{ARC} Book Review: The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

August 27, 2013 Review 0 ★★

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: The Woken Gods by Gwenda BondThe Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond
Series: Standalone
Published by Strange Chemistry on 2013 September 3
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Netgalley
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two-stars

The more things change...
Ten years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke all around the world.
The more things stay the same...

This morning, seventeen-year-old Kyra Locke was late for school.
But that's not out of the ordinary 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. What is unusual is Kyra's encounter with two trickster gods on her way home, one offering a threat, and the other a warning.

Kyra escapes with the aid of young operatives from the Society, who inform her that her scholarly father has disappeared from its headquarters at the Library of Congress and taken a dangerous Egyptian relic with him. The Society needs the item back, and they aren't interested in Kyra's protests that she knows nothing about it.

Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the help of everyone from a paranoid ex-boyfriend to scary Sumerian gods to operatives whose allegiance is first and always to the Society. She has no choice if she's going to clear her father's name and recover the missing relic before
the impending summer solstice.

What's at stake? Just the end of the world as Kyra 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... "

Now, there were two reasons that I picked up this book: 1. It has the word gods in it and; 2. It’s Y/A which means that it most probably have the same elements that I love about Rick Riordan’s PJ series. Before you start making serious assumptions, The Woken Gods follow a very different route. If you are expecting to read about demigods, then be prepared to be disappointed. It integrates the modern world and mythology however… that you can expect.

The Woken Gods is an ambitious tale of almost all the mythological gods and goddesses (though most of the gods mentioned in this book were males) rampaging in Washington, D.C. When I said almost all the gods, then it’s not just about the Greeks but also the Celts, the Norse and the Sumerians. Instead of living a life in Mount of Olympus or somewhere similar or anywhere beyond the mortal’s prying eyes, these gods took residency in D.C. where they readily liaise with humans. Cool eh? But here’s the catch, when Kyra Locke’s father stole an important relic, the city was besieged not only with godly wars but also with human conflicts. And it may well be the end of the fragile peacefulness between the gods and the mortals.

The Woken Gods could almost have been one of my favorite reads for 2013, with its larger-than-the-gods world building and the impressive entourage of gods from the different mythologies. The story alone would more than attract the fans of Rick Riordan and Cassie Clare as it fuses modern day Washington and the bygone era of the gods. What’s more is that there was a very good account of the gods’ relics which really caught my interest. However, those things weren’t enough to make me a happy camper. As I journeyed through the world of The Woken Gods, I’ve come across a lot of disappointments along the way.

First and foremost, the plot becomes average as we go deeper into the story. It was predictable and wasn’t gripping like it was afraid to take the risk of introducing adrenaline-inducing scenes. Second, there were the gods who didn’t strike me as that all mighty. They lacked the attitude that befits an immortal. Third, the characters including the main character (MC) in the person of Kyra Locke, were underdeveloped except maybe for Oz. Kyra’s friends seemed generic, the kind that you’d forget after 2-3 chapters. Kyra really annoyed me because there were instances that instead of focusing to the task ahead, she somehow falters and notice unessential things at the face of danger. The worst thing is, I don’t think she knows about remorse and redemption because her guilt at the end of the book after she’d done a very terrible thing wasn’t convincing (sorry for this slight spoiler). To simplify it, I don’t feel the spark between me and the characters. Fourth, the dialogues and interactions of the characters weren’t that engaging. The humor was half-baked, the drama was a bit off. The only thing that I’m glad about it was that the romance was kept subtle and to a bare minimum. Fifth, the book seems to take comfort in using the word OK that it was awkward and exhausting. What I mean is that why not use the other synonyms for that word because they’re totally free? And lastly, the battle scene in the book lacked heart and breathtaking performances from the ensemble of cast.

If not for the few good things about The Woken Gods, I would have described it as dull and dry. Would I recommend this? Sure if you want to meet other mythological gods and just get the feel of how life would be if the gods are almost next door neighbors. Or if you are suffering from the Percy Jackson withdrawal.

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