And a reclusive deity does what no god should ever do: she answers a prayer.
As punishment, she is stripped of her powers and trapped in a mortal's body. Now a Wyrd – a fated god – she is haunted by the memories and thoughts of her host and must hide her true identity in order to survive in Niflheim, the rival Norse Underworld.
There she discovers the afterlife is not quite what it used to be. Niflheim's new ruler threatens the precarious balance of a world overrun with outcast deities and mortals alike.
To save her own sanity and find her way back to the stars, she must help the other Wyrd overcome their grievances to defeat this enemy, but those who would be her allies appear to have motives as hidden as her fragmented consciousness.
And yet it seems the greatest threat to her freedom comes from within, and the prize it seeks is her immortal soul...
Susana Imaginário is a misfit from Portugal. She moved to England to pursue a career as an aerialist and now runs a Tabletop Gaming retreat in Ireland with her husband and their extremely spoiled pup. Her hobbies include reading (a lot), playing board games, hanging upside down, poking around ancient ruins, talking to trees and being tired. Timelessness combines mythology with science fiction and slipstream fantasy in a strange and introspective way.
This book is beautifully written, has many engaging characters you'll always question, keeps you on your toes with who is doing what (for whatever reason), and has a unique, complex story that will keep you wanting to turn the page. Filled with mythic names from cross-cultural ideals, this is a tale filled with gods and mortals who struggle to be the smartest being on the battlefield. Anyone looking to escape your traditional fantasy and dive into a new theme, rich with mythical lore that's written perfectly suited for the story itself...by all means, divulge.
What I enjoyed most was that every time I got a question answered, I had more drawn to the table. It was a little overwhelming at first, but as the story continues, the author gave me all the missing pieces to the puzzle she created. Though I wish that I would have had closure with some of the side-characters plots and schemes, I fully understand that it's relevant to the future of this story.
Make no mistake. When I finished the book, I didn't finish something good, but rather started something great. There's no secret that there's more to come, and I have no doubt in the authors ability to provide.
I received an audio book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Every since my review on Northern Wrath last year, I have been on the prowl for more stories that feature Norse Mythology. Not only do you get this in Wyrd Gods, but we also get to witness Greek Mythology as well to be added to the mix. These two ancient histories get combined in a fun and adventurous way that you will be amazed at how Susana Imaginário pulled this off. It may seem from the description that the author is throwing the kitchen at the reader, but it didn’t feel that way to me. The story itself is well crafted and dense in terms of plot, character development, to go along with beautiful prose to drive the novel to a fantastic conclusion. Prior to being contacted by the author I hadn’t heard of this novel and I would have missed out on this hidden wonder!
The story begins with the god of time, Kronos, wanting to destroy eternity. Kronos looks to achieve this by combining the Norse underworld with the Greek pantheon together in order to cause a war and to see where the chips may fall. We don’t know which gods are supporting the others and secret alliances are being made; they will be revealed when we least expect it.
A reclusive deity does what no god should ever do: she answers a prayer. As punishment, she is stripped of her powers and trapped in a mortal’s body. Now a Wyrd – a fated god – she is haunted by the memories and thoughts of her host and must hide her true identity in order to survive in Niflheim, the rival Norse Underworld. There she discovers the afterlife is not quite what it used to be. Niflheim’s new ruler threatens the precarious balance of a world overrun with outcast deities and mortals alike. To save her own sanity and find her way back to the stars, she must help the other Wyrd overcome their grievances to defeat this enemy, but those who would be her allies appear to have motives as hidden as her fragmented consciousness.
The novel’s structure is broken down into first person POV chapters of the wyrd god as she learns about the memories of her host and how the gods have let their tyranny run wild in the universe. There are also interlude chapters depicting the other gods and creatures in order to gain several different perspectives. The story also takes place not in one location but on several different worlds and the only way to travel is through these magical trees. Not something you will read in everyday fantasy literature. The wyrd is a fascinating character to read about. She was once a mortal who became a god by drinking the ambrosia of the gods and because she decides to do the compassionate thing, she gets punished and cast out into the mortal world. We get to experience her redemption first hand and it is such a wild ride that my head kept on spinning with all the wonders and possible ramifications this series will reveal.
The world-building and imagination in this story is also amazingly written. To keep all the different plotlines, characters, motives, and even to just remember the names of all these gods deserves an award as far as I’m concerned. Readers who love ancient mythology, complex plot, and morally gray characters will enjoy Wyrd Gods. I should also mention that the narrator does and amazing job as well! If this is what my TBR has in story for 2021, this will make me a very happy man. This novel gets the highest regards from me and hopefully it will get yours as well!
I received a copy of a book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
A God of Time wants to destroy the Earth while a mysterious immortal seeks vengeance. A god has answered a prayer (which she should not) and because of that she gets punished. She is stripped off her powers and trapped in the body of a mortal. Now that she has become Wyrd (a fated god) she is haunted by the memories and thoughts of her mortal host and if she wants to stay in Niflheim, the rival Norse Underworld, she must hide her true identity. In Niflheim she discovers that afterlife is different and not quite what it used to be and the new ruler threatens the precarious balance of a world overrun with outcast deities and mortals alike. To save her own sanity and her way back to the stars as a God, she must help the other Wyrd overcome their grievances to defeat this enemy. But also those who appear as allies seem to have hidden motives. And yet it seems the greatest threat to her freedom comes from within and the prize it seeks is her immortal soul.
I do love a good mythology inspired book so I thought it was a perfect choice for me, it really was. I have to say it was not an easy book to read. Susana has created a complex world where Norse myths meet the Greek ones and being so different from each other in ways it was a wonder she managed to pull this off. Both the stories are crafted beautifully together. The novel is written from different POVs perspectives. The main story follows a Wyrd god captured in a mortals body where she learns about the memories of her host and about the world she was captured in through the host. That story is written primarily in the first person. Often it is interrupted with interludes which follows other gods and creatures and are featured in different worlds. Those chapters are written in 3rd person. I'm not used to reading novels written in 1st person perspective and then switching to the 3rd, it seemed confusing at first but after a few chapters I caught the flow of the book and it reads beautifully.
The whole novel is very much character driven and the chapters about the Wyrd god were really captivating. It did give a feeling you're in somebody's else's mind and maybe the 1st person perspective really helped with that. I could almost feel every emotion and frustration through the main character and it helped set the weird and almost dark atmosphere at moments. Even though the characters were so well written the best thing about this book is the world building and the whole structure of the plot. There are so many different worlds, plotlines and characters that it felt impossible to meld it all together. It is so well structured that you get an answer to every question somewhere along the story if you're reading carefully enough. Even though it was a bit confusing at first there's something mesmerising in Susana's style of writing I was glued to the book from the first chapter in.
I feel like I should just keep on writing about the book but it's hard for me to put into words on what I have read. So if you love mythology and a good character driven book I really suggest you pick up Wyrd Gods. It's one of the most unique and different books I have read lately and I'm really glad that I did.
Wyrd Gods was a rare book that had me from the first few lines. Usually, no matter how much I love or come to love opening lines/paragraphs, it will take me a little longer to be hooked into a story. Yet there was something about this one that just gripped hold of me – I know that I certainly stayed up far too late that night listening to a larger chunk than intended.
‘Gaea took a deep breath. Then another. The Goddess had no need to breathe and there was no atmosphere in that remote realm of the Cosmos, but the action, synonymous with life, helped her relax. She could use that under the circumstances.’
I’ve always enjoyed mythology, one of my prized possessions when I was a child was a beautifully illustrated book of Greek myths that I read and read until it fell apart, and I love seeing what can be done with mythology within fantasy and Wyrd Gods has taken a very unique approach which really makes it stand out. For one, it is a complex meeting of Norse and Greek mythology– a combination that at first thought you might not think would work – and yet Imaginário not only pulls it off, but she demonstrates a fantastic grasp and understanding of the myths while transforming it into something new. I would say that it does help to have some knowledge of the mythologies that are involved, but I think the power of the storytelling will easily sweep you away even if you’re just dipping your toes into the mythology.
One thing that did take me a little while to get used to, and which also sets Wyrd Gods apart was that it used different POV perspectives throughout. We get the first-person view as we follow the path of a Wyrd God who finds herself trapped in the body of a mortal, which was a fantastic choice for this character, especially as the story unfolds through her journey to piece together who she was, the memories of the body that she’s trapped within, and why she came to be in this position. I enjoy the fact that we discover the twists and turns alongside her, and there was more than one that caught me by surprise. This POV is then interrupted by other third-person POV interludes from other characters. This shift took between the two took a little while for me to get used to, but it was so beautifully done and works so well, that once I had the book just flew by, and the different POVs allow us to see more of what is happening in the world than what we could do if we were only following the Wyrd God.
This is very much a character-driven story, and while the one we know best is the Wyrd and she is a fascinating character, the characterisation across the board was fantastic. There are a lot of characters, and again this is where some knowledge of mythology can help, but Imaginário does a great job of bringing them all to life and making them individual and memorable, and giving them their own role within this epic-scale world and narrative that she has created. It’s also interesting to see a tale told through characters such as these, as often where Gods and similar beings are involved, we witness them through other people’s eyes, but here they are the characters, and it is their relationships and different perspectives that are explored.
Wyrd Gods is a fantastic book and stands out for its execution and Imaginário’s writing that carries a complex, richly imagined narrative across worlds, through multiple plotlines and through an array of characters and POVS, and the ending has left me hungry for more.
This book should definitely be on your shelf or TBR if you love mythology-inspired and character-driven fantasy. I also have to give a massive shoutout to Sarah Kempton for her fantastic narration on the audiobook. I tend to be incredibly picky with narrators, but I couldn’t get enough of this one, and she brought great nuance to the story and the characters and I would highly recommend the audiobook. And I’m excited to dive into the second book in this series ‘The Dharkan’
I have had Wyrd Gods for quite a while on my Kindle, but I was fortunate to win a copy of the Audiobook, which prompted me to get on with this book, and it came at the fortuitous time when I was between audios, so there you go.
Gordon Bennett was that a good move. I mean, I knew what the book was about basically and my interest was already piqued, especially with the mix of Greek and Norse Mythology. However, I was not prepared for how bloody good this book is. It was a delight. Sarah Kempton brought the book alive with her wonderful narration.
So what is the book about?
Now, I am only going to touch on the plot and give a basic idea as I do not want to give any spoilers. But the story, revolves around the fact that Chronos, the titan of time (I am sure he has a more formal title, but I like that) wants to destroy eternity, and an unknown god does what no God should ever do. She answers a prayer.
This results in her being stuck in the Underworld. And guess what? Things are not what they seem, it’s overrun with outcast gods and humans alike and she is stuck there, trapped in the body of a Dryad.
In order to get back to the stars, she has to hide her identity and journey through Nifleheim to free herself from her host.
The book is a mesmerisingly surreal journey through the Underworld, meeting the bizarre and odd inhabitants of the world.
What can I say about this book, it had everything. Brilliant characters, Especially, THE GOD whose job it is to get herself out of this environment. But not only that, everyone that she meets became my favorite character. There are a lot of characters that THE GOD meets on her journey through Niflheim, there is the capricious Ideth, who she meets originally. The alluringly charming Iosh, the duplicitous Odin. Everyone adds something to the story.
Susana Imaginario does some really brilliant things in this book that really impressed me. Initially, we are as disorientated in this world as THE GOD, and she successfully maintains this sense of disorientation, and along with the main character, we are drip fed little bits of information at the same time as the main character learns them. This gives a sense of immersion into the story. In some ways it reminds me of a video game, carefully controlling the character in an unfamiliar situation as we move our character from place to place, learning each little tip that will move us on to the next level.
However, she will then shift the point of view to another character, carefully giving extra bits of information that whilst, we as the reader have these extra bits of information, filling in the blanks and gaining extra perspective, the main character does not. We end up feeling omnipotent as we know more than our main character.
There are a number of different points of view in the book, and this wil give an extra dimension to a particular character or to the plot, carefully revealing another layer. I found it to be a clever plot device that moved the story on considerably.
In addition to that, the world that Susana Imaginario builds is equally strange as it is baffling. At times it appears that this is an alien world. However, at other times it may be an extra dimension. I am never quite sure where I am. Just when I thought I had an angle on it, Susana Imaginario introduced another aspect that threw me, like teleportation devices. What? Where do they come into it?
I loved going on this journey with THE GOD and when we get to the end of the book, everything falls into place neatly. And that was when my brain went - Awww, Right!
From reading some other reviews, I think I may have done this book a slight disservice by not paying as close attention as I ought to have done.
I found it pretty enjoyable to follow along for the ride, but have to admit to completely losing track of what was going on several times! There are a lot of 'interlude' chapters that take place at different times, sometimes revisiting previous events from a different perspective, and I thought that was pretty cool, so it probably says more about me as a reader than this book that I was mostly just sort of going 'uh-huh' and not really following what was actually happening or why. Like I say, that was still enjoyable enough!
There is a lot of exposition in the narrative, and not always in what felt like the most natural places, so perhaps that disengaged me a little bit. I'm not sure. There were definitely fun moments, though, and if you're the kind of person who enjoys sprawling adventures with lots of mythological nods and a big cast of characters, I expect you'll like this a lot.
The idea behind this book was so intriguing! Unlike anything I have ever read, this book grabs your attention and never let’s go! If you love gods and mythological creatures this book is definitely for you!
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
I was granted complimentary audiobook access to Wyrd Gods as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Storytellers on Tour. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Tour blog post (live 9 May 2021 @ 6:30am EST): URL coming...
Wyrd Gods is a first person account of events from the POV of a goddess who has been made a Wyrd, a god in mortal form, but in this case she's trapped in the body of a dryad and isn't sure why or how this happened to her. It's a punishment for daring to answer a prayer. The cast is a blend of Norse and Greek mythology with plenty of familiar names mixed in with unique concepts that meld together beautifully into an epic story that will hold your attention and keep you coming back to find out what happens next. Can our heroine rescue herself and the other Wyrds and return to her immortal life?
I'm a sucker for anything involving Norse mythology, so I jumped at the chance to review this one, and I was rewarded with familiar names pretty much immediately. I haven't enjoyed a reimagining of mingled pantheons this much since the Iron Druid Chronicles were new and fresh. That's not to imply that these books compare in any significant way aside from having both Norse and Greek gods in key roles, they're entirely different storylines, but if what you loved about Iron Druid was the mixed pantheons then Wyrd Gods will scratch that itch.
Susana Imaginário writes dialogue very well. Not a single conversation had between the characters throughout this book felt unnatural or boring, and our POV goddess' sass and stubborn strength came through very clearly in the way she chose her words and when to speak them. This is a very character-driven book, and Susana has made is very easy to bond with the protagonist and cheer her on.
I noticed that despite the book's length, it sets aside very little time to explain who all these gods and goddesses are, how they relate to one another, etc. and I do fear that readers who aren't familiar with the mythology around both pantheons will find themselves confused at points or missing between-the-lines information. Personally I'm much more familiar with the Norse gods than the Greeks due to my interest in all things relevant to my own Norwegian heritage and the fact that various Hercules retellings and high school samplings of The Iliad are the only Greek mythology stories I've heard since 7th grade social studies.
Sarah Kempton's performance as the audiobook narrator is flawless! She distinguishes different characters very well and speaks at a pace that lends itself well to faster listening speeds but isn't intolerably slow at regular speed. I'm surprised to see that she has 44 titles on Audible at the time of this review, and I'll absolutely be seeking out opportunities to listen to more of her work.
I recommend Wyrd Gods to fans of mythology-based fantasy, especially if you like long, epic adventures with strong, sassy heroines.
Wyrd Gods – pronounced ‘weird' is both wyrd by name and weird by nature!
I’d say the story often feels like it has a dream-sequence like quality to it, which makes sense when it’s not set on planet earth (or should that be Midgard?) – the setting is Niflheim, the mythological Norse world of ice and darkness.
It is not strictly a Norse mythology story though, despite featuring some of the Gods – the foundations are actually a merging of the Greek and Norse Gods primarily, who have agreed to come together and share power. This is as fragile sort of peace as you might expect. However, it’s not the clash of the gods type novel you might assume on hearing this. Conflict comes, rather than through war, on a more personal level. And I think Susana excellently captures the pride, wrath, envy, lust and power-craving that epitomises the Gods of both pantheons, as well as their individual personalities within the mythologies.
“We can’t kill each other, we can’t live with each other, so we make deals to make eternity more bearable”
One thing I liked in particular was the use of humour, without going overboard and making it a comedy novel – just the right amount to be faithful to the flavour of the mythology, along with bloody moments and certainly some lustful events! The Gods are at work here, afterall.
Our main character is a God confined to Niflheim back in human form, as a wyrd god. She was previously mortal and now finds herself in another’s mortal body once again, as punishment for answering a prayer – a big no no.
The story is her journey to regain her place. Meeting the various characters along the way is what gives the story this dream like, surreal quality. There are a lot of characters and encounters, so it can be challenging to keep track, but it is certainly a vibrant experience.
“Odin inhaled deeply. Freya always said the best weapon against anger was a deep inhale. In his experience, the best weapon against anger was to unleash it on those who caused it. Failing that, he exhaled.”
In addition to this, there are many nods to mythology that you won’t understand if you don’t know them already (I think I picked up on a lot of the Norse ones but certainly will have missed others) aswell as a knowledge on most of the main gods of Norse and Greek pantheons being required to really appreciate it. The author does a remarkable job of tying this altogether and showing her knowledge of the mythologies and her imagination on putting her own personality and imprint on them. It could however be a little more accessible to a wider audience to have a background on some of the characters though.
As mentioned, I’m pretty knowledgeable on the Norse mythology and have a basic knowledge of the Greek pantheon but at times did have to wrack my brain and stop to remind myself who was who or information about some of the mythology featured. I certainly think it can be read by somebody completely without knowledge of any mythology, but I definitely think there would be moments that might leave them confused aswell as the inability to fully appreciate the work that has gone into this as an expert would. I think the more you know, the more you will appreciate it. Loki and Hades were particularly well done, and I liked that Odin wasn’t portrayed as an infallible supergod – even in the Norse writings he makes his fair share of mistakes!
This lack of hand-holding did make the book flow more slowly in parts than it might have due to keeping track of the characters; on the writing side though the style of the prose is really nice and it’s clear the book is well written which helps with the flow.
I don’t think this is a book that will necessarily give you that “just one more chapter” feel, or make you desperate to finish work to find out what happens next (though the book does build up pace as it reaches the conclusion, leaving plenty of promise for it’s sequel) – and that’s partly due to the slower pacing and focus on characters over action.
What you will get is an insight into the minds of the Gods, a deep dive into mythologies and a colourful, imaginative, well written book that you will enjoy spending time exploring. This is more of a relaxing read in which you can take your time and appreciate the writing and the world that has been created. Susana Imaginário writes with such lovely descriptions and entertaining wit aswell as living up to her name with a superb imagination, if you take the time to familiarise yourself with the mythology, you’re sure to be enthralled.
I must point out before concluding that I listened to the audiobook version of Wyrd Gods, and the narration was flawless. The delivery and storytelling technique was spot on. It felt like the narrator really understood and appreciated the work she was reading from.
I have never read a book like Wyrd Gods. I can say that with absolute certainty. It's a complex and refreshing read, and I really enjoyed it. My advice to new readers, pay close attention. it is well constructed, almost choreographed. Every thing that happens, happens for a reason and every character encountered plays towards the overall plot. I found myself having several AHHHHH moments, particularly in the regular interludes, which give a twist to the perspective of parts of the story you have already seen. There is one issue for me, that initially I found difficult. The primary plot is written entirely from the perspective of a single character in First Person-Present Perspective, which is not a style I am used too and in fact do not recall ever coming across before. This takes a while to get used too and that did affect the enjoyment of the story in the early stages. However, I felt exactly the same about Dracula. I found the diary style of that book off putting at first, but now rank it as one of my all time favorite reads. This decision to write in FPPP means the perspective of other characters is seen through the interludes, so you do ultimately get a fully rounded story. For the sake of openness, the author provided me with a free audio copy in exchange for an honest review. I will also say, that because I enjoyed this one so much, I intent to buy the second book of the series.
One never knows what to expect when starting a new book with a new author. All I know is that I tend to enjoy mythology, and always fantasy, and the blending of the two was wonderful. There was so much mythology in the story that was unfamiliar to me, there was a bit of a learning curve as I caught up. This was not to the detriment of the story, though. In fact, Susanna Imaginário uses some wonderful plot devices to both educate the reader and advance the story. Interludes, character interactions, just plain writing. Overall I was impressed and I would be happy to read additional stories by the author. Sarah Kempton was a fantastic narrator. Wonderful emotion and nuance everywhere I wanted to have it. Absolutely flawless narration. I should note that I listen at 1.5x and found that a very natural pace. Everything was still very easy to understand and follow along with.
This novel was provided to me free in exchange for an open and honest review. This opportunity was a pleasure
A wonderfully perplexing and entertaining story. The sense of mystery drew me in from the very beginning - Wyrd Gods kept me wondering and guessing throughout. As a lover of Greek Mythology and other classical deities, I found the concept fascinating. Certainly an ambitious venture with impressively far-reaching scope: focusing on several distinct pantheons all embroiled with one another and striving towards their own personal goals. I particularly enjoyed the - often humorous - philosophical musings from the various Gods’ perspectives. This debut novel is both well-written and engaging as an introduction, picking up pace as the story unfolds and setting up what will potentially be an epic and other-worldly series!
Wyrd Gods is the initial book in the Timelessness series, by the Portuguese author Susana Imaginário. As a lover of mythologies, and seeing a book this ambitious, trying to mix different ones in the same story, this book bumped into the top of my TBR. Add to the mix that I got the audiobook, which is fantastically narrated by Sarah Kempton, and that makes a perfect combination.
And before diving into reviewing the content, I want to give big props to the narrator of the audiobook. It's a format that I don't usually consume, but as the own author said it was the best version of the book, I decided to give it a try. Kempton did an excellent job, voicing differently each character, making clear the changes in the narrator, and helping to follow the different POVs. I greatly enjoyed listening to the audiobook, and I will probably give more opportunities to this format. By itself, just by quality, this audiobook should be 5 stars.
The story begins with Kronos, the god of time, trying to destroy eternity, combining the Norse underworld (Niflheim) with the Greek pantheon, something that may cause a war between deities; to add into the mix, we don't really know which kind of alliances are being made. A goddess did something a god shouldn't do: answered a prayer; as a punishment, she's trapped in a mortal's body, becoming a wyrd god, and losing her powers. Our goddess gets up into this new body, with all the chaos ongoing, in the Niflheim, having to survive while not unveiling her real identity. To add another layer of difficulty for her, she has to fight with her own host, having to collaborate with other wyrds to be able to find her way back to her own identity.
The narrative structure of the novel is quite interesting, mixing first-person POV chapters of the wyrd god, where our goddess learns about the memories of her host and is able to see the results of the gods' tyranny in the world; and third-person chapters, called interludes, where the spotlight is given to another characters/creatures, depicting them, and also used to give us more information about what is happening in different parts of the world and the intentions, thoughts, and motivations of the different actors in this drama. Our main character is really interesting, as she was a mortal once who became a deity by drinking ambrosia, and who gets punished just for having a sake of compassion for mortals; her story is a redemption one. I appreciate also the duality of how sometimes the host takes control of the body, establishing a fight of wills to be able to direct the actions.
Worldbuilding is especially interesting, mixing two different mythologies, and taking advantage of the Greek pantheon characters, throwing them into the richer Norse locations, creating one of my favourite universes. It is true that the number of different names and locations might become a little bit difficult to follow if you are not a mythology lover, but even with that detail in mind, I think it's an excellent craft by the author.
In summary, Wyrd Gods is a great mix between mythology and fantasy, using the best aspects of different pantheons, and throwing them to create an engaging story, with several noticeable characters. Personally, I would recommend also listening to the audiobook, as I felt this story gains in the spoken format. Said that Timelessness has become one of the series I want to read until the end because it has so much potential.
Thank you to Susana Imaginario for providing me with a copy of this book! I voluntarily leave this review!
Were the Gods to answer every prayer, the worlds they resided over would fall to ruin. However, one dryad’s final prayer draws the attention of a goddess. And in doing so traps the goddess Psyche in her mortal body. Now a Wyrd, Psyche, must find the true purpose behind her imprisonment. But as she wanders the world she is trapped in, she will find that the God of Time has been forcing worlds to collide. And she isn’t the only God trapped.
Wyrd Gods was beautifully written. Susana Imaginario’s use of language created an enchanting and captivating world for the characters to reside in. Each scene is laced with emotional detail and dreamlike in quality. The way she seamlessly blended multiple pantheons of gods into one concise and intricate story took a great amount of skill. And the characters are multilayered. Each has their own agenda and desires. Sometimes they may coincide with one another, but each will be out for their own personal gain.
That being said, I am not as familiar with mythology as I most likely should be to read this novel. The various pantheons and clash of gods confused me. If I understood their backgrounds and histories more clearly, it would have been easier for me to digest the various names appearing on the page. The main players in the story were recognizable to me such as Loki, Odin, and Hades. But there were many names of demigods and titans I did not know. I do believe if I had a better grasp of their wants and needs from mythology I would have been able to understand the concept of their desires better in the novel.
The audio narration of Wyrd Gods is just as beautiful as the writing. Sarah Kempton flawlessly captured the personalities and emotions of each character. And as she began narrating the contest of wills between Psyche and Ileana I found myself entranced. I highly recommend listening to this on audiobook. It will draw you in all the quicker as the narration adds another layer to the world-building and characterization.
Wyrd Gods is a wonderful read for those who enjoy mythology. Especially if mythology from various cultures captures your interest. There are many characters to remember, but as the story progresses you’ll grow to know each and every one of them. There is plenty of mystery and political tension within the story to keep readers engaged and guessing right up until the very end.
I am of two minds about listening to this book as opposed to reading it. First, I enjoyed the experience of the audio version. Had I read this book, I wouldn’t be able to pronounce any of the names included. However, since I listened instead, I haven’t a clue about how to spell them. This cluelessness puts me at a disadvantage when writing my review. But, that said, I loved the story. Sarah Kempton is an incredible narrator. Her voice made the characters come to life. The characters all had a distinct voice, yet Kempton’s smooth English accent is soothing.
The formatting of this book is as interesting as the story. There are chapters devoted to different characters. These chapters combine with interludes to pull the story together. I’ve never read a book put together this way and wasn’t sure I would like it, but it worked well. I got to know more about each character, but each segment tells the entire tale brilliantly.
I am happy to award Wyrd Gods a full 5 out of 5 stars. If you want something different for your mythological love, I recommend this series. It’s a great read with a ton of fantastic scenes.
Susana Imaginário provided me with an Audible copy of Wyrd Gods with a request for an honest review.
I mostly enjoyed this. I liked the main character, the difficulty of non-humans trying to adapt to human (or human-like) limitations, the attempt to save the world(s), the sarcasm, and the really readable writing. I did get lost in all the characters and species though—there are a lot. I might have been helped out if I knew all the gods and races of different pantheons more intimately. There was no one here I’d not heard of, but being all muddled together it still felt like a tsunami of ‘who will show up next.’
But…BUT I think those of you who are really invested in the Marvel Universe will adore this. (And yes, I very seriously considered “accidentally” referring to Loki and the DC universe just to see who’d come out of the woodwork to call me a degenerate heathen. I saw reason though.) But if you like the gods, as presented in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I promise you’ll like this too.
Quite a fun read! I have to admit, at times it was a bit confusing, but not confusing enough to make me put it down or anything. I loved the idea of different mythologies coming together and I will 100% be reading book 2 😁
Wyrd Gods is a story which includes Norse, Greek and Egyptian gods as characters and a few other deities thrown into the mix for good measure.
Psyche, the ‘goddess of the soul’, is being punished by Chronos the mighty god of Time by being made a Wyrd or ‘fated’ god, placed in the body of a dryad and sent to Aegea to try and figure out why this happened to her. We eventually find out that the crime the Wyrd committed was that she answered a prayer. This is inexcusable behaviour for a god as is later explained to her:
“Whenever gods use their power to answer a prayer, they change the natural balance in the Universe. And since the intervention can’t be undone by other gods, imagine the chaos that would ensue if every god used their talents to help those they favour with no regard for the consequences...You must use your power to help keep the Universe in order, not to grant wishes.”
The story is presented in the first person perspective and since the main character does not know who or where she is, neither do we for a while. We discover things about this world as she does, with a little help occasionally from the memories of Ileana, the dryad whose body she inhabits. Since she is no longer Ileana and does not want to admit her real identity she starts introducing herself as ‘Butterfly’ after a pendant she wore as a human and which she is still somehow wearing after her trip through the Chronodéndron, or time travel tree.
The writing style presents the story as a kind of dream sequence with a very surreal feel to it and the dreams she experiences have a real effect on her in her waking world - after dreaming of Fenrir the giant wolf, Loki’s offspring, she awakens with his scratches on her skin.
She has to get used to her new body having been a goddess living among the stars, and prior to that, a beautiful human. Along the way she encounters a multitude of interesting characters, Ideth the dryad, Chiron the centaur, Odin the Allfather, who is also a Wyrd god trapped in the body of a dryad, nymphs, Aeden the Darkhan, a frost wraith who falls in love with her and Hades the god of the Underworld in disguise as a satyr. Loki, Hel and Fenrir the enormous wolf also make an appearance.
There are occasional interludes told from the point of view of different characters - some were familiar to me, Loki and his daughter, Hel, Fenrir, Odin, Chiron, Hades for example. Some such as the Dharkan were not. I feel that a little mythological background knowledge is helpful in order to fully enjoy this book. Luckily I had that and already understood why Loki was initially hanging chained with a serpent above his head, but for anyone coming in cold there might be some confusion at times. The fact that many of the characters are disguised in bodies other than their own is also a little confusing from time to time.
The ruthless and haughty gods and Titans are depicted with tongue in cheek humour:
“Chiron had turned apoplectic at being referred to as ‘the god of horses,’ but he was pale by the time Ideth stopped talking. He gave a small kick with one of his hind legs and tensed his jaw a few times before speaking.”
Ideth, another dryad, had travelled through time to find her friend Ileana but the dryad had already convinced herself she needed to die. Chronos the god of time had seized this opportunity and decided to use Ileana’s body for the vessel in which he would punish the Wyrd. On returning to Aegea with Ileana, Ideth eventually discovered that she had been gone for 20 years and her friends and family had almost given up hope of seeing her again.
An Interlude written from Ideth’s perspective gives us more backstory about Ileana, who we discover was the daughter of the Suzerain, now the sovereign of Aegea. Ileana is a pawn in Odin’s plan to get rid of the Suzerain, the sovereign of Aegea, and return things to how they had been before the merging of the worlds and the felling of the World Tree. The Merge between the Olympians’ Underworld and Niflheim, the Norse version of the Underworld has occurred, however, and the World Tree has been cut down, which stops anyone from being able to travel through time - now they are stuck in the place and time in which they find themselves. Aegea has become a brutal world where:
“Strays don’t survive without the herd”.
Who will gain control, the Wyrd, or the dryad whose body she inhabits. The dryad is not supposed to be present any more, having died, but somehow she is clinging on to her memories and her body and becoming stronger every day. Who will gain supremacy over the body they both inhabit? Read Wyrd Gods to find the answer!
Astonished and slightly confused with the world building. It’s no doubt an imaginative tale that mixes the old Norse and Greek mythology, all at the mercy of a ruling unforgiving Titan, Chronos. Annoyed at the creation of mankind and the Gods that birthed them and made them more he fuses together Hel’s Niflheim and Hades underground. But, this is not his tale, this is the story of those who populate that territory and of a Goddess turned Wyrd who now inhabits the body of a female Dryad. It’s also the tale of that Dryad who prayed to her, and of her old lover, her tyrant father who rules their world, of her new Dharkan lover, other Wyrds, and of all that connects them. This new underworld is full of perils and threats, and much will need to be done to survive it. I really enjoyed it. The writing is impeccable and the story captivating. If you love mythology and great twists and turns, plus some romance and fast pacing, you have to try this one.
Wyrd Gods is an immense mythological adventure, with themes of vengeance, immortality, time, threats to eternity, all through the eyes of the gods. The characters are drawn from many ancient mythologies from diverse historical backgrounds and combine them into a very intriguing story that was intriguing throughout. The book is full of interwoven dialogue between gods who are sometimes selfish in their motivation, but the writing itself brings to life interesting perspectives and philosophical thinking. I was impressed with the size and scope of the book, as the world-building was epic, which fits well with the almost too many characters. All-in-all an excellent book that has built a strong foundation for future tales with the gods.
I’ve tried a few different audiobooks, but nothing’s kept my attention for the full span. I’m much better at taking in stories by the written word. Wyrd Gods broke that cycle and kept me coming back for more. A combination of Imaginário’s writing style and Kempton’s impeccable narration make this a definite go-to if, like me, you’ve struggled in the past.
I’ve always been intrigued by the complex deity structure of the old worlds and that complexity shines through here. This is not a story you can just glaze over or scan, there is a depth which needs to be concentrated on, and that is what makes this so consistently intriguing. There are a lot of characters, many of them you probably know of, but unless you’re highly-researched, there will be new deities to keep track of. In the audiobook version, Kempton’s varying accents and nuances really do help with this.
Although much of the lore and characters are borrowed, Imaginário has managed to make this world unique, especially in the way she amalgamates the different god systems. The characterisation is brilliant – particularly impressive are the fractured psyches of our MC(s) and how these are managed from a first-person perspective.
What more can I say? If you’re into your Greek, Roman, Norse or any other system involving flawed and interesting gods, look no further. If you’re into speculative fiction or fantasy, this has you covered and I highly recommend you give it a try.
Wyrd Gods shows a mastery of imagination which any reader should revel in and any writer should aspire to, if they can overcome the jealousy.
The original manuscript of Wyrd Gods was over 300k words long. When I decided to self-publish, I figured it would be better to turn it into a trilogy (or a tetralogy and a novella as it turned out) which meant I had to break up a storyline that was already fragmented by design. The result is a strange and complex book with the added disadvantages of being a debut novel and the first book in a series. If there's one thing I ask from my readers, it's patience. Think of Wyrd Gods as a Part I of a much longer story, and trust that there is a method to this tale of madness. Everything will eventually make sense in the end.
This story follows, for the most part, a goddess who is trapped in a mortal dryad’s body. We’re not given her name, at first, but we are given hints as to who she is. I knew almost right away, but I’m a giant mythology nerd. I won’t spoil it for you, either way. ^_^
The goddess wakes up in Niflheim with no clear memory of what happened, but knows that she must have answered this dryad’s prayer and is now in her body. Gods who take on mortal forms like this are known as Wyrd, and given her… unique circumstances, it’s up to her to help defeat the man who has declared himself Niflheim’s ruler.
This was an interesting story that followed the goddess in the first person, which was rather interesting since she has another personality speaking in her head as well. It also includes several interludes in the third person from the POV of several of the other characters, which puts a lot of the story that the protagonist can’t really see together. It was a great way to see what was happening overall.
I liked the story, but at times I found it a little confusing, especially in the beginning. I had a hard time figuring out some of the characters’ motivations or their importance to the plot at times, but by the halfway mark I was pretty immersed. The world is an interesting one, as it mixes together (mostly) Norse and Greek mythology, with details like Hades and Hel being in the same world. There are three major races outside of the gods and the Wyrd (or, I think it’s possible for any of the three of them to become a Wyrd, I’m a little vague on that one), what are basically Dryads, Humans, and then a third race known as the Dharkan, which are a race of men who burn in the sun, seem to control ice, feed off the energy of other people, and are generally reviled in the world, being called Wraiths.
The goddess meets a Dharkan over the course of her adventure, and for some reason that neither of them really knows, they are drawn to each other. He helps her here and there, and I really enjoyed the mysteriousness of his character, and how the goddess (and her host) are so drawn to him. It was one of my favorite parts of this story.
The narrator, Sarah Kempton, did a fantastic job with this one. It was very easy to just turn this one on and listen to it for hours while doing things like working or painting. She has a lovely voice to listen to, to begin with, but really did great giving all the characters a different voice.
All told, I liked this one quite a lot, and hopefully, the following books in the series become audiobooks as well, because this one was very entertaining and I would like to listen to more!
Thanks to the author for the review copy of the audiobook!
Wyrd Gods is immediately engaging and a wonderfully imaginative journey to the last minute. I really enjoyed this book, especially how it pulls on some of the great myths of the world from a variety of pantheons. Our main character is an unnamed deity who has awakened in the body of dryad named Ilena (or Elena? Spelling?). Her memories are blurry and a bit tangled with Ilena’s. Obviously, she needs to do something and with that her quest begins.
Pulling on the Norse and Greek pantheons in the beginning, Ilena has several run-ins with other deities and those that worship them. Behind the scenes, there are those that want to use her for their own means. Ilena hears of the local big baddie, the Suzerain, and we all know their paths must cross at some point. Full of mythological characters and creatures, you never know what new obstacle Ilena will face next.
I really liked her attitude too. I immediately knew I would be cheering her on for the entire book. Sometimes her no-nonsense attitude gets her in trouble. Ha! She has been a deity for many, many years and it’s very hard to get used to just how easily damaged this mortal body is. For instance, shoes aren’t just a fashion statement; they are necessary for traveling many miles on foot. Towards the end of the book after much is revealed, she lets more of her deity-self out with plenty of cussing. Yep, I knew I was going to love this character!
A little over halfway through the book, some of the Egyptian pantheon is pulled into the story too. I certainly enjoyed trying to guess who some of these characters were, including our main character herself (as her deity identity isn’t revealed until near the end). There’s also these interludes where some upper-level deities are plotting, planning, and congratulating themselves on being oh so clever. Those where fun too.
If you’ve enjoyed other novels that treat the pantheons as real, then I think you’d enjoy this novel too. The interactions between the gods is sometimes humorous and sometimes deadly. Hades and Hel made me laugh with their exchanges. The tale ends with a solid ending for book 1 but with the door open for a possible sequel. 5/5 stars.
The Narration: Sarah Kempton was the perfect narrator for this book. I loved her voice for Ilena, especially her no-nonsense voice when dealing with the bad guys (or idiots). Kempton had a variety of voices for both male and female voices, and at least 1 hermaphrodite deity. Her variety of accents were also well done too. Kempton sounded engaged in the story as well and therefore had the perfect pacing. She also pulled off a range of emotions for the various characters too. There were no technical issues for this recording. 5/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of a Kickstarter project rewards. My opinions are honest & 100% my own.
Wyrd Gods brings Norse and Greek mythology together to create a perfect storm. The story is told using an unconventional mixture of different POVs. And although the shift between the first (main character) and third-person POVs (interludes) may seem disruptive at first, it ends up creating a perfect balance between mystery and action that keeps us hooked on this story from the first to the last page.
In this character-driven story, we follow the journey of a wyrd god, a fallen god trapped in a mortal’s body with no idea how she got there in the first place. As she pieces her story together, we get to experience her frustrations as she adapts to her new, limited, and frail condition. Having been a god for so long, our wyrd must learn how to interact with other mortals again while struggling to regain her memories, and hopefully find a way to escape her dire circumstances.
As with all mythology-inspired stories, this book is about an immense cosmic conflict among deities, but it is in the details that it truly comes alive. It is amazing to witness our wyrd rediscovering a sense of awe and suffering while learning that neither gods nor mortals can be trusted. All characters are well-rounded and bring something unique to the narrative. Their complex nature helps to create a delicious conflict of interests that escalates beautifully into an unpredictable climax.
I loved the way Imaginário created this perfect contrast between gods and mortals while showing us that both must abide by different sets of rules – and that neither are truly free to do as they please. At the same time, Imaginário broke that cycle to bring mortals and gods together against a common and mysterious enemy.
In the end, I believe this story is about the reconciliation between human and godly nature. I particularly enjoy how the author brought so many different characters together and I’m truly looking forward to reading the next book on this series. I recommend it to all lovers of mythology, fantasy, and mystery. Also, as a Portuguese myself, I can’t help but feel immensely proud of seeing one of our own creating such a beautiful story. I can only hope this series reaches more people because it deserves to be celebrated.
I am so glad I discovered Susana Imaginario on Twitter. This is the mythology book I’ve needed in my life for a long time. Fans of Gaiman will feel very at home with Imaginario’s world.
Her grasp and understanding of mythology from across the world is breathtaking and she easily crafts a mesmerising world that feels both alive and rooted in the old myths you grew up reading about.
I listened to the audiobook version of Wyrd Gods and I was immediately struck by the quality of the narrator, she fits the story and the main character perfectly and it was joy to listen to. Narrators can make or break an audiobook and thankfully in this case, the narrator did a brilliant job.
The story follows a Wyrd God trapped in a mortals body as she tries to piece together who she is and why she’s been banished. It’s a fascinating story that drip feeds twists and turns that constantly kept me guessing. The end is spectacular and there is a big reveal that leads into the next book. It was the type of ending that left me wanting one more page so I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, The Dharkaan.
Wyrd Gods in one of the most exciting debut novels I’ve read in a long, long time. Imaginario is an original, witty and entertaining writer with an easy to read, effortless style that makes you want to turn the next page. Fans of Gaiman’s American Gods will absolutely love this. Comes highly recommended!
A mysterious Olympian god has found herself trapped in a dryad’s body. It seems that she answered a prayer and wound up there. She has no idea where or when she is, all she wants to do is go back to her place among the stars.
What she finds is that Niflheim and Haddes has been joined together and the world tree cut down. The new ruler is bent on making this a place of punishment. The god has to hide her identity for safety as she travels the world. She has to be there for a reason but it’s unknown to her.
At the same time the other gods in this world are being punished in their own way but are scheming like normal. It’s up to the unknown god to stop the new ruler and save the other Wyrd. But how can she do this when she has no memories that can help.
This was an interesting read. I liked the variety of gods, not just from one culture. I admit that I did get frustrated with the unknown goddess. I understand she doesn’t know where she is but she sure was selfish and just wanted to go back to hiding in the stars.
I loved Sarah Kempton’s narration. I was drawn into the story and enjoyed how each character had their own voice. It was a good story and had a perfect twist ending. I am curious to read the next book to see where we end up next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.
Putting two pantheons of gods into inescapable proximity along with competing interests and loyalties is an inspired recipe for interesting story telling. Using Greek and Norse mythology also enabled some shortcuts to understanding the stories as the characters will be known to readers of this genre. It is not essential to have this knowledge, however, as a clever structure of action interspersed with backstory unfolds the story and the plot whilst maintaining a satisfying pace. The main character is female and we follow her on a physical, emotional and curious journey to fulfil her fate. Trigger warnings are needed as there is swearing and sexual activity within the text. The sex is not salacious and is important to the story and the swearing starts mild and becomes stronger as drama increases. There is a scintilla of science fiction introduced as the headquarters of the overlord is within a metal tower building and a physical, metal pass is needed to enter it. It is strange within a wooded, pastoral and primitive agricultural setting encountered until this point. The acknowledgements suggest that this is a debut novel. If so, it is a very strong one. I, for one, would like to read more by Susana Imaginario
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
The primordial gods are fighting, of course. Odin and Zeus conspire together and the universe has to deal with the repercussions. A goddess has foolishly answered a prayer without a shrine for protection. This allows her to be stripped of her powers and memories while her soul is shoved into the body of a dryad. She’s become a wyrd god and must figure out how to navigate this new world and why she is here.
Hel and Hades sharing a realm is one of the many new complications in this relocated niflheim that is overrun with warring humans, fated gods, and meddling magical creatures. The dryad’s partial memories and frequent commentary may drive the goddess mad. They may also be the only thing that keeps her alive. Those who know the dryad is the daughter of the all-powerful reigning Suzerain, and those who know the goddess within, each hope to use her as a pawn in their own schemes.
This was fast paced, witty, and fun. It helped to know many of the back stories of the Greek and Norse gods. The Egyptian god was less familiar so I got to pause and research her. I think it could be overwhelming trying to piece the significance of players and their actions if you’re not as familiar. For a mythology lover though, this was a fantastically twisted romp!