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The Prey of Gods

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,976 ratings  ·  712 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!…moreI'd never say never, but it was written as a stand alone. Thanks for reading!(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  2,976 ratings  ·  712 reviews

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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
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
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
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
Crazy, original, fun, a little outrageous and a rollicking rollercoaster ride!! Great debut! This was a genre bender that was definitely more fantasy than science fiction. I tend to prefer science fiction so…

3.5+ Stars

Listened to Audible. Prentice Onayemi was spectacular!! He's one of the best narrators out there!!

PS: This is the coolest book cover ever!! Love it!!

Jen - The Tolkien Gal
May 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
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
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a debut novel! This one had been languishing in my tbr for years. In my attempt to avoid all spoilers I'd still somehow formed the impression that this might be dark and difficult. While there are dark themes, Drayden's style is so crisp and vivid, I said to my fellow buddy readers that it's like she writes in 4k. It's easy to slip into her writing and enjoy the wild, immensely imaginative ride. Because that's what this book feels like....

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
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
Allison Hurd
I loved the first half of this book, but the second half threw too much at me, I think. I kept reeling from an onslaught of stuff that hadn't had precedent yet, so it felt like it went for cool rather than consistent. Still, glad to have read it!

CONTENT WARNINGS: (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-The first half. Brilliant pacing, great unfolding of the world
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
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
A madcap roller coaster ride!

I had been wanting to read this novel for years but finally got the chance to do a buddy read, which is super useful. Reading's better when you have friends ;)

It was not as I expected actually. Looking at the cover and the setting I was hoping for Chappie-like story, a strict SF. Yet this one is a mix. Being an Afrofuturism novel, now I learn that I should expect spiritual aspect to play an important role. (More on this can be read in Nisi Shawl's crash course on Bl
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
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned_kindle
4.5 stars rounded down. This totally worked for me but I get why it doesn't for everyone. Great setup with a weird mix of fantasy and sci-fi with gods, neo-gods and robots. A large cast of believable characters all trying out their new found powers and intelligence. Did everything make sense? Heck no but it was fun watching Dreyden try.

Recommended to people who like a bit of craziness and can handle some hand wavy explanations.
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! ...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
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
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captivatingly advancing multi-POV story with imaginative concepts of tech and magic, which ties together the paths of a lively cast of characters through clever interactions. Entertaining and energetic read with great build-up.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was fun. Warring Gods, flying hybrid creatures, sentient machines... Almost too many fantastical ingredients but Drayden managed to make it work.

Three and a half stars rounded up.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aoc, q, qf, qm, ymm, adult, db, w-ones, sci-fi
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
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
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
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
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. ...more
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
Misha (Heartsfullofreads)
Jun 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
*3.5 Stars*

I wanted something different to read and this book was definitely that!

I really enjoyed Nicky Drayden's writing. It really pulled you into this future world of South Africa that she created. This book jumps right into the story.

Each character's "voice" was so distinct and there was not one that I did not look forward to. Each of their sections were so integral to the story.

There seemed to be different plot threads that didn't entirely mesh. I felt that having so many different focus
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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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