#SPFBO Review : The Hammer of the Gods: So You Want To Be A Star (The Druid Trilogy #1) by Andrew Marc Rowe

Artboard 1

300 books           10 Judges            1 winner

The 1st of June marked the start of the sixth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (details here.)  My Introductory post is here.

You can find my updates for batch 1batch 2batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the  links.

This week and next I will be posting reviews for the ten books I rolled forward to read fully.  Hopefully five reviews this week followed by an update and cuts and semi finalist announcements on Saturday.  I will then repeat this format the following week. I won’t be posting a rating for the books at this point.

TheHammerThe Hammer of the Gods is a tongue in cheek adventure that pokes a little fun at many well known characters, myths and gods from the fantasy genre.

The author provides a warning to readers before the book begins so that you know exactly what to expect in terms of the raucous nature of some of the content and just to be on the safe side I will reinforce that message here.  This contains plenty of cursing and colourful language and can be rather crude in places.  Perhaps not to everyone’s taste in that respect.  By the same token humour can be difficult to pull off and can be affected by mood but I think the author, in keeping this story reasonably short, manages to maintain the tone consistently and I have to admit that pulling off this type of story is probably a lot more difficult than it at first appears so I have a lot of respect for the author and the effort involved.

I’m not going to elaborate too much on plot for The Hammer of the Gods.  Essentially the two main characters are Gudleik Sigbjornsson and Rosmerta O’Ceallaigh.  Both dream of a better future for themselves and long for something more. There are an abundance of other characters and storylines, so many in fact that I’m not going to recount them here – although I will give a shout out to the Goblins because they stole the show a little for me.  If you’re looking for a traditionally structured story where all the plots and threads eventually weave together then this might not be for you.  This is much more chaotic and perhaps in some ways speaks more to the author enjoying himself and going off into side stories that are not intended to further the plot or lead into anything specific.

The setting.  Well there is mention of King Arthur and an overall mediaeval feel to the world but at the same time it’s not really possible to pin this to anything too specific.  We have Gods from many different pantheons – even those of a tentacled nature (which feel almost Lovecraft-style).  Thor makes an appearance as does Loki and, well, you can barely chuck a stick without coming upon another fantasy character that you’re already familiar with.

The writing style is easy to get along with.  There is no pretension or purple prose although there were a few instances (only minor) where noticeable chunks of information were dropped that felt a little clunky.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, I don’t want to give anything away here by way of spoilers so I’m going to be brief.  I think I enjoyed the start of the book more than the ending.  But, I also recognise that’s a personal need in myself as a reader and says more about the way I wanted things to go rather than the way the author had planned. For me, it felt a little rushed and in some ways a bit flat.  Again, I think more works are planned and so this is probably more an introductory piece in the series.  There is a certain busy/chaotic feel to the story which, again, I think I enjoyed more as the book began but then hoped would become a bit clearer as things progressed but again, that’s not really the style here.

Overall, this was a quick read and pretty much achieves what it sets out to do.  It provides a darkly humorous and slightly irreverent tale of adventure with bawdy jokes and creative cursing scattered throughout.

I would like to thank the author for providing a copy for review.  The above is my own opinion.


19 Responses to “#SPFBO Review : The Hammer of the Gods: So You Want To Be A Star (The Druid Trilogy #1) by Andrew Marc Rowe”

  1. jessicabookworm

    Glad to hear this was another quick and fun read, even if it didn’t turn out as you would have liked. I think with its ‘cursing and colourful language’ and crudeness, it probably isn’t the book for me! 😅

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha, no Jessica, this is not a book that I would recommend to you. Not your style at all I don’t think.
      Lynn 😀

      • Andrew Marc Rowe

        My Dad refuses to read it because of how dirty it is… well, scratch that. He got about fifteen pages in and put it down. I send him screenshots of reviews and what not from time to time and he’s otherwise supportive, but I don’t expect a review from him any time soon. What a diet of Arthurian legend, raunchy Adam Sandler comedies, and Irvine Welsh’s coal black humour as a kid can do to a guy… At least Mom reads it and enjoys it. Though it was her side of the family who warped us to begin with. French Canadians seem pretty comfortable with the filth. 😛

  2. Tammy

    This sounds pretty fun. I can tell it’s probably not my brand of humor, but I’m glad you enjoyed it;-)

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I don’t think this will be for everyone but it was different.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    This looks fun! It’s a shame that the ending was not as strong as the beginning though, I think I would have the same issues.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, shame about the ending – although I know there are more books so perhaps the reason for the abrupt ending.
      Lynn 😀

      • Andrew Marc Rowe

        Thanks so much for the review, Lynn! I like to think that there’s a method to my madness, but maybe I’m just plain mad. 😉

      • @lynnsbooks

        No. I definitely think there’s a method to your madness. That’s why I mention things like this in a review because it’s sometimes good to be forewarned. It stops you having your own expectations that might have gone in the wrong direction.

      • Andrew Marc Rowe

        Thank you, Lynn! That’s totally fair! Your reviews are very well written and considered. I’m always impressed (you’ve gotten a new reader out of me that will extend far beyond this contest).

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Fun and irreverent sounds good, even with all the cursing and profanity! And since humor is such a difficult beast to tame, it stands to reason that it might not work perfectly from beginning to end, but still, as long as it was a good read, it seems to have done its job 😉

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’ve been really lucky so far with the books I’ve rolled forward and this one was a good read. I don’t think it would be for everyone and the author clearly states before the book even states that this is full of creating cursing and humour that can be a bit lewd.
      Lynn 😀

  5. waytoofantasy

    Interesting. Feels like the author really went wild with this one and perhaps experimented a little. Glad that you were able to enjoy some aspects of it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was very easy to get on with tbh, just not quite the ending I was expecting.
      Lynn 😀

      • Andrew Marc Rowe

        Leave it for me to forego a traditional ending in favour of the punchline of a dirty joke… 😛

  6. #SPFBO : Semi-Finalist and Cuts Announcement | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Hammer of the Gods is a tongue in cheek adventure that pokes a little fun at many well known characters, myths and gods from the fantasy genre.  If you don’t mind a bit of creative cursing and sexual references and a crazy and mixed up tale of two unlikely characters trying to change their way in life then this is a very promising start to series even with a slightly abrupt ending. My review is here. […]

  7. sjhigbee

    Humour is always very much a matter of taste. And I also find that there are times when I am more tolerant of cursing and crude humour than others… It sounds as if the author was having a lot of fun, too. Thank you for a great review, Lynn:)

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I think it comes across very well just how much fun the author was having and I really like that element of this one.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        And genuine humour that makes me chuckle is always to be prized – it isn’t an overarching aspect of the majority of SFF…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s