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.
Well... that wasn't what I expected. Whenever I read a book based on some sort of 'mythology' I expect a cheesy instant romance, an overly perfect heroine and references to overly used Greek/Roman deities with a lot of artistic license taken, I'm not saying I don't like these books but they have to be pretty awesome to really impress me. Whilst I kind of knew from the awesome cover that this wasn't going to be one of those books, I was a little bit careful when I started it just in case it turned out like that. I should have known better really, I read Gwenda Bond's first book (Blackwood) last year and it really impressed me but The Woken Gods really impressed me even more. This may well be the best YA mythology book that I have read in like... ever and that includes Karsten Knight's Wildefire.
Can you tell that I really enjoyed this book yet? If not, let me tell you that I have been in a reading slump for weeks, unable to concentrate completely on any book, even going as far as to not want to read at all. Despite that, I devoured all 384 pages of this book in less than four hours, I took my Kindle with me to the toilet, to the kitchen, I sat reading whilst everyone else was watching one of my favorite TV shows, then when I finally finished the book I was pretty close to crying because I didn't want it to end. I didn't want to leave Kyra and Tam and Bea and Oz and everyone behind, I just wanted to read the book again straight away because Gwenda Bond is an extremely talented writer.
I love that this book has the conspiracy thriller feel to it, amped up by the Washington DC setting, but it also has this mythology aspect and the heroine (the awesome Kyra) was so tough and strongwilled despite the fact that her life hasn't exactly been the easiest. She has this awesome group of friends helping her along the way with Tam and Bea and there is some romance in there. What I loved was that the romance is very subtle and you can see the attraction yet they don't act on it until the very end of the book, which really sets it apart from other books in this genre.
I can't recommend The Woken Gods enough, the world, the writing, the action and the characters are all so awesome. this is a unique concept that you have to try even if you aren't a fan of the YA mythology genre. This book is political thriller mixed with mythology which doesn't sound like it should work... yet strangely they go together like cookies and cream.
Just read it... you'll see what I mean.
Overall Rating: A+
Book released 3rd September 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley)