Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for David Mogo: GodHunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa by featuring an excerpt from the book.
My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the tour invite and to Suyi Davies Okungbowa too.
David Mogo: GodHunter.
- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Abaddon (11 July 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781086494
- ISBN-13: 978-1781086490
- Amazon UK
Nigerian God-Punk – a powerful and atmospheric urban fantasy set in Lagos.
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.
Excerpt from David Mogo: GodHunter.
“Kehinde,” I say, squatting.
She covers her face in her hands, her body racking with real, human sobs.
“You took him,” she says between sobs. “You took him.”
“Listen, I didn’t take your brother. Someone hired me.”
“But you took him?”
She drops her hands and looks at me. “Why?”
I’m not sure what the answer is. I could say I did it for roof money, but is that really true?
“Who is this person?”
“He’s the Baálẹ of a former community in Agbado. His name is Lukmon—”
“—Ajala,” she completes, then starts to wail again. “You’ve killed us, you’ve killed us.”
Papa Udi stares pointedly at me, crosses his arms and hmphs. I breathe, then:
“Okay, so you know this man.”
Kehinde shakes her head, long, slow. “You do not understand for how long we have fought, how long we have fled, how long we have evaded this man and his kind.”
She shakes her head again. “He is much more.” Then her face emerges from the mass of braids. “But you are worse, orisha ’daji, for bringing Taiwo to him.”
I flinch at the name. How many times must I tell people I’m not half of anything?
“Look,” I say, “calm down. This is how I make money, okay?”
“Do you care at all?” she says. “I know you’re half them”—she motions to Papa Udi—“but do you care for your people at all?”
Papa Udi senses my rising anger and pulls me back, eases me aside, then faces her himself.
“Ajala. How you know am?”
There’s a command in his statement that even Kehinde recognises. She calms a little.
“He has been hunting us,” she says. “Taiwo and I migrated to Tafawa Balewa Square after we came down. First, he sent men. But our charms, it bled their ears, drove them back. Back in Orun, we could’ve swiftly destroyed them, you know? Bound them into earth or called on their bodies to rotten. But Orun left us only this one way to defend ourselves. Somehow, this man knows, and it makes him relentless; he keeps sending and sending. Once, he came by himself. He was very strong; too strong. He uses charmcasting.”
Papa Udi and I look at each other.
“That one no possible,” Papa Udi says.
“Are you stupid?” Kehinde says. “I know what I saw.”
“Humans can’t charmcast,” I tell her. “They even die if they try too hard. It burns you up.”
“Yes, I know,” she says. “This is how I know he’s not ordinary—he has something… more. He chased us deep into the island, then gave up. We believed he feared us rallying other orishas and defeating him.
We didn’t know he was rallying one of us against us instead.”
She looks at me then, in a way so unsettling that I go perch in a corner.
“So una two separate,” Papa Udi says.
She nods. “For safety. I didn’t want to leave him, but Taiwo is stubborn. He thinks himself my elder.”
She sniffs again. “He stayed on the island, to be more connected, so he could defend himself better.”
“And you?” I ask. “I searched the whole island and you weren’t there.”
“I’m strong enough without a centre.” She twists her lips. “Plus I was busy hiding, from the likes of you. If any one of us got captured, I felt I’d be in a better position to retrieve Taiwo than the other way around.”
Papa Udi shrugs and looks at me. Did I have more questions to ask?
“Ajala wants you,” I say. “So unless there’s something I’m not understanding, give me a good reason not to deliver you to him.”
Kehinde’s eyes narrow.
“You think you know what you’re playing with,” she says. “You think you know what this man is.
You think you know anything.”
“You’re right. Maybe I don’t. So tell me.”
“Do you know what I am?” She’s rising now, the weeping woman gone, the authority of a god returned to her voice. “Do you know what we are?” She stands tall, towering over me at almost seven feet, staring me down. Her tattooed beads ripple, shimmer. “We are Ibeji, orisha of the Divine Abundance.” She steps forward to the edge of the ward. “We are the keepers of the essence of all things. We are wisdom, growth, prosperity, fertility. We are life. We are existence.”
Papa Udi is nodding to me, telling me she’s right.
“So,” I say again, “why does Ajala want you?”
She shakes her head. “If we are the keepers of existence, why else will anyone want us? Why else have people hunted us for ages long before you were born?”
Papa Udi blinks. Disbelief is written all over his face. “Ajala wan—”
“—make orisha, yes,” Kehinde says, sitting back into the circle, hugging her legs to herself. “He wants to make gods, and you, orisha ’daji, have just given him the ingredients.”
About Suyi Davies Okungbowa.
Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a storyteller who writes from Lagos, Nigeria. His stories have been published in Fireside, PodCastle, The Dark, StarShipSofa, Mothership Zeta, Omenana, and other places. Suyi has worked in engineering and financial audit, and now works in brand marketing, where he gets paid to tell stories. He is also associate editor at PodCastle and a charter member of the African Speculative Fiction Society. Find him online at suyidavies.com, on Facebook, on Twitter @IAmSuyiDavies, and at his monthly jabberwock, After Five Writing Shenanigans.
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