ARC Review: Godly Heathens by H.E. Edgmon | Teen Ink

ARC Review: Godly Heathens by H.E. Edgmon

August 10, 2023
By spittinwatches GOLD, Union, New Jersey
spittinwatches GOLD, Union, New Jersey
15 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
And I could imagine it—years, decades, maybe centuries down the line when my name is no more than an unmemorable myth and he has turned to bedrock, with nobody to worship him in the way I will.

Godly Heathens follows Gem Echols, and there’s really only three things you need to know about them: You owe probably half of Gracie, Georgia’s highschool students’ queer awakenings to them, they want to move to Brooklyn to live with the boy they’ve been crushing on for years, and they’re an ancient, eons-old god reincarnated. 

That’s what Willa Mae Hardy says anyway, the gorgeous and strange new girl who seems to know everything about Gem. Apparently, she and Gem are reincarnated gods who’ve known and loved each other across lifetimes. But Gem – or at least who Gem used to be - hasn’t always been the most benevolent deity. There are other gods coming for them, enemies they’ve made along the way of their eternal life. As worlds collide and the past catches up with the present, Gem will discover that everyone has something to hide.

I was fascinated with the premise of Godly Heathens. Literally sign me up for a queer fantasy story about godhood, contemporary Young-Adult be damned. But there were problems with this novel that made me nearly drop it, and I only finished it for the sake of finishing it. 

I was bored with the pacing of the story, where at times it seemed so slow to get to the point. The writing wasn’t spectacular either; I’m going to be honest, the dialogue switched between cringe-worthy to melodramatic, and I just couldn’t take it seriously enough. None of the characters or their problems compelled me also. Even more, the worldbuilding seemed weak and not wholly thought-out.

I appreciate that this book had a majority queer and POC cast, and the ending was interesting! But not interesting enough for me to wait excitedly for the sequel I heard was coming. 

This story was not for me, but I know that younger queer kids would definitely appreciate this kind of novel. 

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