The Woken Gods
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.
Kyra’s parents are deep in the world of gods and the Society of the Sun, which they’ve spent their lives keeping Kyra away from. No one from the Society is even allowed to speak her. So when she’s attacked by gods for her father’s supposed treason and rescued by two beginner Society operatives, who inform her of a grandfather she’s never met (and never knew she had), things start to get complicated and she realises that whatever happens, her life will never be the same. Kyra’s thrown into this unfamiliar world, finding herself in a situation she can’t walk away from, despite several chances to. With the help of old friends and new ones, Kyra fights hard for her father and uncovers truths that turn her world on its head all over again.
The imagination here is incredible. I especially enjoyed the use of the relics – such a wonderful thing to explore. The friendships between the characters are touching. Their strength as one is unbeatable, and I love that the novel allows us to discover a little more about each of them and not just Kyra. That’s very cleverly done and the transition is smooth between chapters where this occurs.
THE WOKEN GODS is a captivating story of secrets, mysteries, lies and adventure, blending rich mythology with a contemporary setting. I’d recommend to fans of Neil Gaiman, Zoë Marriott and Cassandra Clare. I was already a fan of Gwenda Bond after reading her debut novel, BLACKWOOD.
I had been wanting to dig into this book for quite a while but with classes starting up and other review books taking priority I didn't get into it until now. Boy am I sorry I wasted so much time when I could be reading this book. It seems everything I have gotten from Strange Chemistry seems to be a really good read.
Imagine, if you will, a world in which magic is not just possible but a comfortable familiarity. Magic surges that cause electronics such as electricity, cars, and the like to go on the fritz and sometimes die completely is a common occurrence in Kyra's world. For some unknown reason, the gods of myth and legend are awake after an extremely long siesta. They come back with a vengeance and it is only the dutiful work of the Society of the Sun that keeps them in check. The Society makes an example of a single god by showing that the relics they had collected even before the gods awoke can not just wound them but send them into the Afterlife permanently. The immortal gods are no more it would see.
Kyra knows her father works as a library for the Society and that because of that his duties as a parent have become extremely lacking. Add to that a crazy mother who keeps her distance from her only daughter out of vision-driven madness. Kyra is utterly alone in her life, except for her close friends Bree and Tam.
She was accepting of her life and her mission to gain her father's attention, even if it is to be negative attention, comes to end abruptly when she is confronted by gods she has only ever seen on TV. Thankfully a ruggedly handsome Society operative, Oz, comes to her rescue. Kyra soon finds out that Oz's appearance was not as simple as a happy coincidence. He was sent to fetch her and bring her back to the Society. There Kyra learns of her father's thief of a powerful relic and his subsequent disappearance. Kyra feels she must get to the bottom of this mystery and find her father. With the help of Oz, Bree, and Tam she sets forth on a journey that will bring her face-to-face with horrific gods she never thought possible.
This book was easy to fall in love with from the start. Any book about mythology seems to intrigue me and draw me in. I found Kyra melancholy feelings toward the importance of her own life to be frustrating. I understand that with her parents never being there for her she has learned to be self-reliant but did she also have to learn to be so self-loathing as well. She was constantly blaming herself for everything, even sweating the small stuff that didn't matter in the end. She was a hard character to like. Fortunately, she had Oz to counter-balance her. Oz's faith in Kyra and the way he felt about her made me step away from her deputy downer personality and see her a little differently. I think that is artfully done for an author to take a slightly less appealing character and show them in a different light with the help of a well liked character. The book as a whole, dragged me into a world I want to read more of. I want to know what happens next. Sequel, please!
The Woken Gods will make it's readers wonder about the validity of such a world. Are there truly gods in reality? Are they just sleeping? Is there a chance they could awaken some day?
Review Posted on: http://www.ladybugliterature.blogspot.com
The very idea of ancient gods awakening in the middle of a modern city is too good to ignore. Can you imagine Egyptian gods, Sumerian gods, monsters and creatures of legend coming to life in your own neighbourhood? Thinking their mighty thoughts, beating their wings or roaring to the heavens right next to your school or your groceries, that's got to be awesome. Well, Gwenda Bond has imagined all this, and with a nice twist to it.
As soon as I knew about this novel, I felt this pull to read it. I needed to find out about a world where ancient gods were fleshed out for us mortals to see and interact with. Though this could mean a lot of trouble. Yay! That's good for me. And for the story too. It's got loveable characters surrounded by tricky, larger-than-life divinities who are forced to be civil to the world for the time being. It's got a dynamic flow of events that never cease to amaze with a balanced dose of action, soul-searching, conspiracies, family issues, menacing primitive gods, forgiveness, powerful relics, honour, and loads more.
Politicians are almost extinct whilst the Society keeps things in a precarious order by keeping the deities at bay. Strong-willed Kyra is the perfect heroine for a world where old magic runs rampant and human kind is at stake every tick of the clock. The author depicts creatures and monsters from ancient times in a very colourful way, some of these gods are quite disturbing.
What about romance? It's there but it's far from insta-love because it's not until after page 150 that Kyra starts noticing the wonders of the boy's bare chest. And his name is Oz. Isn't that fantastic? That gives us plenty of time to focus on the plot. And mind you, the plot is fast-paced, attention-grabbing and full of juicy details.
Much of the information is conveyed through the dialogue which is snappy and quick, and it always resonates well with the characters' psychology. The main point of view is Kyra's, though sometimes it changes to one of her friends. This helps deepen the reader's understanding of each character's inner motives. When the time comes for description, it never drags because everything that's happening and every character's train of thought is so well depicted that I just couldn't skip a line.
The only thing I missed was not being there when the gods awakened and the world was changed forever. It would have been awesome to witness the moral upheaval, the cataclysmic proportions of their presence among humans. We do get to see some of the consequences such as security measures taken to prevent godly domination or worse, and adoration from "religious tourists".
I absolutely loved two things: Anzu, a gryphon-like creature I hope to see more of in future installments, if there are any which would be great, and the relics. It felt like the whole history of mythology and legends was ripe for the taking of my imagination. Any kind of heroic piece wielded by Athena or Hercules or your favourite myth-tale could be rescued from oblivion and put to warrior use in the present. Oh, how I'd love to grab one of those and become a heroine myself. This is the kind of things Gwenda Bond has inspired me to think about. Shame on you, Ms. Bond ;o)
Behind an amazing cover lurks a well-crafted divine drama .If you like alternate realities and mythology turned true, you're guaranteed a heck of a good reading. This is my opinion, now what's yours? Are you going to read it or skip it?