Book Review: Yoruba Gods Are Running Lagos even more Amok in ‘David Mogo, Godhunter’ by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

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Title – David Mogo, Godhunter

Author – Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Publication – July 9th, 2019.

Publisher – Abaddon

Genre – Urban Fantasy

Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard.

So many Nigerians had a lot of feelings about Children of Blood and Bone, mainly because those who didn’t enjoy reading Tomi Adeyemi’s book didn’t find it authentic in regards to Nigeria (Personally enjoyed the book⁠—but I understand what they mean) Well this book is for you, right up your alley and truly a Western Nigeria (The Yoruba’s, because the story is based in Lagos, Nigeria, with Yoruba deities) urban fantasy book. It’s very authentic, many Lagosian can relate with the tale and be amazed by the level of inclusion & creativeness.

What makes this story so captivating and magical to me is the fact that I am a Lagosian. I could picture everything vividly and I love reading a fantasy story that is not only interesting but with characters, settings and languages I can fully comprehend. That’s sensory overload, especially for a fantasy tale. Suyi Davies did a marvellous job with his world-building!

David Mogo is a one of a kind character, one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon, it’s his story through and through as it is told in his point of view from start to finish…I found something to be very obvious though, Suyi Davies took into consideration western readers of this book and because of that, he went over with his explanations, which again I could understand because he was trying to paint a picture of present Nigeria and future Nigeria in the world he is living in.

I really can’t and can picture Nigerians in the world he is living in, I am dying of laughter while I type this part. Nigerian’s are a special breed, and even in this novel David Mogo notes that Nigerians…especially Lagosians, are so used to adapting to tough situations, that even if there’s fear our corruptness will still always be present, and it’s the harsh truth.

Can I scream about how I love the apocalypse is set in Nigeria and not some foreign continent, because foreign continents really like to forget the continent Africa, when it comes to their apocalypse movies and books, maybe they throw in some few seconds or clip about something that happened in an African country and that’s the last you hear or see about it. So I was rooting for David Mogo and his team to defeat all the bad guys trying to destroy Lagos! It was playing like a movie in my head.

Even though I completely adore this book, I found it to be quite lengthy and *cough cough* I think it was all the explaining that was happening, I knew there had to be a happy ending but there’s so much stuff going on in it, the story is divided into three parts, for there are different stages and with each new stage David Mogo discovers something more about himself or has gained more intuition.

I love how the story featured gods in it, I love reading and hearing about the Yoruba gods. I learnt some new facts about Lagos from this book, that I didn’t know and I have lived in Lagos all my life. (I’m not going to tell you lots, you’ll have to read it to see if you knew about them or not) I also really found it great that instead of taking the route of so many Nigerian male authors who find ways to include the uncouth act of rape, there is a sprinkle of LGBT in this book and as a romance junkie, in a book that I was fine not having any romance in it, I complete stan Suyi Davies decision to do this. 

When it came to the Nigerian police officials and the likes, Suyi Davies really paints the picture of how truly the police isn’t your friend in Nigeria and how they’re mostly a nuisance to the general population and even though I felt David Mogo was very mean to some officials, I completely understand where he is coming from, having been harassed by different police officials myself on different occasions. 

I found this book very entertaining, I didn’t expect myself to laugh, but I found my self giggling, smiling and shaking my head while reading this book. Do I recommend it? 100% and let me just say this now this is an Own Voices Review, by an actual Nigerian, who lives in Lagos, Nigeria and did not DNF book.

Lara Kareem

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