Title: The Woken Gods
Author: Gwenda Bond
Genre: Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (3rd September 2013)
Source: Strange Chemistry via NetGalley
Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke around the world.
This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school.
Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, 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, an intriguing Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous relic. The Society needs it, and they don’t care that she knows nothing about her father’s secrets.
Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary 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.
(blurb taken from NetGalley)
Rating: **** (4 stars)
THE WOKEN GODS is a stand-alone novel from Gwenda Bond, author of BLACKWOOD. It tells the story of Kyra, who sees herself as an average seventeen-year-old. She lives in a Washington D.C. where the old gods go to visit the embassies. She herself has very little to do with the gods, until one day everything changes.
Bond creates a very interesting world in THE WOKEN GODS; a place where gods who are half-familiar walk the earth since they were woken from their sleep. I found it a very intriguing idea, and enjoyed the fact that I recognised a couple of names of the gods that make an appearance in the book. The gods are powerful, scary, beings. Bond does a great job writing their otherness, and the unease of the characters around them.
Kyra makes an interesting heroine. She is at once a very independent person, willing to do whatever she thinks is right regardless of the cost, and at the same time Bond gives her character a vulnerable aspect. It makes her a very believable character and narrator. I will admit that I did have a bit of a problem with her towards the beginning of the book as she seemed like one of those characters who are just, well, too stupid to live. However, she did redeem herself as the book progressed and showed how brave she was.
Bond does a great job fleshing out the secondary characters. I really enjoyed the way the awkwardness between Kyra and Tam, expands to show the close friendship that Kyra, Bree and Tam share. Bond really does a brilliant job writing the facets of their friendship. Oz and Justin are intriguing characters, though Justin isn’t as well-developed as the others. Oz is a complex mix of rebelliousness and obedience.
THE WOKEN GODS is mainly narrated through Kyra, although occasionally other points of view narrate chapters. This works as it allows us a broader picture of the events in the novel. The plot of the novel is interwoven with twists and turns, and it makes for an exciting and tense read. The ending of the book is pretty open and there is the potential for Bond to write more in this world, which would be very interesting to see. If you are a fan of urban fantasy and like your mythology then this book should definitely be on your to-be-read list.