David Mogo, Godhunter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Con este título y con el interés que está despertando en mi últimamente la literatura de origen africano, no podía pasar mucho tiempo antes de que leyera David Mogo, Godhunter. No he encontrado lo que buscaba, principalmente por problemas estructurales de la novela, pero puede que otro lector la disfrute más que yo.

El primer escollo que me encontré fue el lenguaje de los diálogos. Entiendo que no puedo esperar un perfecto inglés si se quiere algo de realismo en la ambientación africana, pero es que la mayoría de las conversaciones tienen lugar en una mezcolanza de palabras y fonemas que puede llegar a resultar desesperante. No creo que sea un experimento formal como el que realizó Iain M Banks con su El Artefakto, me temo que es una búsqueda de verosimilitud que ha traspasado la frontera de lo comprensible.
Con este obstáculo en el camino, seguía dispuesta a hacer un esfuerzo extra en la lectura, ya que la mitología yoruba me resulta fascinante desde mi desconocimiento. En ese aspecto, el libro ofrece mucha información aunque algo desestructurada, sirviendo de puerta de entrada para quien quiera profundizar más en el tema a través de nombres y referencias. Puede despertar nuestro interés aunque tampoco la representación mitológica sea totalmente fidedigna debido a la presencia de varios panteones y a las necesidades propias de la narración.
No se puede describir el libro como un fix-up, pues aunque tiene tres partes claramente diferenciadas, tampoco es que el autor haya realizado un trabajo exhaustivo para unirlas, utilizando de forma repetitiva unas elipsis tremendas. En cada tramo, justo cuando se alcanza el clímax, se corta la narración y se comienza otro relato en otra parte. Aunque conserva los mismos protagonistas y es continuada en el tiempo, crea la sensación permanente de que el autor nos está escamoteando algo.
No puedo recomendar el libro para un lector con gusto similares a los míos, pero si lo interpretamos como una serie de aventuras fantásticas en Lagos con algo de trasfondo mitológico, si puede ser de tu gusto.
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The ideas are there but the execution is quite flawed. The book is formulaic with three parts that follow a typical question pattern: hero has problem, hero tries to fix problem, hero get solution wrong, someone tells the hero what to do, hero kills someone. This made it easy to anticipate. The book dragged overall and there was lots of info dumping with non-relevant information. This book needed an editor and to be about a third les long minimum. There also was hand waving away of real issues such as David’s abandonment by his mother instead of dealing with them within the book. Finally, Fati was a problematic character in how her apparent faith and disability were just removed when they were no longer plot points and just used to indicate her down trodden status. There was a moment at the end where I thought it might turn things but no, it stuck with the utterly predictable course. By the end, I would give it 2.5 stars.
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I truly hate giving books low ratings but if I'm being honest this just wasn't working for me. And it's absolutely disappointing because hearing it described as "Nigerian god-punk" made me want to immediately dive in and devour this book. Our narrator David works as a freelancer, hunting down lesser godlings for profit - that is, of course, until a wizard decides to use one of these godlings to take control of the city and it is up to David to stop him. It sounds AMAZING but... the execution not so much.

There were far too many info-dumps, the pacing seemed to drag to a crawl at times, and while I found the various characters mostly enjoyable there was nothing about them that stood out or stayed with me after I put it down. Everything just felt "okay" to me rather than exciting or filled with tension. I have seen a few reviews mention that this book could have been shortened down to a novella length and given a faster pace to make for a better overall story and I have to agree. 

Thank you to NetGalley & the publishers at Rebellion Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Look, it's inevitable: someone, somewhere, is going to make a long and persuasive argument about the linkages between "David Mogo, Godhunter" and Nnedi Okorafor's "Lagoon." And that person isn't going to be completely wrong, in the way that anyone tracing a linkage between Leila del Duca and Ursula K. Le Guin would not be completely ... wrong ... and they would also not be saying much of use, either, other than "here are two excellent creators who come from the same place." Which ... well, let's just say that we American reviewers are often guilty of seeing the continent of Africa as some sort of monolith, which it isn't, and are often content with surface-level reviews using terms like "timely" and "charged" and "entertaining" without much nuance. "David Mogo, Godhunter" is indeed set in Lagos. "Lagoon" is also, it is true, set in Lagos. They both involve some pretty weird, disturbing, and humorous investigations of class divisions, cultural heritage, and the limits of genre. And yes, they're both worth reading. 

That's where comparisons probably ought to end.

"David Mogo, Godhunter" has legs, and it stands on them very well, indeed. The titular character is one of those smart, capable people whose life somehow spins out of control anyway, and who fumbles through the acclimation process like an actual human being. I mean, demigod. A demigod who still has to deal with power outages and checkpoints like a normal person, not to mention some well-earned problems with parents and other authority figures. So some gods happen to land in Lagos and contribute to forced dislocations and migrations? Not ideal. Obviously. But life, as David Mogo discovers, has a tendency of going relentlessly on despite such disturbances, whether we're ready for it to or not. With a wry sense of humor, Okungbowa lays bare the root of our own troubled relationship with diaspora fiction, entertaining readers of all points of origin even while showing us Americans exactly what we're least prepared to understand: enthusiastically diverse, culturally nuanced, sparklingly brilliant fiction that refuses to absolve us white Americans of our own tortured history with race and class relations. It's freaking magnificent, my friends.

Interested in learning more about Okungbowa and "David Mogo, Godhunter?" Check out our conversation on The Imaginaries Podcast, where we talk about the socioeconomics of the post-apocalypse! You can find it on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/kmm-590827903/episode-78-suyi-davies-okungbowa), iTunes (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-imaginaries-podcast/id1142101499), and of course, our website (www.imaginaries.net).
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Qualche anno fa il cielo si è aperto e gli dèi sono piombati sulla Terra. 

Dèi potenti e meno potenti, senzienti o inani, fastidiosi o tranquilli, dèi che hanno cambiato la vita nella Lagos di un tempo come mai ci si sarebbe aspettati, facendo germogliare nuove figure: stregoni, per dire, o cacciatori di dèi - semidei dotati del  potere  di catturare gli spiriti inquieti, intrappolarli e liberarli al sicuro, lontani dalla gente.

Un mestiere difficile, pericoloso e illegale - un mestiere necessario, e che permette a David Mogo di mettere insieme pane e companatico, se solo arrivassero abbastanza lavori. magari non come quello che gli propone un inquietante, ricchissimo stregone, che puzza di rogne lontano un miglio, ma insomma...

Un'idea geniale, un'ambientazione nuova per noi occidentale (anche se sdoganata in anni recenti da Nnedi Okorafor, che a me non piace ma ha un successo notevole di critica), un protagonista abbastanza interessante; peccato che l'esecuzione sia molto da esordiente, con uno stile traballante, ritmo incerto, e dialoghi un poco scalcinati.

Non un romanzo che consiglio, insomma, anche se aspetterò con curiosità la prossima prova dell'autore per vedere se c'è un margine di crescita.
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David Mogo, Godhunter is a gritty narrative about the Lagos underworld, Isale Eko (or Eko Isale) after displaced gods start inhabiting the city. It is not a 'pretty' or 'flowery' novel. There is crime, blood, violence, and a good dose of profanity. A chunk of the dialogue is in Pidgin and broken English. However, the main character, David Mogo narrates the story in English (and quite dramatically if you ask me).

What did I like about this novel? I enjoyed the references to Nigerian mythology as a whole. Several gods from different tribes were featured in the novel, and I got to learn a little about each god during the course of the story. Though, it got a little confusing to keep track of the individual gods and their function in the story after I'd read about the 4th god. 

The novel is set in Lagos, Nigeria, a fictional version, but Lagos nonetheless. I like that the author didn't shy away from that. He described the city beautifully. He also addressed Nigerians' attitudes towards native magic and religion--since magic is a central aspect of the narrative. And the novel comments on different Nigerian social issues like police brutality and the #EndSARS movement, child marriage, Boko Haram, and others. 

The story moves quite slowly in the beginning, as the author established the setting and provided background details. While I enjoyed reading about familiar environments, it felt like the conflict would never surface. And when the conflict did surface, I didn't enjoy the descriptions or the long monologues from the different characters. They detracted from the excitement or the heat of the moment, and I was tempted to skip over those areas (even though I'd been pining for them since the beginning of the story). 

In addition, there were a couple side-bars in the plotline that I didn't think were necessary to the main story. And some of the narration seemed overly dramatic to me. Like the main character was taking himself too seriously, I rolled my eyes a few times. 

I liked the ending of the novel, and how the characters were 'called out' for their actions. I don't think any character was completely blameless for what happened to the humans in Lagos, and I like that the author highlighted that. 

All in all, David Mogo, Godhunter tells a good story. The narration and style isn't something that I'm quite used to, it is definitely a unique taste. I would recommend the novel to anyone who likes dark urban fantasy, or African mythology in general. You should grab a copy if you're intrigued by the story.
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David Mogo, Godhunter
by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Published by Rebellion Publishing, Abbadon Books
Publication date: 09 July, 2019

David Mogo, Godhunter stirs the past, present, future, and mythological together into an action-packed urban fantasy set in Lagos, Nigeria. My knowledge of Nigerian culture is limited to what I’ve gleaned from novels, but I am endlessly intrigued by it and so was very much looking forward to this book. It delivered on infusing the story with culture, doing so in a no-holds-barred way that I loved, not dumbing it down for the uninitiated. I think in another genre this might have been a problem for some people, but in fantasy, a genre with readers who are used to diving into the deep end and accepting world building as natural, I expect it won’t put many off. 

Unfortunately, despite the positives, this book didn’t resonate with me; I perhaps wanted something a bit more nuanced and character driven, but instead found an almost episodic action adventure. This isn’t intrinsically bad, just not what I was expecting or hoping for. This said, I don’t tend to read much fantasy these days, sticking largely to the cross overs between fantasy and literary fiction, so though it wasn't what I was looking for, I do believe David Mogo, Godhunter could be very popular with the many people who read fantasy regularly. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it got optioned to be made into a movie and did really well in that format. 

Though it wasn’t for me, there were aspects I admired; I’d recommend this book to those who like urban fantasy or superhero books.
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This book was a fun read, I liked Mogo's writing style and world-building, the story was exciting and unique with good character development. I love the cover art and the cultural elements. I did not know I was a fan of the "Nigerian God-Punk" genre but this book convinced me! 

Synopsis: "Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard."
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The gods fell to Earth over a decade ago. Lagos is in chaos, broken and flooded. David Mogo, demigod and godhunter has to capture twin gods—twin Orishas—high gods—and deliver them to Ajala, the city's most notorious wizard.

I was delighted to get an advance reading copy of this from Netgalley because I read it in its early stages when it was a single novella which Suyi brought to the Milford SF Writers' Conference in 2017, all the way from Lagos to a misty North Wales. Several of us said then, that it was excellent, but it should be a novel. Now, it is, though it still feels like novellas tacked together. That's not a bad thing, of course (ref Nnedi Okirafor's Binti books).

David Mogo feels like a Nigerian Harry Dresden. He’s streetwise but not without empathy. Because it's told in the first person there's a lot of exposition, but the 'voice' is good. I really like Papa Udi, his foster wizard. There's a lot of description which adds to the supernatural Nigerian setting. Even without knowing present Lagos, it feels like something familiar yet strange. The dialogue in Nigerian dialect can be a bit boggling, but mostly it's understandable. The internal monologue of the viewpoint character is in standard English. The dialect and Nigerian words add to the worldbuilding and there’s not much that I can’t infer from the context.
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This is a very me-not-you situation. I think many people will like this book and love the style it's written in, it just feels a little too snappy detective fiction for my tastes. Just not my jam!
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Future Publication Date: July 9th, 2019

Execution: 3/5
Enjoyment: 3/5

Key Descriptors: Gods, Godpunk, Novellas, Urban Fantasy, African Fantasy, Nigeria, Lagos, OwnVoices

Applicable /r/Fantasy Bingo Squares: Novella (hard mode), Twins (hard mode), #OwnVoices

Premise: The heavens have burst and the gods have fallen. Some are minor pests, mere godlings, but some are high gods with unknown magics and powers. David Mogo, a half-god, contracts himself out to the people of Lagos to help with godling infestations. However, when the local ruling wizard offers him a contract to capture a pair of twin gods, David knows the job is bad news. 

Review: This book is quite possibly the epitome of a 3-star book. There were many excellent aspects, but each one was balanced almost perfectly by a negative. While I don't regret reading this book, I'd only recommend it if you're looking specifically for something featuring its positive characteristics and don't mind overlooking a few flaws. 

First up, code-switching. For those unfamiliar with this term, I'll direct you to the Wikipedia definition: 

In linguistics, code-switching or language alternation occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language varieties, in the context of a single conversation. Multilinguals, speakers of more than one language, sometimes use elements of multiple languages when conversing with each other.

I loved the use of code-switching in Godhunter! It was a small bit of subtle social commentary each time David swapped from "proper" US-style English to his family's vernacular. When speaking with the wizard or otherwise conducting business, David consistently used "proper" language so as to be more formal and taken more seriously. At home with his adopted father, we saw David use a more indigenous style language. Unfortunately, although this was very cool to see, it did sometimes obscure meaning a bit. It's a bit tricky to parse "I feel like say pessin carry my body knack am for ground, arrange am back," if it's not a linguistic style you're used to. I'm.... actually still not 100% sure what David was trying to say here, if I'm entirely honest. That said, these instances were not detrimental to the book overall. This is perhaps a more representative example of the vernacular:

"Eh." I kick off my boots. . . "As you be like this, you go fit run ebo* for me this night? I gats work tomorrow.

*ebo is a substance explained in the novel which is harmful to the gods
Next, I thoroughly enjoyed the gods themselves. I would have loved a small slice-of-life style novel wherein David traveled around Lagos helping out folks with godling infestations, a la Mushi-shi (a lovely anime series for those who are unfamiliar). Unfortunately, we only had a slight glimpse of this portion of David's life, as we rapidly jumped into the plot. On the bright side, we still got to meet many interesting high gods and saw quite a bit of how they had impacted Lagos' culture post-fall. The twin god Ibeji turned out to be a much more interesting character than I anticipated, as did their interactions with Fati - I hadn't originally expected either to get as much screen time as they did, but was pleasantly surprised. 

Finally, a quick shout out to this being an #OwnVoices read. It's always fun to read literature created from other cultural perspectives, and you can certainly feel that coming through both in tone and in the plot structure.

Sadly, there were a few major flaws to this book that balanced out the good and brought it down to a 3-star ranking. 

David Mogo, Godhunter, is not actually a novel. It is three novellas hiding in a trenchcoat standing on one another's shoulders pretending to be one cohesive novel. There are three small, obvious plot arcs with significant time jumps between them. Going in without knowing this makes the pacing feel strange and wrong. Things were happening in the first third of the "novel" that made it seem as though we should be approaching the novel's conclusion - which, technically, we were... or at least the first novella's conclusion. This was jarring and unexpected. If you've read the Binti novels by Nnedi Okorafor, imagine reading all of them at once if they'd been branded as one complete, singular novel. It just wouldn't make much sense, as they are clearly each independent novellas. So it was with David Mogo, Godhunter. 

Next, due to this novella structure, I felt a bit cheated out of the steady and thorough character development and worldbuilding I had been hoping for. The novellas were short enough that they had to be action-focused, which left little room for large-scale worldbuilding outside of the events surrounding the protagonist. While a main island with presumably more advanced civilization was discussed, we never found out much clear information. Additionally, we scarcely even got to see the village (town? city? I don't even know what the population was!) David was living in. There are some faceless villagers, but we never got to meet anyone who wasn't plot relevant in some way or have any sort of look into people who made up David's culture and daily life. 

In addition to these structural issues, there were some glaring issues with the writing itself. Far too often, the reader is exposed to info dump style monologues. It felt less like a slow discovery of the world and more like being spoon fed a few tidbits here and there. Rather than painting a picture for the reader, we were provided a few small photographs that didn't really provide nearly enough context. 

In conclusion, if you're hankering for some African fantasy featuring gods and seeing code-switching in a novel, David Mogo, Godhunter is probably a worthwhile read. If those two things don't interest you particularly, you may be better off looking elsewhere for your next book. 

David Mogo, Godhunter, can be found on Amazon and Goodreads.

If you liked David Mogo, Godhunter, you might also enjoy:

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
Sister Light, Sister Dark by Jane Yolen
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An opportunity to read Suyi Davies Okungbowa's David Mongo, Godhunter for was presented, and I am a firm believer in never saying no to a free read. So I dove in, with nothing but the brief description provided by netgalley.com, and kept expectations and premature judgement at bay in order to write a fair review.

David Mongo, Godhunter is told by David, and in his first-person experience portrays the story of his fight and survival after the apocalyptic fall of gods. The story itself was not what kept me turning the pages. It moved quickly with short chapters that often ended on a snappy note, or a cliff hanger. It was a good tale, and the characters were pretty straight forward, but it did not create a sense of awe or wonder. What did, however, was Okungbowa'a way of writing.

The description of things such as pain, darkness, and loss were presented in such a staggering way, it was effortless to understand what David was experiencing. I knew I had never had the same wounds inflicted on myself, but was able to recall a similar hurt through Okungbowa's words. We all say "ouch" when we put our hand on a hot stove, but Okungbowa takes it further and writes where the pain hits the soul. This gave the book life and caused me to feel along with David through the tale.

The other characters were not given an opportunity to develop, and I would have liked to have learned more about them. Not an easy task when the story is told in the first person, and I can understand that in order for their stories to be included, David would have to have been less isolated, which would have changed the type of demi-god he was. This is all my personal preference, really, and I just enjoy a bit of background story.

I greatly enjoyed Okungbowa's style of presenting the supernatural in such a natural fashion, and not batting an eye at the out-of-the-ordinary. David was not shocked or surprised by the visual description of the gods or the scenery throughout the book, and this trickled into my own thinking. Without a "your never going to believe this" approach, I was able to picture the world of David Mongo clearly.

I enjoyed Suyi Davies Okungbowa's David Mongo, Godhunter, and found it to be a fine read. I feel the same as I did before I picked it up, and won't be taking any quotes or wisdom with me, but I certainly do not regret taking the time to read it.
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This was one of those books that had so much potential and while I did enjoy the story overall I couldn't help but feel like there was something missing. The writing in this book is really beautiful and Okungbowa really knows what they are doing with their words. The only thing I wished was that this book was paced a little fasted. I wanted to get through everything and see the world, but it was a slow paced book.
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When I was first saw that Netgalley was offering early access to David Mogo, Godhunter, I wasn’t sure when I was going to read it. However, hearing the words  Nigerian god-punk to describe this urban fantasy, I immediately pushed this to become one of my priority reads.

The story and the world-building were great. Although there wasn’t anything revolutionary about them, I had a great time reading the book because Suyi's prose flows really well. I loved Suyi's writing style; very well-polished and easy to read. The introduction was written beautifully, sometimes thought-provoking, inspirational, but the greatest part about it was that they served to increase David Mogo's (our godhunter and protagonist) characterizations deeply.

There were however several parts that didn’t work for me. One of the most evident was its pacing. Although I generally loved slow paced books, there were some moments where it did get too slow to my liking. The first half of the book was unengaging to me and in my opinion, several scenes went on a bit too long for its own good. There were plenty of times when the point of a scene has been delivered and I felt satisfied by it, then the scene still went on and on around the same topic that it ended up losing its impact.

All in all, an interesting story and character to follow but fell just a tad short for me.
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I really wanted to like this more than I actually did. The pacing was problematic and it was hard at times to track what was happening and what actually mattered. Also, this is a small quibble, but it felt like the characterization of David himself radically swung back and forth. At times he seemed like a teenager or pre-teen, at other times like an adult man (which I think he was intended to be).
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This novel had immense potential, but it was uneven in terms of plot, pacing, and the execution of the story. It is basically dipped in Orisha mythology and the Yoruba folklore. I was eager to read this book because of the awesome description in Goodreads, and had high hopes of an action-packed, and a thrilling story. But, it didn't fulfill my expectations. There is action, and some of the characters were really intriguing, but, the book showed more, rather than telling a good story. And, as it is told in the first person from the main character's perspective, it became a little monotonous and affected the pacing. I think that this book would've been much better with multiple character perspectives, as there was so much going on in terms of the events, and some of it were left vague, which was infuriating.

The worldbuilding was pretty solid. Okungbowa gives a very vivid picture of a dystopic Nigeria where brutish gods, godlings, and brigands roam free. I would describe the setting as a godcalypse, which caused the fall of gods after some heavenly war, and created some panic and havoc in the mortal world, one where people live in fear of wild and rogue gods. The book has a YA urban tone to it, and the characterization of the protagonist confirms my opinion. The narrative is divided into three parts, and each part traces the journey of the protagonist David Mogo. In the first part, he works as a freelance godhunter, capturing and chasing rogue godlings. He lands into real shit after he captures a high god for a wizard, and things go sideways in his life. In the second part, he tries to come into terms with his legacy, and develops his powers as a demigod. In the third part, he assumes leadership of the people to fight a war against an tyrant and brutish god who is bent on establishing his own heaven in the earthly realm.

Reading it reminded me of Gaiman's Anansi Boys in its mythological background, but it widely differs from Gaiman's realistic and subtle take on the subject. I was disappointed with the protagonist. He is a six feet tall demigod, but acts like a impetuous and petulant teenager. Aren't the children of god's supposed to be a little more intelligent than humans, but, David Mogo acts freaking stupid at most of the times. The intrapersonal narrative gave more focus on him, and we have to spend time with him sulking in his head when he ought to act mature and think correctly. Honestly, it was frustrating. I think that Fatoumata as a character was left out underused in the story. She is a side-character with enough personality to steal a scene. I would say the same of Eshu, the trickster. If he was included from the beginning, there would have a great dynamics to the story as well as the relationship concerning the other characters. Ogun was one interesting character, and I liked her more than David. She plays an important role in moulding David's personality towards the end, and her presence can be felt in the story, which is strong and brilliant.

The ending to me felt contrived, as I wanted a more face to face action between him and the protagonist, but what I got was happenstance. The villain Aganju's role remained pretty sketchy, though in the short time we get to see him in the story, he had the build of a complex and intelligent character. I think that the author should have given him a part from the beginning, like a sort of divine manipulator or so which would have given depth to the plot and the character a well. The action also wasn't thrilling at all, rather it seemed like a necessity to add tempo to the narrative which had otherwise lost itself in Mogo. I don't know what I'm feeling about this book, but, it seems to be rather mixed. The good worldbuilding and a strong plot lost its momentum because of the manner of an internalizing narrative, which slipped my interest several times. I will say this again, the book could have been a lot better and interesting from an multiple point-of-view narrative. David Mogo alone doesn't have the personality to carry this.
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I loved the setting and world building in this story. Lagos is a fascinating place. And I loved what the author did with it in this story. The Orisha war has resulted in Lagos being flooded with gods who have made the city intolerable for its inhabitants and the world has ignored Lagos. It is up to David Mogo, a half god, to help humans deal with the menace. Only problem is we have power hungry gods who want more and have made David inadvertently help them. David has to undo this wrong and this sets him up for an adventure and a path of discovery and acceptance of who he is.
The story is in parts and sometimes ends with you feeling "what else can possibly happen. Although, later we see that all parts are linked, it’s a bit clumsy how one conflict is completely resolved and there seems to be nothing to look forward to.
There is a bit of repetition which at a point I skimmed over.
 A good read. 3.5 stars from me	
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this. This is my honest review
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Brief disclaimer, this is the first book I have received since signing up to Netgalley so I read an advanced reader copy for free in exchange for this review. I had been wanting to read the book since I first heard about it (also look at that cover, it is absolutely gorgeous). It’s described as Godpunk, which isn’t a term I have heard before, but sounded fascinating.

I will try and keep at least some of the review spoiler free since the book isn’t out yet, if there is anything that has spoilers in it I will make sure to make a note and leave some space so people can skip that if they do not wish to have any spoilers.

The story follows the titular character, who lives in Lago, Nigeria and works as a freelance Godhunter. Something called the Orisha war caused the appearance of thousands of gods in Lagos, forcing many people to relocate to other parts of the city. Into this turmoil steps David, a demigod who uses his abilities to deal with troublesome gods. He’s set to find and capture a couple of very powerful deities for a local wizard and that one event will spark a chain that will cause upheaval to his life and make him confront his own origins.

It’s a very well-written book. I have never been to Lagos, but the author conjures a sense of the place very well and it didn’t surprise me to learn that he is from there. It’s wonderful to see a non-Western setting for an urban fantasy and I got very pulled into the world that he creates.

The main character is physically powerful in many ways, but that doesn’t always work in his favour and his inability to properly rely on others around him often causes him problems. He definitely goes on a distinct journey from the start of the book to the end and Suyi does make you care for where he is going and what is going to happen to him.

There is a decent supporting cast to the book, though it’s written in first-person perspective which does mean that they do not come across as strongly as I might have liked. I have nothing against first person narratives (my WiP uses this in fact) but combined with the introspection and occasionally rather self-involved nature of the main character, it does result in the secondary characters not standing out as much as I might have wanted.

I did appreciate that there are a number of female supporting characters and generally they are treated well, they have their own agency and in places David is the one who is often swept along by events and struggling to get control back, which I actually quite appreciated.

As a note, this is a book in three distinct parts and you may, like me, get to the end of part one and wonder where on earth the book is going to manage to go from there. Do not worry and keep going is my advice, it’s one part of a larger story and it does all come together quite nicely in the end.

My biggest criticism of the book (and to be honest I don’t have many) is that I would have liked to see more quieter moments between the characters to cement their relationships. It is not utterly lacking in them, there are several poignant parts which help, but the story is very action driven so sometimes the pauses can feel a little too short. To be honest, that has been a common criticism of mine of late and I think it’s just because I love a more in-depth character than perhaps is typical so what is normal for others feels a little lacking to me.

One of my other loves in the book was the use of what I would guess is a hybrid local language. It is understandable enough and adds a flavour that I feel was really great. I must admit that I do find that sort of detail just makes the book come more alive with the environment it is set in without putting you off by being incomprehensible. It also tells you about the characters who use it and, for me, helped to solidify the relationship between David and his foster father.

The book features plenty of action, deals with themes of being trapped between two worlds and not being sure of who you are or what your place in the world is as a result. If you love urban fantasy, then this is a refreshing take on the sub-genre and definitely worth a look. I will definitely be getting myself a physical copy with its oh so pretty cover when I can.
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I’m just going to be kind of short with my review because I do not have much to talk about since this was pretty mediocre. I read a lot of fantasy and the premise of this sounded really good but the delivery just was not there for me. I thought this book could be shorter due to the over explanation of things. All in all this was just ok but nothing I’m gonna remember in a month.
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The gods rained from the sky in a deluge known as the Falling, and Lagos will never be the same again. Godhunter David Mogo, half god himself, has taken on a job way about his pay grade and now everything he holds dear is in danger etc etc. 

Split into three interlinked sections, this follows a pretty typical path of self discovery. Yet what starts out as a decent intro quickly morphs into torturous internalising, over explanation, repetition, and a serious lack of forward momentum. Even the fight/battle scenes were formulaic and dull. It’s a shame because the potential was right there. While suffering from some issues with style, the first story was punchy enough in parts to be fun, especially as the physical and cultural setting was so different from the norm. After that, any interest was ground out by the writing. 

If this collection had been edited down to a fast moving short story, it would have been so much better….but as it stands, fails to make any real impact.

ARC via Netgalley
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