scene which might seem at first random, but which will make sense later. It is well-plotted, although sometimes I felt some scenes could have been shortened.

All in all, a very interesting read and one that I would have no problem recommending.

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