Thanks to NetGalley and Abaddon for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 9th, 2019
Synopsis: Nigerian God-Punk – a powerful and atmospheric urban fantasy set in Lagos.
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 an 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.
David Mogo, Godhunter, attracted my attention because it looked reminiscent of authors I love like Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher, and having it set in Nigeria just clinched it for me. Unfortunately, this wound up being the epitome of a “meh” book, for several reasons.
First, this isn’t one cohesive novel. It’s actually three novellas with major time jumps between them. If I had known this going in, it may not have bothered me as much, but as it was, I found this made the pacing strange and awkward, and the world-building and character development incomplete. In addition to this glaring structural problem, there were some fairly large info dumps which further slowed down the pace and disrupted the execution of the storyline.
Despite these issues, there were flashes of brilliance that have me thinking Okungbowa has the potential to be a talented addition to the field of urban fantasy authors. He uses “code-switching” throughout the story which I loved. When David Mogo was speaking with other wizards he spoke English, but when to his adopted father he used the indigenous vernacular. While this took a little getting used to at first, it really added to the book’s multicultural setting. I also loved the gods themselves and how the reader is shown the way they impacted Lagos. And finally the diversity portrayed definitely lived up to what the synopsis promised.
Although David Mogo, Godhunter didn’t live up to my expectations, it had enough elements that I enjoyed that I will definitely try another book by Suyi Davies Okungbowa. If you’re intrigued by the sounds of this, I encourage you to check out other reviews on sites such as Goodreads.