Review: The Woken Gods
Title: The Woken Gods
Author: Gwenda Bond
Series: Unknown, but there had better be a sequel!
Published: 3rd September 2013
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? 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.
(Blurb taken from Goodreads.com)
What’s good about it? The cover’s great! Love the cover.
Love the premise actually! The Gods have woken and have wreaked havoc on the world as we know it? Awesome! I really enjoyed the idea behind it all, could’ve done with a touch more world building as I got a little confused at points and had to back track a couple of pages to work out what I’d missed, but on the whole I loved the idea behind it all. I loved the idea that technology had to regress almost as points – going back to horse and cart, for example – because the presence of Gods made technology go haywire.
I thought the idea of the Society was brilliant! Very Warehouse 13 though (what with the relic hunting and all – if you’ve not seen the series it’s definitely worth a watch!). The different relics were fascinating – I especially liked the stripes – they came in handy more than once. The Oracles were interesting too – the reference to Minority Report made me smile (at least I’m hoping that’s what it referenced – if not … whoops, my bad!) – they were suitably vague and helpful all at the same time.
I thought the decision Kyra makes at the end was AMAZING. Seriously, not what I was expecting at all. Kyra is an interesting character, took me a while to warm to her – and yeah, I had some serious questions about her priorities at points (she’s surrounded by Gods, in danger, paralysed, and thinks to herself about how she should ask her best mate whether she’s crushing on one of the Society officers or not) – but she actively took control of her decisions and didn’t wait for other people to save her, which was nice.
What’s bad about it? I wanted more world building.
Kyra’s friends … they’re just there to help her really, there’s not as much depth to them as I’d like, although I did like Bree.
There wasn’t a lot of romance in it, but what little there was I could more than happily have done without. Luckily the love triangle I suspected happening didn’t happen, and it wasn’t instant love (although maybe instant lust) which is a positive, but while I could just about deal with Kyra and her love interest, Bree and her potential love interest irritated me.
What was that ending?!?! Where’s the rest of it?!
The verdict? I receive an ARC of this on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. So I’ll be honest.
I’m a little undecided on this. I loved the premise – but there wasn’t enough world building for me and some of it doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny. I thought Kyra’s made a brave and decisive choice at the end and that overall she made for an interesting character (albeit with some weird priorities at points) – but I didn’t think there was enough depth to her friends beyond their desire to help her. There wasn’t instant love, or really much of a love triangle – yet I still would’ve happily removed all the romance from it and drop kicked it out the nearest window (perhaps I’m just getting bitter in my old age).
One thing I definitely couldn’t decide on was whether I liked the POV shift from Kyra to her friends. Kyra’s POV is in first person, but her friends is in 3rd person. It was jarring and I wasn’t really sure I was bothered about knowing what they were up to – until the end at which point I found it quite interesting.
Also the ending! It just ends really abruptly – I thought I was missing a few pages to begin with – so I’m definitely hoping for a sequel as there’s a reasonable amount to tie up.
It’s a fascinating premise, with decent pacing and an intriguing main character. It’s not chock-a-block with pointless romance and the latter third is excellent and well worth sticking with the book for (if you’re undecided in the beginning). But there are various niggles which detract from the story. However, I would definitely still read a sequel.