Book Review: The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond
Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Strange Chemistry, 384 Pages
Source: ARC
My Rating: 4 Stars

The more things change…

Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke all around the world.

The more things stay the same…

This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school because of an argument with her father.

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. From the author of Blackwood comes a fresh, thrilling urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan. Summary and image 

With THE WOKEN GODS author Gwenda Bonda has created an exciting world populated with vibrant characters straight out mythology. The gods of world mythology have literally stepped down into our world realm and taken up residence.

SETTING AND SUMMARY: Imagine seven of the world's Tricksters gods moving into Washington D.C. and taking over the embassies there and calling it home. Now imagine a secret society bent on controlling the gods, a dangerous relic that is missing which could open up the realms between man and gods permanently. What stands in the way is our heroine Kyra and her teenage friends, who are about to learn how to battle gods and monsters. For Kyra, the hardest lesson of all will not be how to battle the gods, but how to learn to trust and open her heart to others.

CHARACTERS: KYRA LOCKE is a wonderfully realistic teenager, with both strengths and weaknesses that make her a  surprisingly great heroine. Kyra has had to practically raise herself since the gods have woken up. She intense, wild and independent with no one to tell her what to do, nor has any set rules. Her mother has left the family and joined a mysterious cult and her father is always involved with the Society of the Sun. The moment she realizes her father is in trouble, she takes matters into her own hands and shows great strength and bravery as she fights the gods in order to protect her family. She is willing to face unknown danger and risk everything, including herself if it means saving those she loves. Fighting feelings of insecurities about her self-worth and being loved, Kyra shows a lot of emotional growth in the story. She learns to accept her feelings for Oz, to accept his help, and that it's okay to rely on others. She realizes sometimes you have to open yourself up emotionally and risk being hurt, but what may be on the other side is worth braving. Watching Kyra battle her insecurities all the while she battled the gods was amazing.

Oz ( Osborne Spencer ) is the perfect hero for the story and Kyra. Ready to save the day, Oz is more comfortable fighting battles against the gods as a Society Operative than studying books and hanging out like most teenagers. Physically handsome, cunning and quick in battle, yet with Kyra he’s patient and caring, a perfect counterpart to her personality. It was obvious how much he cares for Kyra as he risks everything as a Society Operative in order to help her save her father. I thought Oz was the perfect combination of hero and teenager in the story and enjoyed the interaction between Kyra and him as well as all the fantastic battle scenes.


THE ROMANCE: The story is mainly an action and adventure type story involving four teens, with Kyra as the protagonist leading most of the action. There is some nice romantic interest that develops between Kyra and Oz. There's no love-triangles to worry about, just a nice friendship that has the possibilities to grow into something more.

     "Kyra?" he asks.
     Before I can give more excuses, he leans in and kisses me. I'm confused at first. Has this night really happened? Is this really happening?
     This feels... new, like I expected a first kiss to feel before I had one.

WHAT I LIKED: Gwenda Bond did a great job creating a world in THE WOKEN GODS in which gods from a variety of different world mythologies lived and mingled with humans in our very on realm. I loved how she incorporated them into the story and did an amazing job of describing them in detail, their houses, mannerisms, appearance- everything. I felt like I was there right along with Kyra, Oz and their friends as they fought and battled the gods.   

WHAT I DIDN’T CARE FOR: Kyra's friends Bree and Tam seemed a bit flat to me, and I was never really able to feel very connected to them or their interactions with Kyra.

THE ENDING: I enjoyed THE WOKEN GODS and thought it was a fun read, perfect those who enjoy a bit of mythology mixed in with their stories. There was plenty of action and adventure in the book with a nice side of romance. The book is set as a stand alone, but the author leaves plenty of room for further stories set in the same world.