The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond #review

Gods from every mythology you have ever heard of, and a few you haven’t, rampaging through Washington, D.C.

A fairly intriguing concept.

I started and then put down this book several times in the first 70 pages. Gwenda Bond writes well and she has a great backstory and interesting characters.

So, why did it take making myself pick it back up 4 times to finally get lost in it? The set-up.

I spent the first 1/4 of the book feeling like I had come in on the 2nd or 3rd book in a series. There is exposition and backstory that needs to be given to the reader, but it needs to be done in a way that doesn’t frustrate the reader. Sadly I can see many readers not making it through to the excellent novel that eventually shows up. It is really frustrating to pick up a book that has well crafted prose and an excellent storyline but suffers from a poorly executed introduction.

I am glad that I muddled through the first chapters – because I was rewarded with an amazing heroine named Kyra at the center of what is a cleverly conceived mythology mish-mash that has altered the entire world as we know it. She has been let down and abandoned by everyone who should have been there for her and manages to find herself in the center of a major conspiracy.

Big props to Bond for the big choice Kyra makes toward the end of the book. Many YA authors would have shied away from that or tried to couch it as not a conscious choice. I’m not going to spoil it, because it is a powerful moment, but I want to make sure the reader knows there is awesome waiting for them if they keep reading.

I am sincerely hoping there is more Anzu in the next book as well. The giant lion-eagle really grew on me. I want to look into those liquid gold eyes.

Since this was an ARC I am hoping that some final editing might make the first few chapters and exposition more reader friendly. But even without that I would recommend reading this – get past the first 70 pages and you will thank me for it.

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