Wyrd Gods (Timelessness #1), by Susana Imaginário
The God of Time wants to destroy Eternity.
A mysterious immortal seeks vengeance.
And a reclusive deity does what no god should ever do: she answers a prayer.
As punishment, she is stripped of her powers and trapped in a mortal’s body. Now a Wyrd – a fated god – she is haunted by the memories and thoughts of her host and must hide her true identity in order to survive in Niflheim, the rival Norse Underworld.
There she discovers the afterlife is not quite what it used to be. Niflheim’s new ruler threatens the precarious balance of a world overrun with outcast deities and mortals alike.
To save her own sanity and find her way back to the stars, she must help the other Wyrd overcome their grievances to defeat this enemy, but those who would be her allies appear to have motives as hidden as her fragmented consciousness.
And yet it seems the greatest threat to her freedom comes from within, and the prize it seeks is her immortal soul…
My Review (4.5 out of 5 )
Wyrd Gods is the initial book in the Timelessness series, by the Portuguese author Susana Imaginário. As a lover of mythologies, and seeing a book this ambitious, trying to mix different ones in the same story, this book bumped into the top of my TBR. Add to the mix that I got the audiobook, which is fantastically narrated by Sarah Kempton, and that makes a perfect combination.
And before diving into reviewing the content, I want to give big props to the narrator of the audiobook. It’s a format that I don’t usually consume, but as the own author said it was the best version of the book, I decided to give it a try. Kempton did an excellent job, voicing differently each character, making clear the changes in the narrator, and helping to follow the different POVs. I greatly enjoyed listening to the audiobook, and I will probably give more opportunities to this format. By itself, just by quality, this audiobook should be 5 stars.
The story begins with Kronos, the god of time, trying to destroy eternity, combining the Norse underworld (Niflheim) with the Greek pantheon, something that may cause a war between deities; to add into the mix, we don’t really know which kind of alliances are being made. A goddess did something a god shouldn’t do: answered a prayer; as a punishment, she’s trapped in a mortal’s body, becoming a wyrd god, and losing her powers. Our goddess gets up into this new body, with all the chaos ongoing, in the Niflheim, having to survive while not unveiling her real identity. To add another layer of difficulty for her, she has to fight with her own host, having to collaborate with other wyrds to be able to find her way back to her own identity.
The narrative structure of the novel is quite interesting, mixing first-person POV chapters of the wyrd god, where our goddess learns about the memories of her host and is able to see the results of the gods’ tyranny in the world; and third-person chapters, called interludes, where the spotlight is given to another characters/creatures, depicting them, and also used to give us more information about what is happening in different parts of the world and the intentions, thoughts, and motivations of the different actors in this drama. Our main character is really interesting, as she was a mortal once who became a deity by drinking ambrosia, and who gets punished just for having a sake of compassion for mortals; her story is a redemption one. I appreciate also the duality of how sometimes the host takes control of the body, establishing a fight of wills to be able to direct the actions.
Worldbuilding is especially interesting, mixing two different mythologies, and taking advantage of the Greek pantheon characters, throwing them into the richer Norse locations, creating one of my favourite universes. It is true that the number of different names and locations might become a little bit difficult to follow if you are not a mythology lover, but even with that detail in mind, I think it’s an excellent craft by the author.
In summary, Wyrd Gods is a great mix between mythology and fantasy, using the best aspects of different pantheons, and throwing them to create an engaging story, with several noticeable characters. Personally, I would recommend also listening to the audiobook, as I felt this story gains in the spoken format. Said that Timelessness has become one of the series I want to read until the end because it has so much potential.
Susana Imaginário is a misfit from Portugal. She moved to England to pursue a career as an aerialist and now runs a Tabletop Gaming retreat in Ireland with her husband.
Her hobbies include reading, playing board games, hanging upside down, poking around ancient ruins, talking to trees and being tired.Timelessness combines mythology with science fiction and slipstream fantasy in a strange and introspective way.