Review: The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan

The Orphanage of Gods

Twenty years ago, the humans came for their gods.

In the bloody revolution, gods were all but wiped out. Ever since, the children they left behind have been imprisoned in an orphanage, watched day and night by the ruthless Guard. Any who show signs of divine power vanish from their beds in the night, all knowledge of their existence denied.

No one has ever escaped the orphanage.

Until now.

Seventeen-year-old Hero is finally free – but at a terrible price. Her sister has been captured by the Guard and is being held in a prison in the northern sea. Hero desperately wants to get her back, and to escape the murderous Guardsmen hunting her down. But not all the gods are dead, and the ones waiting for Hero in the north have their own plans for her – ones that will change the world forever . . .

A difficult book to review. This book had flaws but there was also something about it that kept me reading.

The story is told from 3 viewponts, Hero a 17 year old Half-God, Raven a 10 year old Half-God with strong powers and Kestrel a 17 year old Human. a change in view point during a book isn’t a problem for me usually, I read a lot of Fantasy and this is a fairly commonly used narrative technique. the problem here was that the voice’s weren’t distinct enough. If we hadn’t been told Raven was 10 I would never have picked up that she was a younger child from her section. Her ‘voice’ was much older.

This book also used the ‘instalove’ trope that I find quite frustrating in books, where a character falls in love with someone they have literally just me for no apparent reason. It didn’t ring true.
Interestingly this book also had something i’m calling ‘instahate’ where characters fell out with those they had previously been very close to almost instantly, over one thing, without trying to find a way to re-connect. It was all ‘I love you – you’re dead to me.’ with no real in-between.

Motivations seemed quite weak in places, and there were some things that needed to be overlooked. If the Guard were so keen to weed out the God Children why did they not test every orphans blood more frequently?

The author also seemed to make everyone who was under pressure feel tired. I lost count of the amount of times a character under stress (and they were a lot) ‘just wanted to sleep’.

Having said that I did read all the way to the end. It’s easy to pick out the flaws in a story and I did ultimately enjoy the book.

The story was interesting enough to keep me reading and the action really picked up in the last third of the book. I thought some of the ideas in the book were great, how all the Gods had different powers, how they limited and presented. It could have been really great but somehow it fell a bit short.

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