My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Review: The Hunger of the Gods

The Hunger of the Gods The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although this book is a sequel to The Shadow of the Gods, The Hunger of the Gods “fixes” the main issues that I had with the first book. First and probably most important, there is a real conclusion to many of the plot conflicts where as I felt the story just ended in the first book (surprise, some bad guys get what they deserved). Ideally I was say that these two should just be one book, but each are already fairly long stories, so unless you have a high tolerance for a long plot build-up (or you DNF’d the first book), don’t feel guilty jumping in here because you will catch up pretty fast. If you are even remotely a fan of Norse history and mythology, you won’t regret it … because that is what this story is all about.

The world building is deep and rich, leveraging the world of the Norsemen/Vikings and is well researched and relatively authentic. That is probably because the author is a self proclaimed member of a viking re-enactment group (which is boss … I so want to do that). Just change up the gods a bit and pick up the story after Ragnarok (or the fall of the gods in this story) and you have the basic milieu found in the Norse sagas so well done the you could feel it (and it is GOT style brutal). The main character introduced in book one continue their adventures here; but the narratives begin with over lap and actually move the plot forward now with a coherence that was hard to find in the first book. Orka is still my favorite as the mama bear in search of her stolen cub, while Varg evolves from his thrall/slave roots into a drengr (norse knight or noble warrior). Even Elvar becomes a lot more interesting and relatable … so where I had a hard time connecting with the main characters in the first book, no such issues remain in this one and I am looking forward to reading book three.

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheHungerOfTheGods #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.