Actual rating: 3.5I’ll admit to being a little hesitant in reading YA books--or any books, really, but especially YA ones--that deal with gods. All too often they aren’t written well, to be honest, and no matter how good the rest of the book is I’m always going to be highly irritated at bad writing of gods. Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry with The Woken Gods. The gods here--specifically, the tricksters--act like actual gods. And yes, that means that they more or less don’t really care about humans and see them mainly as playthings, annoying gnats at worst. It’s hard to like them and stupid to trust them, because they could simply be using you for their own ends without much care about what happens to you in the end. I especially liked the focus on gods we don’t often seen in fiction, the Sumerians. Now, that said, the world-building around the return of the sleeping gods is a little scant and thrown together. Sometimes it’s even a little unclear. They more or less are the main positions of power in the world now, except the President is also still around and able to do some of the things he was before. They act as go betweens for the gods and mortals, since they’re usually the figures in myth most sympathetic to humans (which isn’t saying much), and for now they’re playing nicely because the humans have found a way to kill them. There’s a secret society that’s apparently not so secret anymore, and they... collect mythological relics and keep the gods contained, maybe? Yeah, see what I mean about a little unclear? I never really got a good feel for the world, though we do see how it affects the characters who have to live in it. Kyra, for her part, is a great main lead who takes action and is actually competent, though I’m not certain how much she actually grows over the course of the novel. Her barriers do come down a little, but overall I thought she more or less remained the same. Still, it was nice to read a YA heroine who got stuff done instead of reacting to events happening around her and letting others take command for her. Unfortunately some of the side characters don’t get as much depth, especially Kyra’s friends Tam and Bree. Kyra’s love interest Oz does, and her grandfather Bronson to an extent, but otherwise the rest just exist as the plot needs them to, though I did appreciate Bree and Kyra’s friendship. There was a slight stylistic issue of having Kyra’s chapters be in first person POV, but the novel occasionally switching to third person POV for other characters in other chapters. Granted, this was done to keep the plot moving and to reveal things Kyra herself couldn’t know, but I did question it. It didn’t overly bother me, but it was a bit strange at first. The pacing and plot are good, though, and the writing does occasionally have some really nice moments, though there was a problem of it feeling distant and unconnected to the characters at times. My biggest complaint is that there was a rushed open ending, and while mostly everything, especially Kyra’s story arc, are tied up, there’s still a lot of room to expand on the world and figure out what happens next. I’m not sure if it’s part of a series or not, but I hope so, otherwise the ending does bring it down a tad. But overall I really did enjoy The Woken Gods, despite some failings. I might look into Bond’s Blackwood novel now as well. See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand. I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher via NetGalley.