Cover Image: Goddess of the North

Goddess of the North

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Member Reviews

A dark yet tintilating mystery story with a well thought out magic system and standard. I thought the story dragged at times but was ultimately strong and I was interested enough to continue reading as I went along. Sometimes I found the prose stagnant and slightly predictable, but it was a good story overall.
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I liked the overall premise of this book, and I liked the various mythologies incorporated. It was refreshing that the main character was a Hindu goddess, a mythology that I feel isn't represented enough. This book runs in a similar vein as Gaiman's "American Gods," so fans of his novel might like Kamsika's book as well. I wish that I liked "Goddess of the North" more, but it didn't keep my attention. Kamsika is a talented writer, but I don't think that this was the book for me.
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The writing need to be improved, I couldn't go with the pace. It was difficult for me to catch up and it felt like an info dump
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The premises of this novel seem to be based on a concept expressed by Neil Gaiman in "American Gods", namely that peoples, in their migrations, bring their gods with them. As E. Fuller Torrey's "Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods" also says, the power of a god lies in the devotion of its worshippers: the greater the devotion, the greater the power of the god. Gods that nobody prays to any more leave the altars and end up in museums. This explains why Sara Nayar, a Hindu goddess who has moved in one of her aspects to modern England, has very little power and has to solve her assigned cases as any other police inspector would. All is well until a man is stabbed to death in the town where she lives, and at the same time a micro-earthquake occurs...
The book is really funny until well past the halfway point, then a catastrophe happens: the main character falls in love and a very boring back-and-forth begins, unbelievable and tacky as a Bolliwood movie. A real shame.
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I. Love. This. Book.

For starters, it's a UK-based magical realism novel, which is always going to win me over. Then you have the police procedural, mystery, humour, drama and a bit of romance... Bam. Perfection.

The Goddess of The North is a love letter to the best parts of Yorkshire and the UK, whilst also shining a spotlight on some of the worst. It deals with matters of identity, self-acceptance, memory and forgiveness; of race and nationality, and on the flip side of that, racism and xenophobia, classism and gender issues. By its very nature, it embraces multiple mythologies and religions, and gives us glimpses of other countries and other worlds; it is a celebration of multicultural society. It is everything I love in a book. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars.

The Goddess of The North is perfect for fans of Nicola Mostyn, Ben Aaronovitch, and Neil Gaiman, whilst standing firmly on its own two feet. I hope there's much more to come from Kamsika.
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I want to start by saying that I'm a big fan of mythology, so I had high expectations for this book. And I was not disappointed.
As I was reading, I could clearly imagine a BBC series about this book (hello @BBC, don't miss this opportunity!).
For those who enjoy detective books and urban fantasy, Goddess of the North is a treat. The writing is very good and immersive, it has that typical english humor, the characters were well created, both mortals and gods. I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. It was a good read, perfect for rainy days with the company of a warm cup of tea.
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The premise is good. Very very good. Unfortunately, after the first chapter hooks you in, the book drags you along like a limp eel. I didn't particularly dislike any of the characters or plot twists (although the trope "something's rotten - blame Loki" is getting SOOOOO old), but neither of them made me care about them. Yes, it was nice seeing diverse characters and little to none diabetes inducing sugarsweet-romance, but this book failed to keep me entertained and I had to actively keep myself from DNFing. Alas. Not my cup of tea.
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I usually love urban fantasy, but this just wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't relate to the main character at all, I honestly kinda found her annoying which is never a good sign. It was a pretty cool idea though.
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Not for me. It is written decently but it left me bored. it had a cool premise. A goddess detective.  Hell yeah but sadly this was not it
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I'm usually hesitant to pick up urban fantasy, but I really loved this! <i>Goddess of the North</i>, in my opinion does urban fantasy in the best way by creating a story centered in real life and real world problems and adding something fantastical, in this case a Hindu goddess Detective Inspector. 

I loved Sara as a main character and how the author used her to bring in this interwoven pantheon of gods in a way that felt authentic. I loved the way Sara and the Hindu gods interacted with the Norse and the Greek gods (both the originals and the "modern" movie star versions) and how she was able to use Sheffield's history and the history of the British Empire to unite them all. 

The writing was lush and descriptive and there were so many lovely descriptions of food that I found myself getting hungry. And I loved the casual acceptance and inclusion of a trans side character!

The ending wraps up the mystery quite nicely while still seeming to leave room for a sequel, which I will definitely be on the look out for!
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Take a murder mystery, a whole lot of different gods from different pantheons, add a dash of romance, some cooking, and throw it all into a centrifuge and you get Goddess of the North. Set in Sheffield (where I now what to go visit—thank you Kamsika for doing an awesome job describing the city! It sounds awesome!), this story follows the Hindu goddess of order, who is living her immortal life as a detective. A murder immediately takes place and it’s up to DI Sara Nayar to figure out which god is messing with the humans.  Enter Puck, Loki, Hermes, and Sara’s extensive family to name a few of the deities present in this novel.  Sara has turned off her goddess powers for a long time and she struggles with her identity throughout the story. Kamsika does a fantastic job bringing in real life into this larger than life story (race relations, immigrants, religion, sexuality, and identity to name a few).  When she describes Sara’s interactions with her family, it feels so real, that you’re sitting right there with Sara while her aunties force food on her.

I love the idea of this book—of all the aspects of the gods from different pantheons bumping into each other and working in this world.  Kamsika writes characters well and depicts family relationships well.  However, for me, the story dragged and I didn’t buy the romance even though I enjoyed both characters.  Kamsika tackled so much in this story and I felt that perhaps it would have been better on a smaller scale (without giving too much away, perhaps minimizing the Greek interactions and cutting some of the police work out). I also would have liked to have a better idea of how Sara had been living prior to the present story.  Sara hints throughout about things she witnessed, but we never truly saw how she lived as a human when it would have been much harder for her to live in a human world.

Overall this was a fun read and Kamsika is a very talented writer.  Thank you to NetGalley and REUTS for providing me with an ARC.
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Detective Sara Nayar is the Hindu goddess of order who has been in England since Queen Victoria's reign. She knows that Sheffield is a city that contains many gods, but they typically stick to themselves and don't cause trouble. When she witnesses a murder, she knows immediately that the murderer is of the divine variety. She knows that she has to solve the crime before the killer makes their next move, but having lived as a human for so long has left her extremely weak. Sara works throughout the novel to not only continue to live the mortal life she is used to while also being an immortal being. With time ticking down, Sara feels the pressure more than ever. Can she find the killer and save the city of Sheffield before it's too late?

Police procedurals typically highlight the locations where they are set and Goddess of the North is no different. Kamsika definitely creates an engrossing world separate from our reality, but ultimately totally on point.

I enjoyed a lot about this book, but there were definitely pieces that could have used some more development. One of my favorite things about this book was that Kamsika features divine beings from multiple cultures, it created a delightfully enrapturing world. I think that one of my only complaints about this book is the pacing. There were certain pages where it was just descriptions that didn't really further the plot. Overall, I do think that this book is worth reading. Sara is a delightful character and I hope readers get to see more about her life and adventures in future books.

Overall rating: 3.5/5 (rounded to 3)

Goddess of the North will be available for purchase on August 4th. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf and see where it's available to buy. Also, be sure to check out Georgina Kamsika's website! 
I was lucky enough to be able to read this Advanced Reader's Copy through my partnership with NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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This book follows Sara a goddess living as a human and working as a detective in Sheffield as she tries to uncover a paranormal murder mystery.

 Unfortunately, this wasn’t for me even with mythology and mystery mixing together. The universe and number of creatures the author created felt uncared for and didn’t get much explaining. I have some knowledge of Greek mythology but nothing about Norse or Hindu and she just throws information that you’re not obligated to know and doesn’t explain it. With that, the story got a bit lost and tedious at times. It was pulled in many directions and even in the end they don’t form together that well. Even the main character felt a little scattered and you can’t quite place her personalities beyond being tidy and liking to cook. She felt raw, which upset me, because she had SO MUCH potential. I think this just boils down to not being my type of book even with all the the topics that usually interest me. The actual plot, when you understand it, is quite beautiful and about finding oneself without losing the people you love the most. It’s about family, racism and caring. It just wasn’t in a format I enjoyed, and it just wasn’t well developed.
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Indian goddess becomes a police detective to solve crime. Amazingly interesting premise but failed to keep my attention.
I’m saying that let’s start on what I enjoyed: I absolutely loved the twist on the crime genre and was absolutely fascinated with the mythology. Additionally, I very rarely read books where the love interest is a genuinely good and not pretending to be so. The banter was super enjoyable and the story was cohesive/ easy to follow

My dislikes:
This book was heavily detailed for no reason. Excessive description was used liberally and in the complete wrong areas. There was more time spent on simplistic actions rather than delving into the mythology. I also felt like the mix match of mythology from around the world felt incredibly forced. I would have loved it the author focused on the Indian mythology more and less on incorporating so many types. The emotional depth was also lacking. 

In the end i feel like this author has amazing potential and I will read their next book!

2.5/5
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If you are a fan of crime investigation with a touch of the supernatural, this one is for you!

Sara Nayar investigates crimes with the Sheffield police, but she also is an ancient Indian goddess of order. Just one that is almost forgotten and therefore not very powerful. All she can do is manipulate time the tiniest bit.
We follow her as she investigate murders in which clearly some other gods were involved and tries to find out just what exactly is going on in Sheffield. Why are all sorts of Gods showing up and apparently preparing for war or the apocalypse? And how is she going to solve this while pretending to solve a perfectly normal case? And then there is her mother, a powerful trickster goddess, who keeps meddling and bringing up an incident in the distant past that led Sara to choosing a life among the mortals.

Now, crime is not usually my genre so I don't really know the usual suspects here. I have read a couple of the Rivers of London novels though and would put this one into the same genre. But, like, without the machismo, misogyny and cultural appropriation. In short, this one is SO MUCH BETTER!
Sara is Indian which (from what I gather) is also part of Georgina Kamsikas cultural heritage. Everything she mentions about India, the weather, the food, the atmosphere, feels authentic. Same with the descriptions of Sheffield and Great Britain. I had the distinct feeling that the author is equally at home in both cultures and also loves them equally deeply - which helps me as the reader to truly connect with the story.

I also cannot say enough good things about the fact that the love interest is a good guy. He has a beautiful soul and this is what makes him attractive to Sara - thank you for refusing the sexy bad guy trope! Also, thanks for including a trans character and not making a big deal of it. See, representation can be so easy!

This story is just a lot of fun with plenty of on-screen-time for gods from all sorts of mythologies and the shenanigans they come up with. We have the Norse with Loki, his daughter Hel, Odin, Thor and some Valkyries thrown in for good measure. We have the Greek, with the Titan Mnemosyne being Sara's best friend, but also plenty of other gods make their appearance. In some cases it is even the original ancient Greek aspects versus their modern Hollywood equivalents. Because movies create belief - and this book is full of reflections on the power of believing. It is also full of references to pop culture and how belief in supernatural beings has changed in modern times. (There's even a cameo of a human turned god just by power of believers in his character in a universally known Sci-Fi franchise.)

I enjoyed this read immensely and would love to read more. Can this become a series, please?

(There was just one caveat for me: very early on in the book Sara missed something that was so obviously relevant for her case. She just dismissed that bit of information, which felt like it should not have happened to someone with her experience.)
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC which I received in exchange for an honest review!

The synopsis of this book grabbed my attention right away; a Hindu goddess living among humans as a police detective? Yes, count me in. Sara is happy living as a human on Earth after some sadden events and she has let her powers become extremely weak.

That had worked out for Sara until everything started changing after an earthquake that appears to be the fault of the gods. Sara now has a new investigation to look into.

The characters were fun and likeable. I enjoyed the mythology and world building a lot, it was probably my favorite part of this book. Will definitely look for more books by this author.
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I really enjoyed this book!

I loved being able to explore the different mythologies and religions across the globe even if only lightly. The plot was interesting and I liked the relationships Sara had and developed throughout the story. I found the concept of the apocalypse for different theologies really interesting to read about but I felt the reason for these being brought about could have been explained a lot better.

It’s a big task handling three big themes in one book (mystery, romance and mythology) but Kamsika did a great job of doing so in the first book. I did have a few questions that wanted directly answered but I was satisfied with the story even if they weren’t.

I think this could be a great start to a mythological detective series so fingers crossed it’s on the cards!
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Interesting premise but failed spectacularly to keep my attention.

I liked the idea of the Goddess/Detective, the first chapter managed to hook me but sadly the following ones simply lost me. 

There is so much useless detail floating around it really bogs down the whole story. I read pages and pages of "nothingness" and with that I mean a level of details that's so much it doesn't add to the story it just slow it down to an insufferably slow pace. 

There are like two pages (on kindle) spent on watching her pick up an instrument, settle it on her lap, clean the cords, strum it, reminisce, put it down, clean it again, put it back where it was ---in that order. I'm not exaggerating. What's the point? It doesn't bring anything to scene, it is like watching a bad movie frame by frame. Yikes! That scene was then followed by a super precise description on how she cooked a snack for her divine friend, we are told how she cuts the vegetables (and which ones) , puts an oil-filled wok on the hob, turns the heat to full, prepares small plates with extra kitchen roll to soak up the excess oil and it goes on like that---- ---I kid you not! This is a level of detailed information that I appreciate in a cookbook and not in a novel, sorry! 

As mentioned before all this clutter/chatter really brings down the book, I would have preferred more focus on the plot than on inconsequential things (I don't care how many times the Gods brush their bloody teeth) so while the book started strong it soon deflated and died. Or at least I almost died of boredom. Besides I also found the chapters too long, like…You are already swamping me in details, please give me a break!

I liked how various Gods interacted with humans (Loki, I see you!)  but didn't appreciate the "dabbling with history" with no consequence (not even Doctor Who went that far....).

In the end the good concept behind the book was crippled by a tedious and unrefined prose, a prose that has potential but that needs some more work and, I'm pretty sure, better editing.
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Deeply gorgeous and evocative, this story blends a procedural mystery with the squabbles of gods and their immortal baggage. It brings eternal trauma to the foreground while also making these entities understandable on an emotional human level.
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With Thanks to Georgina Kamsika and REUTS Publications for an advanced readers copy of this book. 

3 Stars. 

This book puts my in mind of Rivers of London mixed with Neverwhere. 

A thoroughly enjoyable read following a Goddess, choosing to set aside her birth right to work as a detective, aiding humans in all manner of pickles (much to this displeasure of her godly family). There's some wonderful moments of description, and some genuinely fun moments.
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