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The Prey of Gods

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,385 ratings  ·  591 reviews
In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes--the days to come are ...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Harper Voyager
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Jocelyn James
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Nicky Drayden I'd never say never, but it was written as a stand alone. Thanks for reading!

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Set in South Africa in the year 2064, The Prey of Gods unveils the otherworldly circumstances that draw five unusual characters together. Muzi is a teenager who just got his hands on a hallucinogenic drug that causes unorthodox side effects. Nomvula is a little girl with golden eyes and an epic secret. Stoker is a councilman by day and something entirely different by night. Riya is a world-famous pop sin
Dan Schwent
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 2019-books
In a near future South Africa, an ancient goddess launches a plan to regain her lost glory by any means necessary...

The Prey of Gods isn't one of those books that is easy to sum up. My little teaser is the bare bones but it's a lot more than that. Told in five more or less parallel threads, it is a story about identity at the heart. Sure, it has awesome things like free-willed robots, goddesses, and a cross-dressing senator with some golden pipes, but it's about identity at its core.

This book gr
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Nicky Drayden’s debut novel The Prey of Gods is an exciting and adventurous book with a highly original setting, and a very singular hybrid of urban fantasy and sci-fi tropes. The novel is set in a future South Africa where advanced technology and economic opportunity are improving the lives of its citizens across racial and class lines. But ancient gods and demigods walk among the population in secret, and one in particular feels the need to assert her will on the population. A virus ostensibly ...more
Richard Derus
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
UPDATE 27 November 2017
Hey! Guys! Even the LA Times agrees with me about this book!!

I am not going to pretend this is a review. I read this book at least three times in different incarnations before it was accepted by Harper Voyager because Nicky's my bud. I was knocked on my fat spreadin' butt by her warm, deluded thanks addressed to me in the Acknowledgments. But I can tell you the simple, god's-honest truth: If I didn't like this book, I'd send her a nice email thanking her as prettily as pos
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A glorious mash-up of great characters and bizarre science-fictional and mythic plotting leads to a wild and unpredictable book with a wicked sense of humor.

The character on the amazing cover is meant to be Nomvula, a young Zulu demigoddess that's a POV character in the book, but I think the expression on her face is that of the author when presenting this book to us: sheer evil delight in what she has wrought.

This is a multi-POV character book with various fascinating characters from around Po
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
Thanks to Devon Munn for this recommendation! I just got it and I'm going to read it soon. So cool to have a sci-fi set in my own country.

Image result for prey of gods
Monica **can't read fast enough**
I knew the moment I saw this beautiful book that I would be buying a physical copy just so that I could occasionally look at it. It has to be one of my favorite cover arts ever. But this gem of a book is not just a pretty face, The Prey of Gods exceeded every expectation that I had going in. It is a wonderfully unique, strange, and yet familiar story. Drayden managed to take a well used plot and created a story that is so different and impressive that I am still thinking about these characters d ...more
K.J. Charles
Absolutely fantastic. A SFF novel (effortless mix of magic and machinery) set in a near future South Africa where new tech and old gods collide. The story has multiple protagonists including a just-emerging gay couple and a politican with a secret life as a drag singer coming to realise she's a transwoman, also a service robot, and a girl-god coming into her powers. It's gleefully inventive, supremely diverse, rich, incredibly atmospheric with a terrifically well realised setting, and totally co ...more
Book Riot Community
In future South Africa, there’s a demigoddess. Not a powerful demigoddess, but a washed-up demigoddess: Sydney has lost all her magic and now works in a salon doing nails, but she has a plan to regain her original status: kill lots of people for their blood. (That always works for me.) Hoping to keep Sydney from achieving her goal is a pop diva, a queer teen with powers, a politician, and a young Zulu girl who has also recently discovered she has a little magic in her. Now add robots, genetic en ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.

Wow... one of those highly-anticipated (of mine) reads that lived up to what I was hoping it would be :).

This is a crazy, weird, bizarre ride that drew me in from the first page... overused expression? *shrugs* To some maybe but for me, this was a journey I didn't want to leave for real life (Dang human body needing sleep too, how dare it?!).

We get POVs from a few different characters (Nomvula
Bonkers, and jam-packed with so much: demigoddesses, one young and the other embracing her full evil side, a new hallucinogenic drug hitting the streets, a temperamental pop star with a big secret, a high school-aged boy and his best friend, little robots and their sentience journey, a major gene mod corporation, a Councilman with a secret life, pesty creatures infesting the area.... They all come together in a multi-Pov'ed, crazy, action-packed, horror-tinged, kooky, violent story with imaginat ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nicky Drayden answered a few questions about her debut novel in this awesome Q and A

There are time when all the pieces come together. Sometimes that is because the pieces are made to be together; a dark lord chasing the orphaned farm boy and the like. But to make all the pieces come together when said pieces are a virtual grab bag of randomness takes a bit more skill. Robot uprising, pissed off demi-god, young girl with the power to naturally nuke a town, hallucinations that are real and not rea
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: overdrive
This book was a mess but it was an entertaining and imaginative mess. First you need to forget about the cover. The cover could have been a picture of "flying demons in sequined dresses and secret robot armies". However the current cover makes you think that the book is about a revolt of big robots led by a small girl. Instead it's about small robots that are like laptops with legs, demigods and goddesses, an hallucinogenic drug, a DNA-altering virus, mind control, terrorist acts, a transgender ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok

The cover of this book is outstanding. The synopsis sounds kickass, but...

If I had read this book before publication I would have suggested these things:

1. Cut down on the amount of characters. Stoker and Riya are unnecessary and add unnecessary complications to the plot.

2. Focus on your two young characters and market this as a YA.

3. If one of your main characters is going to kill 37,00 people it's going to be hard to like her, so you probably need to spend more time and plot on her development

Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a completely bonkers, plot-driven book (which I was super into) but I think has just a few too many elements woven into the story that it ends up being a really messy book. But I gotta say, I got pretty pulled into the world. I even missed my Metro stop and didn't realize it until I hit a chapter break and was two stops down because I was so pulled in.

Watch me discuss this book in my July wrap up:
Dawn C
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: media-storytel
A riveting, genre bending story that takes place in South Africa. Mixing African myth and modern tech, it's a story of old gods awakening and powers long buried, coming to the surface in the six main characters we follow. Each has their own separate story, like a mosaic novel, only to eventually blend together as they come in contact with each other's lives. Deeply impressive and imaginative, I rushed through this one. I'll definitely be reading more of Nicky Drayden!
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars

I loved the energy of this story. Drayden does a wonderful job with her characters, who all have their demons but also irreverent moments. (Can you get a better horrific image than the furious demigoddess living her mundane life at the nail salon and stuck in traffic, then coming home to the captive man she's slowly torturing to death?).

This is also a very good attempt at a mosaic novel, building the stories of individuals, which then coalesce into a unifying story for the book as a who
Cupcakes & Machetes
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wooo boy, that was a trip.

Humans are the descendants of gods, making each human a demigod/goddess. However they've spent eternity ignorant of this small fact. It takes a new illegal drug on the market to begin waking people's powers.

Muzi is a gay teen struggling with his identity. His grandfather is pushing him to the old ways of their African tribe while living in a world where everyone has their own personal assistant robot to help them through life. Drugs are a release from his daily worries
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"Darkness whispers, beckons her forth. She is nothing but shattered bone and spilled blood. Nothing remains of her except the dullest of sparks, swirling in the nothingness, fading. She clings onto it, coddles it, knowing that it could not possibly be enough to save her, but believing it so anyway."

The Prey of Gods is the debut novel by Nicky Drayden and it is a goddamn EXPERIENCE.

Set in South Africa, The Prey of Gods takes place in 2064, swirling science fiction, urban fantasy and folklore with
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aoc, ymm, db, q, qf, qm, sci-fi, adult, w-ones
This was wonderfully bizarre.
The Prey of Gods is a sci-fantasy novel set in South Africa and possibly the weirdest books I've ever read, so weird it's difficult to review it properly.
If you think I'm exaggerating, this book contains:

• weird hybrids, including whippet/iguana and rhionhawks (rhino/lion/hawk) combinations
• a demigoddes running on bot belief
• implied crab/porpoise drug-induced sex
• an invasion of dik-diks and a lot of dik-dik jokes
• also, circumcision
• AI uprising, but in a religiou
Peter Tillman
The author has LOTS of ideas, but I don't think she's figured out how to make them into a coherent story. I like the South African setting & people, and it is a first novel. I'd read more by her, but I'm closing out this one as DNF, a chaotic mess, not for me. Very cool cover art courtesy of Tor's savvy art director, whose name escapes me.

Best review I've seen here is Lindsay's:
"This book is mad. Fun, but totally mad. The characters are brilliant and while
Sep 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I've never read any of the authors short stories but I've heard thats what she initially got known for. I felt like act 1 was just multiple collection of short stories without a main story arc. It kicked in a bit too late for me. The novel deals with a tonne of themes, friendship, love, sexuality, AI and its conflicting use etc too many to list. Ultimately its about being yourself. However, I do think thats what it suffers from. Too many ideas not enough cohesion. I still enjoyed act 3 and that ...more
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic, most imaginative and refreshing sci-fi I've read in years. The beginning was a little rocky, but don't let the circumcision scare you away ;). Things are just getting started and I can't wait to find out more about these Demi-gods hidden in plain sight and the drug that brings out all of our secret powers! Awesome blend of scifi and fantasy!

Also sweet m/m romance :D
Dave-Brendon Burgh
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What grabbed my attention from the beginning was how well Nicky handled the balance between excellent characterization and inventive world building. Character-wise, you're going to meet wildly different folks, from wildly different backgrounds, all exuberantly-chillingly-sympathetically written, all having their own unique 'voice' and their own very important place in the tale. You'll meet a teenager on the cusp of what will probably seem to you to be an incredibly weird manhood ritual, a nail t ...more
Stephen Robert Collins
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prey of The Gods is new author of SF with brilliant cover set in South Africa with robots this has atmosphere of Asimov & the Ch4 Humans & is like Andy Weir's Artemis with Black female as main person this also about the poor working class as in Q& A (Slumdog) this has lots of twist ...more
Che Adventure
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The first couple of things that pop in my mind when thinking of The Prey of Gods: an angry demigoddess, a hallucinogenic concert, circumcision, a winged girl, eating fruit in the afterlife, riding hybrid species, and dik-diks.

Funny, lighthearted, and sincere -- The Prey of Gods is a book that suspends your disbelief and it stays with you well after you've finished it.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
Once upon a time there was an author who, legend says, set out to see exactly how many disparate elements she could fit into one story.

Along with male genitalia.

Lots of male genitalia.

You wouldn't believe the sheer amount of male genitalia.

From demi-gods to robot uprisings, and a born male fighting for his identity as a woman against his mum, to the dikdiks and the rhionhawks, and the mass genocide, and the homosexuality, and the old perv who carved a harem outta wood and bestiality...

Its all w
Bogi Takács
Longer review probably later. I read the first few chapters before release date, but then a giant excavator started tearing up our rental while we were still living in it. Finally I could sit down and read the whole thing; it demands undivided attention.

This is the wackiest book I read all year and that's saying something. It was amazing how it got wilder and wilder without ever breaking my suspension of disbelief. I enjoyed the heck out of it. I was a bit worried where the trans plotline would
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had heard that The Prey of Gods was a wild ride, but I don't think anything could have completely prepared me for everything going on in this book. It's a fast-paced story that I devoured in just a few days. Lots of interesting (if sometimes very frustrating) characters with lots of creative magic and technology.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a read! At a high level the story revolves around gods in human form living on the margin amongst the population of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, largely forgotten. The combination of a new recreational drug and a virus released into the population, reveals some humans to also have god-like powers. Old gods and new clash.

In telling this tale Nicky Drayden goes all in delivering an everything plus the kitchen sink tour de force amalgam of fantasy and sci-fi that will likely leave you questio
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Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she’s not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required.

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