Review: The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

woken godsFabulous use of mythologies to create a world where the gods of various pantheons are alive and well and seriously dangerous. I found Kyra’s quest gripping and was quickly invested emotionally.

I enjoyed Gwenda Bond’s first novel, Blackwood, and as a sucker for a bit of interesting mythology, I was really looking forward to this. It did not disappoint and I raced through it, keen to know what disaster would befall our heroine next and how on earth she would make everything alright.

Kyra is 17 and pretty normal. She’s easy to relate to as a reader and her messed up family helps this – emotionally distant and somewhat boring workaholic dad and a mother that all her friends think is dead (because that’s far easier than having to talk about her madness). Poor Kyra.  Thankfully she has good friends – and we quickly warm to them too.

Then it all kicks off when Kyra is accosted by not one but two of the giant trickster gods that act as intermediaries between the gods and the humans. Cue danger, a high stakes quest and a generous helping of secrets to be revealed.

I would recommend this to fantasy readers, especially if you’re partial to urban fantasy. Those who are already mythology fans will lap this up, but the novel doesn’t assume a vast knowledge of different pantheons. Gwenda Bond has woven the necessary information in cleverly, so you can easily learn what you need to without feeling like you’re doing research. This is a key strength of the novel – the fantasy world is built effectively and believably, drawing on existing mythology without the dreaded info-dump.

From the Book Description:

The more things change…

Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke all around the world.

The more things stay the same…

This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school because of an argument with her father.

Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., dominated by the embassies of divine pantheons and watched over by the mysterious Society of the Sun that governs mankind’s relations with the gods. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way home, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems. She escapes with the aid of Osborne “Oz” Spencer, a young Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous Egyptian relic. The Society needs the item back, and they aren’t interested in her protests that she knows nothing about it or her father’s secrets.

Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary Sumerian gods, her estranged oracle mother, and, of course, Oz–whose first allegiance is to the Society. She has no choice if she’s going to recover the missing relic and save her father. And if she doesn’t? Well, that may just mean the end of the world as she knows it. From the author of Blackwood comes a fresh, thrilling urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan

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Out now from the marvellous Strange Chemistry

My grateful thanks to the publisher for allowing me a review copy via NetGalley.

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