The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

You know me, I like mythology and interesting characters so I was excited check out The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond. Add in the fact that I “know” the author from blogging, twitter, etc. made it a must read.

Synopsis:

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.

And I have to say it was a fun read. The mythology aspect turns out to be an interesting backdrop to the story. I wish the gods had played a more prominent role but the story is really focused on the lead character and how she maneuvers through this complex world of gods, family and friends. A nice blend of action, relationships and suspense; with a dash of humor too.

This book had the feel of the first in a series, however, as there was so much introduced but not developed to the degree it might have been. The gods form a kind of tantalizing background.  Their existence flavors the story and their appearance always brings an element of tension and suspense. But as Gwenda explained, in order to get the story right she felt she had to concentrate on Kyra and tell her story.  And it works.

Kyra is an interesting and compelling character. Someone just trying to deal with family, school, friends, boys and, oh yeah, mythical gods trying to kill her. She is constantly having her life, and her understanding of her life, turned upside down. She doesn’t think of herself as a heroine but feels compelled to act to try and save and protect those she loves; and find answers if she can. And solving the riddle surrounding her family leads her to the center of a conspracy that threatens the world

But for me, I wanted to know more about this world we are dropped into. It seemed so tantalizing to have these gods, the society and this fascinating backstory and not get to learn more about it. It felt like it could have been a thicker more in depth fantasy epic.  But to be fair, it is a YA novel.  So I am hoping for a prequel or sequel.

If you are looking for YA fantasy with a compelling female character be sure to check out The Woken Gods. If you are the publisher, have Gwenda make this a series.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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