Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Woken Gods - Gwenda Bond

The Woken Gods - Gwenda Bond
ISBN - 9781908844248
Publisher - Strange Chemistry
Release date - September 3rd 2013
Find - Goodreads/BookLikes/Book Depository

'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. - Goodreads

When I first heard about Woken Gods my first thought was that I had to read it.  On the outside a eye-catching cover and inside mythology, trickster gods and mythical beings walking the earth? Yes please! I'm going to be completely honest now and tell you the truth. As much as I was looking forward to reading this I could not get into it, nothing about the book was holding my attention which made me sad as I'd been desperate to read what sounded like the perfect book for me. I managed to read about fifty pages but had to put it down, a rare thing for me. Fast forward a few weeks months, three to be exact, and I picked up Woken Gods again. I don't know what was different this time, whether I was in a better frame of mind or something but I started reading and didn't put it down again until I was finished!

Kyra Locke turns out not to be your average seventeen year old girl, her mother is a mentally unstable seer and her father is a secret operative for the society behind the containment of the gods who are walking the earth again after being released. Kyra becomes embroiled in an argument between gods and humans after her father disappears with an important relic and, despite being told not to get involved, sets out to prove his innocence and/or rescue him. Aided and abetted by school friends Tam (her former boyfriend) & Bree she discovers, amongst other things, a previously unknown grandfather and that her mother walked away from them for a reason, not just because she was mentally ill but also to protect her. She teams up with Osborne Spencer a.k.a. Oz, the English teenager who is an apprentice in the Society that her father worked for and has her grandfather as his mentor, even though she's not entirely sure which side Oz is working for, gains Anzu (body of an eagle and the head of a lion) the son of bird goddess as a mythical guardian and realises that not everything in her world is at it appears to be at first glance. 

Whilst The Woken Gods is not without its flaws I ended up loving it and considering the shaky start I had with it, has earned Gwenda Bond a place on my 'must buy' list. Kyra was portrayed beautifully as your typical teenager pushing things with her father, sulking and doing things without thinking first. In fact this recklessness was almost too much at times considering what the consequences could have been. I can't imagine you could push gods, trickster or not, around too much without there being repercussions in some way. I loved that Kyra was strong and stood up for herself to the point of getting into serious trouble by doing so but on more than one occasion I felt this verged on stupidity and can't believe that her friends wouldn't find some way to rein her in to ensure her safety. As is the case with most YA novels these days there is romance but thankfully no insta-love or love triangles, her former boyfriend Tam was hurt over being rejected but happy enough (eventually) to let her move on. Another thing that I liked was that though the title of the book suggests that the story is about the gods themselves they are not the central characters. Whilst obviously having an important part to play it's the humans that take center stage and how they survive. It was interesting to read the snippets of information we got about the different pantheons involved and as I'm rather fond of trickster gods (there are some great mythology books available about tricksters if you want to read more) Woken Gods definitely turned out to be my sort of book. I did want to quickly mention the setting for the Society, it was a stroke of genius to have their headquarters in the Library of Congress! Just imagine the easy access to all those research books, sounds ideal and I would be volunteering my services immediately... The only real niggle I had with the book was the world-building and lack of detail about what was happening elsewhere in the world as we're led to believe that it's not just Washington with problems.. There was supposedly a whole world where these events were also happening but we didn't get to hear anything about them. I can only hope that there is a sequel at some point as I need to read more about Kyra & Oz, her family & friends and, most importantly what happens next with the gods! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get one soon enough.

Thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing me with an electronic ARC via Netgalley


  1. I really enjoyed this one too. Reminded me a bit of Jackass in some parts hah

  2. I wanted this ARC so bad and I have yet to read it. Shame on me.


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