Book Review: David Mogo: Godhunter

Government Corruption. 
Vodun magic. 
Mad scientist wizards. 
Wrathful deities. 
A man (well, sort of…) who wants to live his life, but keeps getting sucked into the madness because in the end, only he can restore his city to something like peace.

What’s not to love? Let’s talk about it. 

The Basics: 

Title: David Mogo, Godhunter
Author: Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Publisher: Abaddon Books, 2019

Spoiler-Free Summary: 

Lagos was never an easy place to live, but for the past twenty years it has been overrun with fallen gods from the Yoruba pantheon. They need a new place to live, but they gel with the human population like peanut butter and barbed wire. 

David Mogo is a demi-god, a man of both worlds. He is satisfied to keep his head down and use his divine power for minor supernatural pest removal services, until he accepts the job of a lifetime from a shady wizard. This launches David through a wild gauntlet of gangsters, cryptids, and wrathful gods. 

Can David reconcile his heritage in time to save his city, and his friends? 

Artist Kaios-0‘s concepts of select Yoruba Orishas, many featured in David Mogo: Godhunter.

Why You Should Read This Book: 

David Mogo... is an epic story on a local scale. We get both the best of urban fantasy – quirky characters, a vibrant setting, the simple pleasure of the fantastic clashing with the familiar – and a strong epic fantasy, with big magic, huge stakes, and more twists than a 50’s dancehall.

Photo by Harry Cunningham @harry.digital on Pexels.com

The setting is unique. Mogo’s semi-dystopian Lagos feels like a character itself. When David stumbles, you fear for the city as a person, not as an arbitrary goal. 

The magic system is a mix of herbalism, spiritualism, and divine blessing. It takes familiar elements and blends them into a unique new creation that drives tension as often as it drives the story.

There are a thousand stories about a “chosen one” coming into their own. The trick in writing one well is in the delivery, and David Mogo: Godhunter delivers in spades. Okungbowa lays the foundation of who David is so that his protestations, trials, denials, and his ultimate realization all ring true.

Where Can You Learn More?

This review is accidentally timely – according the the author’s Science Fiction Writer’s Association page and his blog, Okungbowa’s next book Son of the Storm comes out in May 2021 – this month at the time of this writing. Check out his book list over on good ‘ole Goodreads.

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