The book: The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
The summary: A centuries old demigoddess with an axe (or several) to grind hatches a scheme involving Dik-Diks, genetic modification, and a deluge of terror to restore her powers and plunge the world in chaos. The only ones that can stop her are a teenager with a secret, an ascending politician with an even bigger secret, a newly sentient robot, and a nascent demigoddess who’s just been shown her true nature.
The review: This book is told in a rotating first-person point of view. Drayden does an amazing job of making the characters extremely vivid. The reader feels everything they do. They’re all genuine and fit well in the world Drayden created for them (which is near-future South Africa).
The first half of the book is a straight-up rocket ship. Unfortunately, after that it falters badly. The plot completely falls apart and becomes simply too ridiculous, even within the context of the story. Spoilers: A character’s mother is randomly a tree lady? There’s a giant robot fight? People can transfer their souls in between bodies? WHAT?
Too much, too soon for me. The story never recovers. I hate to be critical but the last half of the book read like a first or second draft. It wasn’t pleasant to read. It was just so all over the place. It felt like the author said “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” and then just did it without thinking anything through.
The first half is so good (and so inclusive, which was lovely) that I’m reluctant to tell you to skip this book. But the second half, ugh. Do what you will!