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Sunday, January 22, 2023

Godkiller by Hannah Kaner (Reviewed by Shazzie)


Official Author Website

Order Godkiller here

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Hannah has her heart in Scotland and her roots in the north of England.
Hannah’s trade has always been story telling. From creating and unravelling mysteries in Northumberland with her mates, to annoying the hell out of her supervisors at the University of Cambridge by insisting on comparing Terry Pratchett to Charles Dickens, and studying narrative theory in video games.
They grudgingly (or joyfully?) gave her a 1st Class degree in English.
​She puts the desire to communicate and challenge into her work in the technology sector, specialising in creating digital tools for hard to reach communities.
Hannah loves the histories and mythologies shared through our cultural histories, the stories we tell ourselves about being human. She also likes stabby swords and angry women.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Kissen kills gods for a living, and she enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skediceth, god of white lies, who is connected to a little noble girl on the run.
Elogast fought in the god war, and helped purge the city of a thousand shrines before laying down his sword. A mysterious request from the King sends him racing back to the city he destroyed.
On the way he meets a godkiller, a little girl and a littler god, who cannot find out about his quest.

FORMAT/INFO: Godkiller is the first book in the Godkiller trilogy, and is the author's debut book. It contains 288 pages and 37 chapters, and is written in third person from Kissen, Inara, Elogast, and Skediceth's perspectives. It was published by Harper Voyager UK on 19th January, 2023 in hardcover, ebook and audio formats.

OVERVIEW: The start of an epic new fantasy series that features an ensemble cast of characters. Kissen, who kills gods for a living, Skediceth, the god of white lies, Inara, a highborn girl that barely anybody knows exists, and Elogast, a knight turned baker who goes on a quest to get something on the king's request. That's what's behind this beautiful cover.

Now, I will say that I don't think I'm the target audience for this book. Since there are many positive reviews floating around, take a look at those as well, but here are my two cents.

Its easy to read, rookie-friendly, and has some fantastic ideas and representation. Kissen is a girl who lost her family, and her leg, to worshippers of a certain god, and to say that the incident soured her a little, would be an understatement. Now, she works as a Godkiller, in a country where the king awards those of her profession, and likes doing what she does. Let's say she gives off female Witcher vibes, and that's as good a reason as any to make you consider this book.

And what about the gods? I consider the way the gods work in this setting, to be a good spin on the idea of fae. They see emotion in colours, and this energy given to them in the form of prayers is what they survive on, but then they also manipulate and deceive people into doing so. Most don't trust gods, and early on in the book, we are given enough information to expect history that surrounds this idea, and this is slowly revealed as the story progresses.

This should come as no surprise, but this is an adventure and travel story where this ensemble of characters end up together on their individual quests, and team up, and eventually get along and care for each other. I struggled to understand a few bits of the world in the beginning, and I think over the second half of the book, the author's writing and the way the story was paced became cleaner, and offered more clarity. Now Kissen seemed a bit too strong, uncaring, and just a bit good at everything, so I found it hard to cheer for her. To be fair, we eventually see her selective soft spots, and if you're looking for a read with fiesty characters, this might scratch that itch for you.

The writing had a lot more telling rather than showing, and that's not something I can get behind. I feel pretty lukewarm about various aspects of the book, but then again, at the risk of repeating myself, I have to state that the author showed massive improvement in the presentation of the story in the latter half of the book.

The one thing that this book does well is the disability representation. Whatever happened, it's just a part of Kissen's life, and doesn't completely define her as a character, or even her actions, even when fighting sequences are involved.

CONCLUSION: This book wasn't a very memorable one for me, but if you like epic fantasies with a ragtag group of messed up characters getting together, and want to read a book that ends with an explosive ending, maybe consider this, it might work very well for you.



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