Monday, 2 September 2013

Early Review: The Woken Gods

The Woken Gods
Gwenda Bond

Publisher: Strange Chemistry – published 3rd September

E-Arc courtesy of Netgalley and Strange Chemistry

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.

All the Gods people have ever worshipped throughout time are real and a few years ago they woke up. The world changed. Washington DC has become the centre for communication between the Gods as represented by the Trickster Gods and the Society, group who use relics to protect humans from the Gods power. Krya grew up in the midst of the awakening, but when the Tricksters start to take an interest in her, she realises that there are more secrets in her family that she ever knew...

The idea that all the Gods are real and that they have only been sleeping is such a strong premise for a world similar to ours but different in that one vital area and provides a wide range of possibilities for story-telling. Adding to the mix Krya is one damaged girl but strong and determined. She has problems over and above the usual teen romance and authority issues so when her Dad goes missing and the gods are involved, she ignores his request that she leave town and decides to find him. Her friends refuse to let her deal with it alone. I loved the relationships Krya has with her friends – both old and new. They ground her and prevent her becoming too isolated. Each have their own family issues but still stick by her side.

As well as a variety of Gods from global pantheons, there is a mysterious Society who are able to keep the Gods in line with threats. However, we all know secret societies are not always to be trusted... The mix of mythology, teen issues and action is well balanced with plenty of action and some intriguing twists – I have to admit the end really ups the stakes taking it from a personal tragedy to all out war. The books suffers a little from teens knowing better than adults every time (a lot of YA have that fault though!), but the teens are such stronger characters that it doesn’t matter too much. There is plenty to enjoy and I can’t wait to see what the next book in this series will throw up. Especially as the end is a real game changer! A fresh take on ancient mythology and a fun read!

Recommended for fans of Tom Pollock and Kim Curran. 8 out of 10


  1. Hey, great well balanced review. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it as much as I expected to.

  2. Strange Chemistry are turning out some interesting books

  3. Oh I haven't heard of this one. Sounds fab. I also like the sound of the strong characters (although I do know what you mean) and the twisty ending. Might have to put this one on the wishlist.

  4. I really like Gwenda Bond's creative mind. She may not be the writer of the darkest edgiest most mature YA stuff I've read, but she has a lot of good ideas and runs in interesting directions with them, and there's usually things in her books that I can say without a doubt that some would insist teens can't or shouldn't handle.

  5. Oh now this sounds goooood. I like this idea. Thank you, as the book is completely new to me. :D