It’s been a while since I posted a review. In all honesty, it may be a while before my next one as well. Due to changing personal circumstances, I’ve stepped back from the blogging sphere entirely. But I actually managed to both read and review a book in time for its publication date, so figured that was a good one to get up online. Here’s my review on The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne.
The Hunger of the Gods Review
It’s still early in the year, but this series is already a strong contender for one of the top reads of 2022. I loved the world-building and the backstories that were developed in book one, but The Hunger of the Gods takes it to the next level.
This time, we know and love the characters from the beginning. Unlike before, I was engrossed straight away, picking up where we left off in the first book as the different groups come together.
We follow the same main characters as previously, with a couple additional narrations added in. While this helped flesh out characters whose motives were otherwise questionable, it did mean there were longer gaps between returning to each character. As the different teams start colliding, the switching narrations work to manoeuvre everyone into position, but comes at the cost of slowing the pace at times.
With the backstory/bloodlines/history of the world and the characters established, this book focuses on development. None of the main characters shy away from who they are and what they are capable of anymore, and it’s great to read.
Varg remains my favourite, and he’s come a long way from the runaway slave. Not only does he embrace his power this time, but the comradery with his fellow Bloodsworn is a delight to read. You feel the bonds between these warriors, and their reactions to a death drives that home even more. You want to be part of this family.
Orka and Elvar continue to be strong characters: the former starts to let others in and show a more caring side while the latter will stop at nothing to achieve what she desires – and you’re rooting for her the entire time.
I thought the premise of book one was strong, but this takes it to a whole new level. The dead gods are no longer as dead as they were – and seem to be turning up in their droves. The idea of raising a god to defeat another god; it’s chilling, it’s brilliant, and it works so well.
The gods are certainly characters in their own right, with all the arrogance you’d expect of a powerful being. It changes some of the dynamics now there’s bigger players on the scene, and only works to heighten the development of our main characters, especially Elvar.
As mentioned, the pacing stalled a few times as we switched narration, but the tension was sky high the entire time. Everyone is facing impossible odds, both personally and for something more. They’re all fighting for family in their own way, and you want them all to come out on top. The continuing alignment of the different groups means the third instalment is going to be a heck of a ride.
If you enjoyed book one, you’re going to love book two. Or if you’re looking for a new series to start, with hints of Norse mythology, great characters and an epic world, then this is a definite recommendation. Can’t wait for more!
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