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David Mogo Godhunter

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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 a renowned 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.

352 pages, Paperback

First published July 9, 2019

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About the author

Suyi Davies Okungbowa

24 books513 followers
Also known as Suyi Davies (writing for young readers)

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and general speculative work. His latest novels include Son of the Storm and Warrior of the Wind , both of the epic fantasy trilogy, The Nameless Republic. His debut godpunk fantasy novel David Mogo, Godhunter won the 2020 Nommo Award for Best Novel. His shorter works have appeared in various periodicals and anthologies and have been nominated for various awards. He also writes for younger audiences as Suyi Davies. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa.

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5 stars
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437 (41%)
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340 (32%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 281 reviews
Profile Image for Amyn.
309 reviews82 followers
August 16, 2019
As a Nigerian girl, all my life I read fantasy books by white writers and always understood it no matter how it was written. I was almost misdirected by reviews of white readers of this book. Most of them don't seem "to get it." They DNF it at 25% and have the guts to put long commentary on the book, they even go as far as rating a book they didn't finish. Who the hell does that?!?

Enough of this negative talk, here is why you should read David Mogo, Godhunter.

1- It’s a pleasurable adventure. A demigod and some mortals get to fight gods. On the streets of Lagos. Just visualize that for a bit. If you know nothing about Lagos Nigeria, YouTube is your friend.

2- In the realms of the unbelievable, it’s important that the lead character is portrayed realistically and deeply. David Mogo is a demigod and has the personality to go with that. I was rooting for him a lot even though he was so cocky sometimes but he’s a demigod, I’d be cocky too.

3-When I read fantasy fiction, I expect the writer to be crazy, be inventive and not play safe just like Jemisin did in How Long ‘Til Black Future Month(that’s my standard now). I’m glad Suyi Davies put in the effort. Especially as the location for the book is such a famous city. He also made some changes to the gender of a god that I applauded.

4- His worldbuilding is wonderful. Again, Lagos is a very popular city, I live in Lagos but since I’ve read the book, I can’t look at Lagos the same. I just keep seeing things differently. So weirdly amazing.

5- Through fantasy, we can talk about real-life issues in a removed way. and David Mogo Godhunter does a decent job of addressing Nigerian police brutality.

This is one of the most entertaining fantasy books from a Nigerian writer and if you've read better, drop your comments.
Profile Image for Emma.
971 reviews966 followers
March 18, 2019
The gods rained from the sky in a deluge known as the Falling, and Lagos will never be the same again. Godhunter David Mogo, half god himself, has taken on a job way about his pay grade and now everything he holds dear is in danger etc etc.

Split into three interlinked sections, this follows a pretty typical path of self discovery. Yet what starts out as a decent intro quickly morphs into torturous internalising, over explanation, repetition, and a serious lack of forward momentum. Even the fight/battle scenes were formulaic and dull. It’s a shame because the potential was right there. While suffering from some issues with style, the first story was punchy enough in parts to be fun, especially as the physical and cultural setting was so different from the norm. After that, any interest was ground out by the writing.

If this collection had been edited down to a fast moving short story, it would have been so much better….but as it stands, fails to make any real impact.

ARC via Netgalley
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 57 books7,890 followers
July 18, 2019
Absolutely genius idea--the gods have come to Lagos and they aren't very nice. David Mogo is a half orisha half human godhunter, who starts off trying to deal with the weird godling creatures that infest the city, and ends up getting into a full blown war.

The worldbuilding, steeped in both Nigerian and other African myth and in Lagos itself, is fantastic and the dialogue in particular terrifically vivid. I love the different gods, and the way David's found family grows around him. I kind of wanted more of the personal side, since David is very isolated, but he's isolated because he's a demigod so this is what it's about.

The plot is a pretty uncomplicated throughline--David takes on gods of increasing power, discovering hs own--although that's not obvious for much of the book because the worldbuilding is so wonderfully dense and chewy. I thoroughly enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to what the author does next. (Publisher needs to do a significantly better job on proofreading though.)
Profile Image for Sade.
310 reviews209 followers
April 24, 2021

Urban Fantasy is not a genre that i hold in the highest esteems. There's something about fine tuning mythology that just makes me unable to relate to the genre. That being said, i'm not going to hate on a well written book simply because of the genre.
This book started out great and crash landed into terrible. It was insane how much of a 360 it did in terms of going from good to bad.
📍The Bad

📌Suyi Davies drags out this story in ways it should not have been dragged out for. Honestly if the story had been just the first part minus the last 2 parts (Fire bringer and Warmonger), that would have been way more preferable. Did not in any way see the need to add all those parts to the story. Also what was the deal with being a phoenix and rising from the ashes????

📌The Lagos tit bits were just too damn much!!!! It's like the author was afraid the reader would forget the book was set in Lagos. Like i get it, Lagos is well Lagos. Was there really a need to go on and on and on about?

📌The whole there is only one person in the whole of Lagos and possibly Nigeria?? that could save us was just not something i was buying. I get god/humans are rare but obviously not impossible. Why on earth was David the only person that could save them? Like why couldn't the gods that were against the whole bullshit just fight their own god people? No way you can convince me David just HAD to be the one to ex the baddies.

📌My biggest issue with this book is the whole yorubaness of the book. Yes Lagos is yoruba state but not only Yoruba people live here, please. I did not understand why everyone in this book was Yoruba. I mean c'mon!!!! Do better Nigerian authors. Also were the Yoruba pantheon going to take over the whole Nigeria??? I mean....

📌Zero Translations for the yoruba words. Like guy, not all of us understand Yoruba now. At least put translation in the glossary or something.

📌Totally random, but does anyone know if the author got egged with poop in Lagos?? Because the endless fascination with mentioning how poop was everywhere was just disconcerting.

📍The good...

📌I did enjoy the Nigerianess of the book even if it did become old fast and somehow took over the whole book.
📌The cover....😂😂 okay, i'm actually reaching here. but to be fair, a huge part of the book was just meh in my opinion.

All in all, the book falls short of captivating and relies way too much on what i can only deduce as some mythical Lagos suave to get it through. If this is a series, not going to lie, i definitely will not be picking up book 2.
Good effort though, definitely not an unreadable book.


Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,862 reviews1,897 followers
May 26, 2021
Real Rating: 4.5* of five, rounded up because I'll read sequels and/or other work by the author


My Review
: ...and then I ran out and bought one so I could dip in and out, savoring my time with David Mogo the demigod with family problems, money problems, and a new job...freelance godhunters can't be all that choosy!...that he just *knows* is very, very bad luck and news.

I'd like to see the "controversy" about the Lagos setting and the use of Naijá dialect sometimes, plain Colonial English others, all sent to the bin for incineration, please. Most of the folk doing that whining are also guilty of whining about human beings in the US *daring* to speak Spanish or Vietnamese or whatever isn't familiar to them. Yes, dear, we know that when you're Privileged others having parity feels like an attack. You'll get used to it in time, and discover how enthralling it is to be inside somene else's world for once.

And it isn't like you've spent time whinging about learning what orcs are, or how to pronounce "Boba Fett", or that Han understands Jabba een though we don't...so let's just cut through the padding and call this what it is: Racism. Face it so you can start to fix it. And that is something you badly need to do.

The godpunk elements of the story...the facts of David's existence, the rain of gods that's seriously plaguing Lagos...are the real draw to this Continental-Op-in-Urban-Fantasy tale. We've got beaucoup examples of urban fantasy with old-fashioned loner/fixer PIs in them. Chicagoland has Harry Dresden, San Francisco has Toby Daye, New York City has Charlie Parker, Kaaro in a different Lagos, and the list goes on. I hope we can add David Mogo to this list permanently, with more adventures to come.

The novella length is tailor-made for use in lines, on planes, in trains and cabs. You can take your time with the read, of course, but you can also read novellas in quick hits. It's the most brilliant thing to happen in technology's long, ugly slide into surveillance, the presence of a reading app on every device you drag with you everywhere you go.

I was always amused, as I read the book on the town's boardwalk outside my building, at the responses of young Black people to my elderly white-beareded face shoved into the book. Several asked me why I was reading it, and after a few minutes of my gushing description of David hunting the godling in the cistern and how absolutely wonderful that scene would be on film, made polite noises and skedaddled.

Heh. *Still* scarin' the straight folk at sixty*ahem*!

As the Memorial Day travel weekend is here, with our new freedom from Plague restrictions I expect lots of y'all will travel. Take Doctor Suyi's David with you for the ride. Best $6 I've spent...on a book I've already read!
Profile Image for Adam.
366 reviews159 followers
March 14, 2019
DNF @ 33%

While "David Mogo, Godhunter" started off on the right foot with a Nigeria-set "Phillip Marlowe meets 'American Gods'" atmosphere, I was put off by many of its writing decisions that became more and more obstrusive as it went along.

What worked: the setting and world-building. The story takes place in modern-day Nigeria a few years after an event called The Falling, when gods had been kicked out of their pantheon and are now forced to roam the surrounding the region of Lagos. David Mogo is a demigod (half-human, half god) with a mysterious past who is a bit of a black market bounty hunter, solving the problems that the fallen gods have wreaked on the populace. Modo's voice and description of the setting gave off a noirish feel, and the story initially felt a bit like a Raymond Chandler novel.

What didn't work: a LOT of exposition and info dumps. The author subscribes to the "tell" instead of "show" format, and it quickly became tiresome. At one point, the antagonist's plans are revealed through painful speechifying and mustache-twirling, needlessly sharing all the details of his nefarious plans to the captured hero. The explanations are so on-the-nose and there is little to no subtlety in the writing. Everyone is declaring their plans and intentions in explict and oft-unnecessary detail, and the book doesn't give the reader any breathing room to piece together any implications themself.

This torrent of information is oddly juxtaposed by the spoken Nigerian dialect, which is extremely different than the Western voice that David uses in his first-person narration. It was off-putting to read David's thoughts and descriptions in one voice while the rest of the dialogue was written in a completely different voice. This dialect sometimes changed dramatically depending on who was talking to whom, and when the conversation was taking place. Context clues helped me figure out what was being said, but there's certainly a substantial amount of speech that went over my head. I appreciate the authenticity the author was trying to bring to the story, but it was an odd choice to leave the dialogue vague while hitting some other plot points way too hard.

I enjoy reading speculative fiction & SFF set in Nigeria, as I explored some of Nnedi Okorafur's catalog over the past year. Suyi Davies Okungbowa clearly has some interesting ideas to explore, so I hope that its execution might be improved in future works.
Profile Image for Lara Kareem.
Author 4 books92 followers
August 16, 2019
I have been peppering my friend Amyn about my feelings when it comes to this book (which I completely adore) all day, because of how an ethnic group of people have decided to copy and paste each other’s review, with many of them not finishing reading the book and giving it 2 stars ratings on Goodreads. I really hope lots of Nigerians pick up this book to read and share their thoughts about it on Goodreads with good ratings, to bump it’s ratings up fairly.

This book is so good and magically, in my honest opinion best book I have read by a male Nigerian, Suyi Davies writing is interesting and you can tell how brilliant his creative mind is just by reading this book…which I 100% believe you should.

This book is so funny because we Nigerians are a funny breed and our behaviours and antics will have you laughing because of how ludicrous things can get, the book perfectly highlights that.

So many Nigerians had a lot of feelings about Children of Blood and Bone, mainly because those who didn’t enjoy reading Tomi Adeyemi’s book didn’t find it authentic in regards to Nigeria (Personally enjoyed the book⁠—but I understand what they mean) Well this book is for you, right up your alley and truly a Western Nigeria (The Yoruba’s, because the story is based in Lagos, Nigeria, with Yoruba deities) urban fantasy book. It’s very authentic, many Lagosian can relate with the tale and be amazed by the level of inclusion & creativeness.

I found this book very entertaining, I didn’t expect myself to laugh, but I found my self giggling, smiling and shaking my head while reading this book. Do I recommend it? 100% but you really want to read my full review about this book which is live on the blog now! Here is the link https://naijabookbae.com/2019/08/16/b...
Profile Image for Silvana.
1,119 reviews1,111 followers
March 6, 2021
3.5 stars. Really liked it but I just could not give four stars. It's an interesting world. Even though I just came back from reading War Girls (also set in Nigeria), Suyi really brought Lagos into life. If you're tired of reading urban fantasy set in the US and Europe, this would be your thing. Very immersive.

The magic, the colorful gods and so on, I love it.

The way the story is divided into three parts also made me feel I was reading three novellas, kinda like The Gods Themselves. I enjoyed the second one most of all.

I only gave it three (or 3.5) stars because the exposition parts could be done more efficiently and the pacing/action scene in the last parts were not as exciting as the previous ones.

Still, very much liking it and having read several works from the author (who also has a good one in the Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora), he's in my watch list.
Profile Image for Lukasz.
1,266 reviews202 followers
March 11, 2019

Described as a Nigerian god-punk, Okungbowa’s David Mogo sounded like something I absolutely had to read. The story, told through the first-person POV of titular Godhunter, dives into Orisha mythology. The story develops on the street Lagos. As European I found the setting fascinating and exotic.

David works freelance hunting lesser godlings. It turns out a powerful wizard plans to use one of his catches to seize control of the city. David has to fix his mistake and save the day.

I like the concept, but I have numerous issues with the execution. David’s continuous internal dialogue (info-dumps, back stories, stuff) tired me and negatively impacted the pacing. I found the characters intriguing, but not relatable. David’s interesting heritage and his unique skills made parts of the book fun to read, but his internalizations lacked substance and efficiently killed my enthusiasm.

Readers looking for fresh ideas and an interesting will find some here. That said, I couldn’t get into it. If only I could relate to characters, my rating would be a bit higher. Because I couldn’t, I’ll settle on a 2.5/5 rating.

ARC through NetGalley
Profile Image for Christine Sandquist.
183 reviews59 followers
April 17, 2019

Future Publication Date: July 9th, 2019

Execution: ⭐⭐⭐
Enjoyment: ⭐⭐⭐

Key Descriptors: Gods, Godpunk, Novellas, Urban Fantasy, African Fantasy, Nigeria, Lagos, OwnVoices

Applicable /r/Fantasy Bingo Squares: Novella (hard mode), Twins (hard mode), #OwnVoices

Premise: The heavens have burst and the gods have fallen. Some are minor pests, mere godlings, but some are high gods with unknown magics and powers. David Mogo, a half-god, contracts himself out to the people of Lagos to help with godling infestations. However, when the local ruling wizard offers him a contract to capture a pair of twin gods, David knows the job is bad news.

Review: This book is quite possibly the epitome of a 3-star book. There were many excellent aspects, but each one was balanced almost perfectly by a negative. While I don't regret reading this book, I'd only recommend it if you're looking specifically for something featuring its positive characteristics and don't mind overlooking a few flaws.

First up, code-switching. For those unfamiliar with this term, I'll direct you to the Wikipedia definition:

In linguistics, code-switching or language alternation occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language varieties, in the context of a single conversation. Multilinguals, speakers of more than one language, sometimes use elements of multiple languages when conversing with each other.

I loved the use of code-switching in Godhunter! It was a small bit of subtle social commentary each time David swapped from "proper" US-style English to his family's vernacular. When speaking with the wizard or otherwise conducting business, David consistently used "proper" language so as to be more formal and taken more seriously. At home with his adopted father, we saw David use a more indigenous style language. Unfortunately, although this was very cool to see, it did sometimes obscure meaning a bit. It's a bit tricky to parse "I feel like say pessin carry my body knack am for ground, arrange am back," if it's not a linguistic style you're used to. I'm.... actually still not 100% sure what David was trying to say here, if I'm entirely honest. That said, these instances were not detrimental to the book overall. This is perhaps a more representative example of the vernacular:

"Eh." I kick off my boots. . . "As you be like this, you go fit run ebo* for me this night? I gats work tomorrow.

*ebo is a substance explained in the novel which is harmful to the gods

Next, I thoroughly enjoyed the gods themselves. I would have loved a small slice-of-life style novel wherein David traveled around Lagos helping out folks with godling infestations, a la Mushi-shi (a lovely anime series for those who are unfamiliar). Unfortunately, we only had a slight glimpse of this portion of David's life, as we rapidly jumped into the plot. On the bright side, we still got to meet many interesting high gods and saw quite a bit of how they had impacted Lagos' culture post-fall. The twin god Ibeji turned out to be a much more interesting character than I anticipated, as did their interactions with Fati - I hadn't originally expected either to get as much screen time as they did, but was pleasantly surprised.

Finally, a quick shout out to this being an #OwnVoices read. It's always fun to read literature created from other cultural perspectives, and you can certainly feel that coming through both in tone and in the plot structure.

Sadly, there were a few major flaws to this book that balanced out the good and brought it down to a 3-star ranking.

David Mogo, Godhunter, is not actually a novel. It is three novellas hiding in a trenchcoat standing on one another's shoulders pretending to be one cohesive novel. There are three small, obvious plot arcs with significant time jumps between them. Going in without knowing this makes the pacing feel strange and wrong. Things were happening in the first third of the "novel" that made it seem as though we should be approaching the novel's conclusion - which, technically, we were... or at least the first novella's conclusion. This was jarring and unexpected. If you've read the Binti novels by Nnedi Okorafor, imagine reading all of them at once if they'd been branded as one complete, singular novel. It just wouldn't make much sense, as they are clearly each independent novellas. So it was with David Mogo, Godhunter.

Next, due to this novella structure, I felt a bit cheated out of the steady and thorough character development and worldbuilding I had been hoping for. The novellas were short enough that they had to be action-focused, which left little room for large-scale worldbuilding outside of the events surrounding the protagonist. While a main island with presumably more advanced civilization was discussed, we never found out much clear information. Additionally, we scarcely even got to see the village (town? city? I don't even know what the population was!) David was living in. There are some faceless villagers, but we never got to meet anyone who wasn't plot relevant in some way or have any sort of look into people who made up David's culture and daily life.

In addition to these structural issues, there were some glaring issues with the writing itself. Far too often, the reader is exposed to info dump style monologues. It felt less like a slow discovery of the world and more like being spoon fed a few tidbits here and there. Rather than painting a picture for the reader, we were provided a few small photographs that didn't really provide nearly enough context.

In conclusion, if you're hankering for some African fantasy featuring gods and seeing code-switching in a novel, David Mogo, Godhunter is probably a worthwhile read. If those two things don't interest you particularly, you may be better off looking elsewhere for your next book.

David Mogo, Godhunter, can be found on Amazon and Goodreads.

If you liked David Mogo, Godhunter, you might also enjoy:

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
Sister Light, Sister Dark by Jane Yolen

Profile Image for Kaa.
560 reviews51 followers
March 14, 2020
There are some books that remind me just why I love SFF so much, and this is one of them. David Mogo, Godhunter has a wonderful balance of believable characters in fantastical situations and entertaining adventures that speak to realistic dilemmas and issues. Every time I picked this book up, I found myself drawn into the story and world, often reading for much longer than I had planned. I am really looking forward to reading more from this author!

Some specific things I loved:
-David's voice, which evokes both the confidence (sometimes running to arrogance) of a person who knows he has an advantage over those around him with the uncertainty and fear of not belonging
-found/chosen family - David is a great narrator, but I also loved the other characters who surrounded and supported him
-the vivid and well-described setting - post-godpocalypse Lagos is a fascinating place
-the format, with three stories with escalating stakes
-the writing style, which provided some excellent action scenes and also some really lovely descriptions of settings, people, and emotion
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,597 reviews238 followers
April 25, 2021
A new take on classic Urban Fantasy—Godpunk?

Gods have rained down on Lagos, the capital of Nigeria. We enter the story some time later, into the dystopian society that has developed here in the aftermath. David Mogo, our 1st person narrator, is a demi-god working as an illegal godhunter. An old wizard with dubious morals sends David Mogo off to catch two high gods, Taiwo and Kehinde. David is in need of money to fix his roof, so off he goes, despite his misgivings about this wizard. Obviously things don’t go as expected.

This was the first part in a book that reads like three novellas collected in one volume, with a red thread running through them and each connected closely in terms of time, location and characters. Enjoyable, even though I never really connected with David Mogo on an emotional level.

I looked up a lot about Nigeria, the orishas, Nigerian Pidgin, a lot of vocabulary, food items, clothing styles, etc. Then I was looking up info about Lagos, Victoria Island, Makoko, and, and, and... all this kept slowing down my reading speed, as I kept going off on tangents and looking something up almost constantly... My kind of fun!

I struggled a bit with the Nigerian Pidgin used in some of the dialogues, but decided to just go with it — I hope I managed to get the gist of the conversations.

Interesting article in the Guardian about the floating city of Makoko:

Bottomline: I had fun, my imagination got engaged, I learned a lot of new things, I enjoyed the writing. I would read more by this author. 4.5 stars.


Part of my #ReadPOC2021 challenge. I read this for the March prompt, „A Work of Fiction“.

Post about the March prompt: https://lonelycryptidmedia.com/2021/0...
Main challenge: https://lonelycryptidmedia.com/2020/1...

From the author‘s website: (slightly amended)
Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and other speculative works inspired by his West-African origins. His new epic fantasy trilogy, The Nameless Republic, is forthcoming from Orbit, beginning in May 2021 with Son of the Storm. His highly-anticipated debut, the godpunk fantasy novel David Mogo, Godhunter, won the 2020 Nommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African. Learn more at suyidavies.com.

I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
Profile Image for Julia Sarene.
1,231 reviews130 followers
May 14, 2021
The publisher calls this God-Punk - that is a bit to detailed or me, so I'll go with either Urban Fantasy or Dystopia...

While David Mogo wasn't just as fast paced and fun as some of my other favourite UFs, the fresh setting, and different tone and voice more than made up for it!
I've seen some other reviews complaining about too much introspection and not enough action, and I can't say I consciously noticed that or was in any way bothered.

I did really like the main character and especially his Papa Udi and a girl named Fati. I did lose track about who is who a few times with the other side characters though, as the cast grew, and they all seemed to have a whole multitude of names (or titles?). I always found my footing again, but my memory is already bad for names, so this was the only real challenge for me.

Bits and pieces of the dialogue where in slang, and I had to work to catch all of that, but it was little enough to actually add to the setting, and not feel like a chore. I got used to it pretty quickly and then it got easier to "translate". Here's one such example:

"I understand." He chews a bit. "That thing wey you do with Sango, your body suppose don scatter."
"I feel like say pessin carry my body knack am for ground, arrange am back," I say, glad to be back to the old us. "The thing dey pain, I no lie."

I usually hate info dumps, and I also saw some reviews complain about those in here - I actually felt like I got just the utter basic info, and had to make do with that! Which is fine, especially with such a short and quick read.

All in all this was fun to read and to explore Lagos, which I have since looked up!
Profile Image for Aisha (thatothernigeriangirl).
220 reviews45 followers
November 23, 2019
4 stars!

This book came under my radar courtesy of Amyn and because I haven’t read speculative fiction in a while, I gave in and requested a review copy. It turns out I was right when I said Children of Blood and Bone did a terrible job of portraying Yorùbá gods🤷🏾‍♀️.

David Mogo Godhunter tells the story of a half-god/half-human, David Mogo, who inadvertently has to save Lagos from complete destruction and oblivion, and on the same quest, reconcile with his ‘otherness’. While not flawless, I maintain that this book is still a better ode to Yorùbá and Nigerian “òrìshà” History than Children of Blood and Bone. Okungbowa took his time with his research before crafting the book and I was able to learn a lot about Yorùbá mythology and some facts I never even knew existed. Contrary to illogical complaints given by some western readers on here, Okungbowa does literal magic with the language of the book and I’ll explain.

The story was told with 4 languages:

1. English: the narration was written in simple but not ‘everyday’ English words. The only other book where I learnt more words is The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty.

2. Yorùbá: the mythological parts were of course written in Yorùbá though there wasn’t a consistency with the use of àmì.

3. Pidgin English: most of David’s conversations with his foster grandpa, papa Udi, were in pidgin.

4. Nigerian English: now this part I will explain with this quote from an Egyptian poet, Iman Mersai. In ‘The Displaced Voice’, Mersai suggested that “speaking a second language with an accent is a way for the mother tongue to be present, immortal, to the point of sabotaging that second language”. Nigerian English is the result of sabotaging the language forced on us by colonialism.

This is why I find those complaints illogical. You can’t pick up a book set in “fantasy Lagos Nigeria” and expect to see something you fully understand. That is just a way of reinforcing the notion that “western/white is the norm” so any other thing must be “wrong” “queer” or “crude”. Similar complaints were made against some of Marlon James’ works. Interestingly, what most of those readers found “off-putting” were the things that endeared the book to Lagosians/Nigerians. The amount of research that went into the story is beyond commendable and should not be reduced with petty complaints.

Apart from the disparity in the use of àmì and some cheesy parts, I say this book deserves better attention. If you’re on the hunt for better exploration of Yorùbá mythology in speculative fiction, this is your book. If you’re Nigerian, please get a copy of this book, read AND REVIEW IT. We need to support books that authentically tell our stories and represent us
I’m sure you’ll get it in Nigerian bookstores like Something Bookish, Adams Page, Roving Heights, Book peddler Ng, Patabah Books, etc. They are all a google search away
Profile Image for Oleksandr Zholud.
1,051 reviews101 followers
April 12, 2021
This is an urban fantasy set in Lagos, the largest city of Nigeria and written by a Nigerian author. I read is as a part of monthly reading for March 2021 at Speculative Fiction in Translation group.

The story starts shortly after African gods (orishas) descended to Lagos, heavily damaging it in the process. Now gods walk the earth and wizardry is real. The protagonist, David Mogo is a half-god (half-human), whose job is to hunt down gods, who disturb people. He lives in almost post-apoc Lagos with a man, who grew him up and who is a local mage Papa Udi, drives a motorcycle (which is also used as a power plant for their house) and lives from job to job. Now he is hired by a local powerful wizard / local informal boss not to banish, but to kidnap a pair of gods. Money are needed, so he takes the job…

The story is more or less run-of-the-mill fantasy adventure with a powerful hero, who at the same time can be smashed like a fly by major gods, but set in Africa and with local flavor and locations. The wandering around is interesting, for the placed are definitely unusual for Western reader, but battles, which are intended as high points are rather dull.

It is an interesting read for anyone, who want to try something from African fantasy, but per se is rather band story.
Profile Image for temi.
80 reviews27 followers
Want to read
May 7, 2019

[this has bad reviews, but idc idc 👊🏾👊🏾👊🏾👊🏾👊🏾]
Profile Image for Bertie (LuminosityLibrary).
466 reviews102 followers
April 1, 2021
David Mogo, Godhunter was an entertaining read although the way it was paced didn't quite work for me. I absolutely adored the setting, a sort of post-apocalyptic Lagos filled with dangerous gods. It was larger than life, vivid, and action-packed. I'd definitely recommend this book if you like action-focused fantasy. The book was split into three distinct sections. It read a little bit like a series of novellas combined together, with time jumps and tone differences between them. It didn't quite work for me, I enjoyed the first part but by the time I got to the third I was finding it difficult to keep track of everyone. I wanted a little bit more time and a slower pace. I'd definitely recommend this book though!

CW: death, violence, child brides, torture

If you enjoy diverse sci-fi and fantasy you should check out my Blog! You could also follow me on Twitter or Instagram.
Profile Image for Ed Erwin.
915 reviews95 followers
March 12, 2021
I enjoyed being exposed to a story set in modern Lagos and involving Nigerian deities. I enjoyed being exposed to little bits of Nigerian Pidgin, but am glad that only a few characters used that language because it was sometimes confusing to me. I like the main character David Mogo and watching how he grows and changes over the story. The world-building is good and the magic system makes sense.

On the other hand, there is a large number of human and non-human characters that I had trouble keeping straight in my head. And the latter half of the story involves many fight scenes and some torture scenes. None of that is really my cup of tea. (These are pretty much the same things that keep me from loving Game of Thrones, for example. Your mileage may vary.) So "I Like It", but no more.
June 17, 2019
Trigger Warnings Implied predator / Implied torture / 'Curing' of Speech-Impaired Character

David Mogo, Godhunter is an interesting own voices fantasy novel set in our world, that with a bit of extra attention could have been great. Instead it flies just short of falling flat.

I was quite honestly very excited for this book. I mean it is an own voices book when it comes down to the culture. Lagos, Nigeria is where the author comes from and just that alone is something that sets this book apart. Another thing that I think will appeal to a lot of people is that there is basically no romance in here.

But the book didn’t quite build up as I expected it to be. Essentially this book is set up in 3 parts that felt more like 3 novella’s due to the time jumps and arcs between them. Especially between part 1 and 2 which was six months. It meant that each part had to wrap its ‘arc’ up action and plot wise. It left not as much room for world building as I would have liked to have seen. In the first part there was room to capture the feel of Lagos and how the Falling (the big event that happened before the book starts) affected the city. It made this first part so much more appealing to me.

Part 2 and part 3 were more focused on a bigger plot and the journey to finding oneself in being a demigod. Set between humans and gods. There was less room for world building and the things that I thought would be expanded on. More on the Gods, the Island and Odon, got left behind. That could have been okay had the journey to finding oneself not been as boring and unnecessary. Or some scenes were in any case like a scene where he got called out for showing his anger once and all of sudden he was losing credibility with everyone. Just things like that, that didn’t make sense in the grand scheme of what the author seemed to want to do here.

It is written in a first person present point of view. Again the first part, David’s voice was incredibly strong. I liked him. But I felt we lost a lot in the second and third part. I feel like we lost a lot to him repeating himself. Even so I did still like him for the most part. I also liked his relationship with his adopted father. An interesting thing here is code-switching which is switching between two or more languages within one conversation which is what happened often in speaking between these two. However it took some getting used to as it isn’t quite so easy to figure out what they are saying. Sometimes I don’t think I actually caught the meaning.

Another character I found interesting was Fati, a teenage girl David rescues from an adult wizard meaning to marry her. She comes to live with him and his adopted father. She is speech-impaired. I wish there had been more room for her personality to expand. Much of her time on the page is spend with others talking (who inhabit her at some point) and not so much coming from herself. I also dislike that at the end she was ‘cured’.

Having said that, if you are looking for an African fantasy and are prepared to go into this novella set up I think one can really enjoy this. I think this author does have some great ideas and I can’t wait to see what he will come up with in the future.
Profile Image for Mbali  (flowahh_).
77 reviews79 followers
August 29, 2021
I picked this book up around a time when the books I was picking up were just okay, I desperately needed something that would light a fire under my bum, and thank God it did 🥺

Set in the streets of Lagos, after a tragic event known as “The Fall” that upsets the balance of the country, we meet David Mogo. Who is David Mogo? a demigod who hunts godlings in order to make ends meet. But after he accepts a dangerous task, things go to shit.

There are so many ways to experience books, for me this was purely entertaining. For example, I know I’m enjoying something when I’m swearing at the characters. The amount of profanities that left my mouth when the gods appeared 💀? The word bastard definitely left my mouth 😭.

This debut was unapologetic in its Nigerian’ness, I had to google some words to get my imagination going, it was critical of police brutality while still being filled to the brim with action. It made me laugh at times and a bit emotional at other times. I will say that it felt more like 3 novellas made into a novel (and I think it would make for a great series) but all in all, it was lovely 🥺
Profile Image for Jewel.
91 reviews
June 26, 2019
I recieved thus ARC for review from Netgalley and Rebellion Publishing (thank you so much!) I enjoyed these stories very much. It's always awesome to see yourself represented in a story.

The code switching was very interesting to see. It's something that I have to do in my life as well. Seeing the main character use it was relatable.

The was tons of action and description. Some might say info dumpy, but I enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to learn a little bit about the some of the Gods of Lagos and how they are viewed by the people their. I would have loved for more detail, but I understand it's not that kind of book.

I feel that maybe this book should have been broken into three different novellas or marketed as three different stories and not one novel. The time jumps between the three parts is very jarring if you didn't know about how it was written.

Overall, I do recommend this book. It's defintely worth a read.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,072 reviews266 followers
February 21, 2021
I've been looking to get into an exploration of African Mythology and Spirituality and DAVID MOGO GODHUNTER is an excellent jumping-off point. Our snarky, always uncertain, feckless-hero protagonist David Mogo is a half-orisha, half-human, in a wildly Apocalyptic Lagos, Nigeria, one in which the gods have fallen to earth after war, and plague humans. But the Apocalypse is far from finished, and David and his compatriots must face war, aggression, tragedy.
Profile Image for Gbolahan.
476 reviews9 followers
February 8, 2021
GETTING BACK HOME is war, as always. I drive a motorcycle—a proper Bajaj okada, not those powerbikes you see in Hollywood thrillers

This was when I started believing that this dude meant business. 😅

(Ok, so, I had spent 6 years of boarding high school in Lagos Island...which I didn't know until this book had me googling addresses! I always thought my school had been in Lagos Mainland! Huh! Guess that's why all those late night treks to play video games at Payless in Victoria Island had been easy...😂)

Read some folks complaining about Mogo's constant expositions. I kind of feel he's not overdoing it. I'm Yorùbá, Nigerian, even I need this level of detailed explanation of "African" magic...and of Lagos! (despite boarding schooling there, late nights fence-jumping to walk to VI to play Street Fighter 😅)
However, I found it hard to believe that after so many years of being a god(ling) hunter, David never knew why the gods fell to Earth in the first place. 😒 Sure, he's not a wizard (babaláwo), but those exist, he even grew up with one, and you're telling me not even one of those knew and haven't shared the info with other babaláwos??

I like the way he skirts around Christianity and Islam. Doesn't ignore them, but mentions them in this playful teasing but in-your-face-way...
Humor is laid back, still there though. And of course, the almost inevitable Harry Potter jab 😅. I also think this was what Sandman Slim was trying to be but couldn't reach...Kadrey seemed to force his own character's grittiness, I was yawning all through while reading Sandman Slim, while Okungbowa just straight up laid back his own character...

A little more descriptions of David could have helped though. I found it hard to picture the dude's physicality (totally a word 🌚).

I think why many people who do not resonate with this book didn't is because of the all-out description of Paganism (yes, I know this was probably meant as a derogatory term by the folks who initially coined it). We're used to fantasy as, well, as fantasy. But, this book isn't just fantasy, it's PAGANISM. Like, hey, in-your-face and please-deal-with-it-or-don't, it is what it is.

Rich history. Well, not so rich as much as detailed about some particular issues I'd never thought of. For example, how Oṣhòdì got its name from. Oṣhòdì Tapa...

The Yorùbá gods speaking English. One of my favourite parts of the novel. Yeah, I know, they're gods, they've been around for millenia (probably eternity 🌚), they should understand all languages...but, still. 😁

David Mogo, Nigerian Kratos...

The ending felt rushed, especially that last chapter. And, the "magic system" was a bit difficult to follow (remember though, this isn't so much fantasy as much as paganism/religion), especially with the pantheons and the elephant-in-the-room-lack-of-colonialism [you'll understand when you read the book]

But, hey, it's alright. Good work sir. My money well spent. All 0.99p of it. 😅
Profile Image for Dora Okeyo.
Author 26 books171 followers
May 12, 2019
David Mogo is a demigod. His mother is the god of war and chaos and his father, well, he was just a common man- a mortal which is why he hunts gods and godlings, because his essence can sense their presence. And also their presence in Lagos causes nothing but chaos for human beings and he is not pleased about it, not one bit.
But David’s not perfect: he is conflicted about a host of things that go as far as his birth, being abandoned by his mother, always feeling like he doesn’t belong and now the fact that he’s got high gods after him, seeking to kill him.

It’s an interesting read and David is vivid in his description of what he’s feeling just as he is rash in fighting. For example he says at some point during a fight “Tonight though, it’s because my body aches like I was built by angry carpenters.”

Like in any book, there’s a likelihood that you’ll be taken in by a character or characters and in this book, my favorite character was Papa Udi also known as Payu. He speaks Pidgin and he doesn’t say much, but you realize that he’s the one David listens to and respects the most. He is also the one that David does not want to let down and that kind of pressure does a number on David’s focus in fighting the gods.

Payu shakes his head. “No, no, no. Na die two of una dey and I cannot follow you for such a thing. Good luck if you wan go die, but you cannot drag me along. David, no. I say no. No!”

Like in Chapter Twenty Two, Papa Udi chastises Kehinde when he says:

“You for no talk am like that,” and adds “Wise god my bumbum.”

What the author succeeds in is in thrusting you into a world of chaos, magic, anger and vengeance whilst serving it through Pidgin, and highlighting aspects that are indeed akin to Nigeria and the culture of some tribes therein. It’s also a hilarious read because between the back and forth of Payu and David you cannot help but appreciate their relationship, one as the nurturer and the other son or grandson.

I saw this book on the Netgalley dashboard and I had to read it, because if it’s by an African author, I’m interested-period! It’s been a fun read, there are bits and pieces I relate to and my only sad point is that I cannot quote all of Payu’s lines (yeah, there’s that disclaimer to Advance Readers).
Profile Image for Lost Planet Airman.
1,234 reviews69 followers
August 9, 2022
A difficult read for me to review, as I read it piecemeal, in several widely-separated periods. Reading that way was not too detrimental, as the story is very episodic, with each chapter somewhat isolated from the rest.

The concept is great -- in the recent past, Lagos, Nigeria, has experienced some sort of super*natural disaster, one that has brought nearly every named and unnamed god and spirit of every African pantheon to earth in the city; anarchy ensues. David Mogo, a demi-god foundling raised by a semi-retired wizard, narrates the tale of his adventures as he discovers his heritage and battles rising powers in the new frontier of the broken city.

The execution can be a little rocky. The author is clear in language (mostly) and very expressive, and he keeps the plot humming along. He does introduce a lot of proper names, and a lot lot of common names of food, dress, traditions, pigeon language, and other cultural details, but without a lot of background; this can be confusing at times, although the current of the plot carried me through most of the challenges, and there is always Wikipedia if you are intensely curious as to what you are missing.

Overall, a good, rich, new fantasy adventure from a talented, creative writer.
Profile Image for Amanda.
317 reviews22 followers
May 5, 2021
I wanted to pick this up before the release of the author’s new book, Son of the Storm, and I'm glad I did! This book is structured in 3 parts, making it kind of episodic but still adding to one main plot line and I found this made it really easy to read (when uni assignments weren’t getting in my way 👿). The author brings Lagos, Nigeria to life in a really interesting, almost-dystopian way, as people try to carry on with their lives despite gods falling to the earth 30ish years ago.

I love stories about gods in the real world interacting with humans, so I loved that element of this book, but I also liked following David, the titular half-god godhunter, as he struggles with his identity. He’s conflicted and flawed, an engaging protagonist, and the band of friends and allies he collects along the way is just as interesting.
Profile Image for Debbie .
238 reviews103 followers
January 4, 2021
Everything about this book intrigued me. I was so excited to see Urhobo representation in this book too, which is super rare.

I definitely want to read everything Suyi Davies Okungbowa writes. This is how you write Nigerian-inspired fantasy, my goodness! 😍
Profile Image for Ashley.
233 reviews154 followers
November 17, 2020
3.5/5 stars

this was so much fun! it was action packed, fast paced, and filled with mythology. however, i found myself not emotionally invested in the characters due to the focus of plot and worldbuilding. overall, a solid read and i cannot wait to read more of suyi davies okungbowa's works in the future.
Profile Image for Sana.
1,076 reviews956 followers
Shelved as 'to-read-so-bad-it-hurts'
November 15, 2018
Profile Image for 2TReads.
758 reviews35 followers
February 4, 2021
This was fantastic. Vivid, fast-paced, rich in tone and world. A new favourite.

Written with crisp prose and pacing, Okungbowa drops me into a changed Lagos, crawling with fallen Orishas and the like, and does not let up until the last.

The dialogue is lively and sparks with the timbre of Lagosian dialect, the characters are grounded, sure, uncanny, sinister, and oh so captivating.

There is a certain irreverence and practicality to how our protagonist interacts with and sees his city. He is well aware of its shortcomings as well as the inherent style that makes Lagos exactly what it is, and that there is no place like it. Even as I was saying 'slow down David', as my heart raced, my mind was saying 'I want more'. And even when I thought there couldn't possibly be more, Suyi Davies delivered.

His elder and father (for lack of a better descriptor) embodies what I love about elders: they are constant, salty, with a certain verve and brashness that comes with time lived and people and places experienced. Give me more Papa Udi.

What cannot be ignored is the human experience that is exemplified in this story: the struggle, choices, relationships, spirit, the formation of community, bonds of friendship, and the search for belonging in the midst of upheaval and chaos. How hard can it be to face down and fight beside a pantheon of gods? Pick this one up to find out.

Would that every fantasy novel could read as this one did.
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