1.14.2014

The Woken Gods, by Gwenda Bond

The Woken Gods
I was hugely entertained by Gwenda Bond's young adult tale of Washington, D.C. overrun by gods from the Egyptian, Sumerian, Norse, Aztec, Voodoo, and Greek pantheons. In The Woken Gods, something happened five years before the book begins to awaken, apparently, all the gods from the ancient world. The Society of the Sun does it's best to protect humanity from these all powerful beings, but someone is working to destroy the status quo.

The only thing the gods fear in Kyra Locke's world is death. The Society of the Sun holds that threat over them to keep them in line. Unfortunately, Kyra's father--who works for the Society--has stolen an Egyptian relic that could render that threat moot. And then he goes missing. Kyra sets out to find him, along with her friends. She has to contend with agents of the Society and her grandfather and a host of gods from various pantheons.

Complicating matters even more, most of the gods that have a stake in this game are trickster gods. Anyone would be well advised to take everything thing they say with as much salt was they could get their mortal hands on. Legba informs Kyra that if she doesn't save her father, it will spark an apocalypse. So, no pressure, as the Voodoo god says.

The conspiracy is easy to work out, as I would expect from a young adult novel. But that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book at all. There's much less of the teenage angst and moodiness that I've come to expect from lead characters in this genre, for one. For another thing, the scenes between the humans and the gods are richly described. Kyra and her friends have an incredible experience with Enki and the Sumerian gods, in which she meets her appointed guardian Anzu, a lion-headed eagle. In another scene, gods duke it out in the Reading Room of the Library of Congress*.

Even though Kyra managed to avert a prophesied disaster, it was just a small victory in a renewed war. She is going to have her work cut out for her in the sequel(s).

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* As far as I know, no books were harmed in the making of this novel.

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