Sunday, July 14, 2013

ARC Review of The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

Title: The Woken Gods
Author: Gwenda Bond
Review by: Sarah
Release Date: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Pages: 384
Format: E-ARC
Source: Netgalley

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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.

It's been quite some time since I actually sat down to write an honest to God book review so forgive me if this one is a little disjointed, alas I am rusty.

First things first, is this a series? I haven't found anything that says it is, which is disappointing. It ended in a very series sort of way. If there's not going to be another book I'm going to be seriously bummed out (and it also might force me to deduct a half'll see why as I ramble)

The main thing I am pleased to report about this book is that it is not a cliche romance dressed up to look like it has an interesting premise. It's actually very much about what the summary suggests. A strange, unique sort of dystopia where every God from every religion is party rocking in our world. Weird. And scary. There is a bit of a lack of world building, but sometimes I'm not too bothered by that sort of thing. I mean, there's definitely information scattered throughout, but to be honest, when it comes to book like this....*whispers* I kind of would just rather have a massive info dump. I'm sorry, blasphemous talk, I know. But when it comes to such a world as the one in this book, I want to understand every little thing about it. There were times when I found myself confused as to what exactly this world even was. I would have liked to know more about The Society and how it was founded, the actual awakening of the gods, more about what it was like when that first happened. But, perhaps that's just me, craving information where it actually isn't necessary. 

I was pretty pleased with the inclusion of the gods themselves and their characterization. Of course I would have liked an even deeper, more detailed look into the Trickster's Council and its members, but again this might just be me and my own weirdness.

The plot, for me, was medium paced but steady, I didn't really feel like it was a drag to read at any point and I don't even think I skimmed, which is a miracle for me. I'm an olympic skimmer. The characters, while all diverse and interesting, were disappointingly a little bit underdeveloped. As I've said a million times over, I read books for the characters. Even if your book lacks plot and backstory (not saying this one did, I'm just making a general point), if you get me to fall in love with your characters then that's the end of it. In this book I was so close to falling in love with them. I actually did a little bit. But I didn't fall as hard as I like to. Kyra is a very realistic, entertaining depiction of a young girl in an unfathomable situation. She's sassy and rebellious, a little clueless, and doesn't seem to have any idea what she's doing until she's about to do it. I really liked Kyra, a lot. At times she was like a mini female Dean Winchester, which is about the highest praise I can give any YA heroine. Her cleverness, her snark, her unwavering loyalty to her loved ones and heartbreaking insistence to put her life on the line while pushing others out of harms way...Kyra's quite the character. 

The minor characters: Kyra's friends Tam and Bree and then Society boys Oz (*whispers* love interest) and his best friend Justin. All of which have chapters included from their pov. I still don't know if I liked the way this was done. I understand why the author chose to do it, but it just missed the mark with me. Now back to what I was saying about character development. Aside from Kyra, I don't really feel like there was all that much? I adored Oz but I feel like I don't really know much about him. I mean, I know enough. But it's not...Enough. That could be said for pretty much all of Kyra's entourage. Don't get me wrong, the characters were perfectly interesting and engaging, but I don't really feel like I understand them on a deep level. You know? Now, if there's going to be another book I don't really have a problem with this. Plenty of time to give me tons of charactery goodness in the next one, if it exists. If not...I'm taking back that half star. *pouts*

This book is good, bordering on great. I sincerely hope you choose to pick this one up, because it's something fresh and different and exciting and awesome. I'm very picky and critical in my reviews, even with books I like, so I hope you don't take that as me not enjoying this book, because I absolutely did. Just take a gander at my status updates while reading. So many feels.

3 and a half coffee cups!

1 comment:

  1. WHEEE SARAH HI HI HI! *hugs*

    Anyways, THE WOKEN GODS sounds interesting but I'm so backed up on review books (especially NetGalley ones) I'd feel horrible if I requested.

    I'm happy that you enjoyed it though! I love things that tie in gods (*cough* Greek mythology *cough*) so this might be something I like. I also still stand by the fact that I think Kyra and Oz are awesome names.

    *dances away*


    - Kaede