Mary Agnes sees Callie with another woman, leading to an argument in the street; she and Whitey wallow in their heartbreak together. Roy and Alice read some of the mail he found, showing his quick learning. Frank and the gang come upon the last known location of Lucy, but she is gone, but know she bought a nearby saloon. Roy shares a moment with Alice, telling her that he became his own father and no longer needed Frank as a surrogate. Grigg sees "Mr. Ward" and knows it to be Roy, and rides off to report his sighting. Grigg begins a special edition of his paper which will report Roy being in La Belle.
Instead of warning the people, Grigg wants a shootout so he has a story to report. Mary Agnes reunites with Callie. Roy prepares to leave the ranch, and finally reads the letter from his brother Jim which he received from Lucy in a flashback , revealing him to be in California. Truckee learns Roy plans to leave and becomes furious, lashing out at him, making Roy emotional. Alice approaches Roy and they have sex. The next morning, Roy rides off, but leaves the letter for Alice to read, which she does. Frank reads Grigg's article, and rides off to La Belle.
Callie, Mary Agnes, and a few other women read Grigg's paper, where they realize that "Mr. The women go to Alice's ranch, but Roy has already left. Mary Agnes suggests riding to the hills and making Frank believe La Belle is deserted, but find Logan and his men have stolen the horses and fled. Truckee runs away, searching for Roy.
Grigg returns to La Belle to report the impending battle. Whitey goes to Blackdom and tries to get the buffalo soldiers to fight with La Belle. Roy and Bill both stumble upon Logan and his men with the horses; they incapacitate the men, take the horses, and ride to La Belle. Frank and his men go to Blackdom, where he attempts to get them to stay out of the fight; however, the people have history with Frank, which leads to a shootout where nearly all of Blackdom are killed.
Whitey, however, arrives and saves Louise. Mary Agnes and the women arm themselves and enter the hotel the only building not made of wood. Alice goes looking for Truckee, but upon seeing the Griffin Gang, goes to La Belle and joins the fight. As the gang arrives, Whitey goes out to confront the gang, but is killed by a thrown knife. A large shootout begins. Soon after, Roy and Bill arrive and join the fight.
Roy gives pursuit. Frank finds Truckee, who share a brief encounter over Truckee's now-injured horse. Roy then confronts Frank, and shoots Frank in the chest. Frank says "I've seen my death, this ain't it. The survivors hold a funeral for the fallen, when the long awaited preacher finally arrives and gives an eulogy for Whitey. Roy says goodbye to Alice and Truckee, and tells Bill to take care of them. Roy recovers from his wound and rides to California. Later, Alice finds a satchel of money left for her by Roy.
Roy arrives at the coast as the screen fades to black.
Godless - Pete Hautman
Best Limited Series. Outstanding Limited Series. Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie. Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie. Carlos Rafael Rivera for "Homecoming". Outstanding Writing for a Long Form — Original. The absence of so many loved ones is haunting in itself.
While La Belle, New Mexico actually existed — the tiny settlement spurted up in the s, during the gold rush — the town was abandoned by the early 20th century, once its gold ore was proven low-grade. In fact, the town of Dawson, New Mexico, only one county east of La Belle, was wracked by two of the most devastating mining disasters in American history — and within ten years each other.
Only 23 men survived the explosion that took place in the Stag Canyon coal mine on October 22, Despite a tremendous rescue effort, of their fellow miners perished in the explosion. Another explosion at the Stag Canyon mine occurred ten years later, in , leaving the town of Dawson reeling from the loss of yet another men. Many of the deceased were the sons of miners who had died in At the time of the election, the tiny town, right on the border of the newly formed Yellowstone National Park, had been grappling with a number of issues.
Most pressingly, how could they accommodate the influx of visitors to the national park if their basic infrastructure was already so lacking? Some prominent townswomen, including the soon-to-be-mayor Grace Miller, marched into the town council meeting demanding a solution. While the women of Godless were certainly placed in different circumstances than the all-woman council of Jackson, Wyoming, they rallied in a similarly triumphant way, and kept their community trudging along. The take-away? Our third main viewpoint comes from Bueralan, an exiled noble turned mercenary captain. In many ways Bueralan was my favourite, perhaps because his was the least complex storyline of the three and yet offered lots of action and intrigue.
We also get the most comprehensive history for Bueralan, learning how he became exiled and how his previous contract led him to take the job in Mireea. Bueralan is a fascinating character, one who has regrets, but is unapologetic for his past, something which I enjoyed. They all have agency and are in control of their destiny or at least as much as any of us are.
Not all culture allow their women equal freedom, yet the women we encounter in The Godless are one and all no lesser than any of the men in the book and often even more. For all intents and purposes, The Godless is very much a first book in a series. It is only once we get to the latter part of the book that we learn of the larger threat to the stability of this world, the root of the Leeran military campaign.
While the immediate threat to Mireea is clear from the start, about halfway through the book I did start to wonder where Peek was going with the story. Yet the book is never slow and is written in a pleasant, smooth-reading style, one that easily keeps you turning pages. Peek is a talented writer who juggles viewpoints, complex religious ideas, and conflict expertly, creating a vivid and detailed world for his characters to tromp around in, combining some complex issues with an excellent story. If you are looking for a new big fat epic fantasy series to get stuck into then The Godless is a good bet.
This book was provided for review by the publisher. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Godless is a different take on the idea of being styling themselves as 'Gods' and the how humans interact with them and take them on! Aug 07, Jasper rated it really liked it Shelves: sword-and-sorcery , epic-fantasy , read-in , supernatural , tor.
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Last year in April Tor UK came with a press release stating the acquisition of the Children series of Australian author Ben Peek, the first book, then titled Immolation but later changed to The Godless, would be published in May of When I read the synopsis of the book I knew this was just the book I was looking for. Using Gods in fantasy isn't a new concept but it is a concept that allows for a great story. The synopsis also made me wonder just what the setting of the story would be I will get back to this later next to this there are plenty of more cool fantasy elements mentioned that should readily invite you, no compel you to pick up The Godless.
Ben Peek introduces originality and creates a unique spin with his story of The Godless that makes it readily stand out heads above shoulders from the rest. The first thing that readily falls to note, and which is bolstered by the prologue is the world wherein The Godless takes place. From the synopsis of the story I was thinking what I could expect, would it be a contemporary setting, bit like on our Earth but just fast forwarded fifteen thousand years without a science fiction influence or would it be a completely new surrounding and world.
The world of The Godless is something completely made from scratch but Ben Peek has used some influences from existing genres, you can see from the cover of the book that our main protagonist Ayae doesn't wear any traditional old style clothing but more of our current time, yet she is wielding a flaming sword Also take into account that the city of Mireea is build on the body of a God.
The God Ger isn't the only remaining god, riddled across the landscape more and more dying gods can be found I don't know what to think of the world is it history? All I know is that it is great world building, and clearly reminds me of the world that Rjurik Davidson inspired in Unwrapped Sky which was also a Tor debut earlier this year on many fronts bright and dreamfull but on other front dark and gritty. The story of The Godless first picks up with an prologue where you already learn something about the world. What Ben Peek does correct here is trigger you again to think about what could be in store for you for the remained of the book, he raises many questions as to what and how and why.
After the brief prologue the attention is set on the main protagonist of the story Ayae, a young and smart girl who experiences something that awakens a power within her, a godlike power, Ayae cannot be harmed by fire. However with her newly awakend power comes a price. The people who have been awakened are said to be cursed they bear a godhood upon them. With Ayae having her new power she becomes the target for the army that is marching upon the city of Mireea.
Coinciding with Ayae's discovery come the appearance of three other men to Mireea. Zaifyr a wise old man whose body is riddled with charms to help him and ward of the bad and two Keepers of the Divine Fo and Bau. From this point onwards Ayae is thrown in the midst of a political game where she is being pulled in many directions by Zaifyr, Fo and Bau each having their own motivation for Ayae. And each of these men all have something to say about one another.
During each of the conversations that Ayae has she learns more about the world and most important the history of the world and how several things came to pass. A different focus in the story is on the saboteur Bueralan.
'Godless' Creator Was Determined To Put His Own Spin On The Classic Western
Bueralan is send out to sabotage the invading army. I actually found this a very cool idea, normally you have the large scale battles of army clashing against army, but here you have the covert invading "backstabing" saboteurs that infiltrate the other army and cause chaos from within the ranks. But with this job do come certain risks and Bueralan has his work cut out for him, if he wants to survive In the beginning of The Godless the three narrations of Ayae, Zaifyr and Bueralan show only a bit of interconnection but as the story progresses and histories and intentions get revealed the web definitely becomes thicker, and makes the story that more engaging.
Where Ben Peek kicks of his story with a slow burning plot, the book rapidly starts to build up speed and the end shows a nice escalation of the events with higher forces taking to the central stage During the story of The Godless, you follow quite a few characters and most of them have been mentioned above already. Ayae a young woman takes the central lead in the story, with her character Ben Peek has created a very strong personality, however also one of doubt.
She has to look for a way to give it all a place and come to terms with it.
In this later part he determination readily comes to the forefront and she proves that she is not one to be pushed around. Her newly acquired powers might mark her for the approaching army but Ayae readily shows that she is becoming a deadly opponent for them Next to Ayae you have a great focus on both Bueralan and Zaifyr. As I explained in the part of Bueralan, he is a saboteur set to disrupt the march of the invading army. In the earlier chapters you learn some interesting bits about his character and that he does have a past, for me I immediately had my thoughts about him whether he could be trusted Bueralan is an established and great warrior who knows how to fight at one moment and duck at the other, his perspectives definitely broadened the world as it gave a clear sign of impending doom of the approaching army and that they mean business.
Zaifyr adds an "divine" perspective to the story. His description is "a strange man adorned with charms". You don't learn anything in the beginning as to why he approaches Ayae, but he saves her life Only to later learn that Zaifyr is much more than just a man It's by his involvement in the story and conversing with other that you learn a lot about the terrible past or the world of The Godless.
Perhaps his characters background isn't that original, it does work full color in the setting of The Godless. Next to these three more established characters there are plenty of other that you follow during the story. Even though they are not the main focus point of the book, Ben Peek invests a lot of time in them to make them feel complete.
I especially liked the whole involvement of Samuel Orlan from he beginning of the book until the end his motives always seem to change and you can't really pin him down Fo and Bau are just nasty pieces of work and when push comes to shove a fiery and heated battle takes place Next to the more "normal" characters of the book it does feel that Ben Peek is introducing some more divine ones as well, though there isn't any clear reference towards who is who, but Ben Peek readily triggers you to think about this. This latter part is achieved by the clever introductions to the chapters written by the god Qian.
Here he introduces the background to the past and how his brother and sister acted and what for gods they are. Very cool and cleverly executed. One thing that I do have to mention is that Ben Peek does throw you a bit in the deep end with The Godless. There are a lot of new elements being introduced and ideas that come to show where he gives minimal explanation.
Some readers might not be a big fan of this but what I have come to learn from several other debuts is that such an approach readily put me on edge and made sure that I wanted to find out what it all means. So I can safely say: where do I book my ticket for the sequel? If you read all the parts above I do think you will understand that I enjoyed reading The Godless a lot. It was one of my titles to look out for this year and Ben Peek made it worth the wait.
From the beginning of the book right until the end I was glued to the pages. When using a existing theme, it's up to the author to give his or her own spin to it and this is exactly what Ben Peek does to Gods in The Godless. The world in which the story takes place is engaging, exciting and never stops to move; the characters Ayae, Zaifyr and Beuralan have a great narration to readily pull the story forward. The story of The Godless is in essence a coming-of-age and coming-to-terms-with-yourself kind of story and looking at the overall development of the story Ben Peek does a great job with this.
Don't think that it is only talk in The Godless there are enough fighting and battle scenes both sword and sword fighting and with a more supernatural element thrown in the mix. I am going to repeat myself again. I can't wait to see just to what heights Ben Peek will take his sequel. High hopes! Next year can't come soon enough! Jul 22, Esther rated it it was ok Shelves: owned-books , dnf , giveaway. Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. Let this be clear: This is not a bad book.
And I still hate to write reviews with a 1-star or 2-star rating. This book just wasn't for me. It's getting a lot of good reviews on Goodreads. Writing this review feels so bad, especially because I won the book in a Goodreads Giveaway, but like I said; This book isn't Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. Writing this review feels so bad, especially because I won the book in a Goodreads Giveaway, but like I said; This book isn't for me.
A longer review can be found at Bite Into Books Not a bad book, but just not a book for me. I've read a lot of positive reviews on Goodreads for this book and I know that it's not a bad book. I wasn't involved enough, I didn't get the story all that much and I didn't feel like reading another pages in this book. But true. Jul 24, S. Wright rated it it was amazing.
As different as say running a 5km run and a marathon. In each case you use the same skill but the end objective, your tactics, how you cross the finish line or complete the work is different, enough to challenge the best runners or writers when they are used to one kind of event, one format.
So how did Peek fare? Then there are books like The Godless that I think need the space for the scope and definition of the storytelling. The Godless is an epic, not just in terms of size but in its selection of characters and its apparent scope. The city at the centre of The Godless, Mireea, is built on the back of a dying god and for a significant part of the story I was unsure whether of not this was a metaphor, a creation story, for the gods as described seemed more of that ilk, primeval forces with human characteristics but godly dimensions.
Then we have the Children of the Gods, humans gifted with longevity and power, humans that become immortals and whose life and power produce curious responses: a godlike ruler of animals, a reclusive enclave of detached natural philosophers, a crazed killer of nations.
But threaded through this epic tale are personal stories, personal tragedies that help to ground it. We still have our sword and sorcery, our big battles, our scarred veterans and our young characters who we will follow on their journey. But Peek has I think made some original and diverse choices in building and filling his world. Our principle protagonist is not white, and not male - Ayae is an orphan, a refugee who up until our introduction to her has made a successful transition to being the apprentice of a renowned cartographer. Many authors paying lip service to diversity may have stopped there but Peek provides us with a diverse cast and that diversity is three dimensional - the ruler of Mireea, is a shrewd woman of middle age with the associated changes in body and shape that it brings for many of us.
Men and women appear evenly in positions of power. Now I am sure that some sections of the science fiction community might rail against such blatantly fair representation. Me, well I see diversity done skilfully, diversity and originality that enhances story. When your characters feel like real people more so than archetypes then I think the reader finds it harder to slot them into well worn parts, into literary set pieces that they have long grown used to reading and anticipating.
What I found in The Godless was a very good mix of fresh story and styled prose. Slowly, Mireea was becoming uniform: a city of shut buildings and empty lanes, the divisions of economy washed away and falling into memory like the sprawl of markets. Each new building shut up was a part of Mireea lost, and soon he would also be gone. If he was not, he ran the risk of being drawn into the units that the Mireean Guard were making from citizens. That he had no desire for. If you are looking for a page turner I am not sure I would classify The Godless as such, which is a good thing.
I think you need to devote a bit more attention to it. This is the first of a great epic and I get the same sense of immersion and depth of history that I got when reading A Song of Ice and Fire. Very well. If you want to enjoy what is possible to achieve when you look outside the standard fantasy tropes give The Godless a go. The e-Arc was provided by the publisher.
Aug 11, Lynn Williams rated it really liked it Shelves: epic-fantasy. Just finished reading The Godless which I have to say I enjoyed. This book is described as epic and I can see why. The scope here certainly justifies that description. Set in a world where the Gods are dying following war with each other, their bodies now lie beneath the oceans, in the forests and under mountain ranges. One of these Gods, Ger, lies dying beneath a mountain range that the city of Mireea is nestled up against.
The inhabitants of the city of Mireea are known as the Godless. They little believe in deities as they go about the hustle and bustle of their busy working lives. However, in spite of their lack of faith nothing can alter the fact that a God lies in the final throes of death beneath their city, his power leeching out through the earth infecting some of the residents with power.
Known as the cursed, when their powers manifest, these people are shunned, despised and feared by the people of Mireea. In the City of Leera a different story is unfolding. There an army gathers, driven by their faith they aim to march upon the trading post of Mireea and reclaim the God that lies there. Not everything is as it seems and strange blood magic seems to play a role. This story is much more than a potential war between two cities however.
There are vast amounts of history to be revealed during the course of the story and a number of revelations. That being said, and whilst not everything has yet been declared, the various strands come together very satisfactorily. There are a number of central characters. Ayae, who at the start of the book is attacked by a reanimated member of the recently dead and thrown into the body of a blazing fire — from which she emerges unscathed. Her life is turned upside down immediately as the people of the city find out and shun her.
She also becomes the immediate focus for a number of others. Zaifyr, a warded man, solitary and feared and yet drawn inexplicably to help Ayae. Fo and Bau who are sent to Mireea from the City of Eflam — they are keepers of the divine — and they would try to help Ayae come to terms with her new found abilities. The one thing that all three have in common is their power and immortality. Each having lived for hundreds of years, each bearing different curses and each with a different agenda. Are they Gods in the making?? We also make the acquaintance of Bueralan. Formerly a member of the nobility before being exiled and resorting to the life of a mercenary and saboteur.
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Bueralan leads a fearsome cast of not to be messed with mercenaries. Samuel Orlan. The name Orlan is eventually passed on to the apprentice who becomes the next in line to wear the mantle. He really is a mystery. It remains to be discovered. And, I will make clear that this is not a novel to be raced through. You need to read it thoroughly and digest slowly.
I received a copy of this courtesy of the publishers through Netgalley. The above is my own opinion. Aug 15, Rituranjan Gogoi rated it really liked it. A fascinating Epic fantasy. The Godless hasn't yet got the due attention that it deserves. However, this isn't a book for everyone.
The readers who want a fast paced plot and a action-packed tale would be throughly disappointed. But, this is a book which has meticulous worldbuilding, a compelling mythology, a mix of politics and theological philosophy, and characters who are flawed and complex with motivations of their own. It took me some time to get into the book, but I was deeply immersed in A fascinating Epic fantasy. It took me some time to get into the book, but I was deeply immersed in the exotic world that Ben Peek has crafted with ingenuity. As the title suggests, The Godless is set in a world without Gods, gods who are dead or dying for thousands of years.
The concept is very well-developed, especially in case of the world's geography where the sun is broken, the oceans poisoned with the blood of a dead god, a mountain which is the cairn for a dying god, and beings who possess a fragment of the dead gods power in them, and are known as Children of the Gods. In this book, the chief God that is frequently mentioned is Ger, also known as the warden of the Elements, and above whom the city of Mirrrea is situated.
We also get a glimpse into the lives of a few immortal god-touched Children and a sneak-peek to the reason behind the war of the Gods that crippled the world along with their deaths. Peek builds up his unique tale along with the lore, history, and mythology of the Godless world brimming with politics and powerful Immortals, which has a magic to enthrall readers interested in fantasy that has a detailed world and a rich mythology.
Ben Peek's story doesn't span continents and ages, and so it is easier to follow. Godless is set primarily in Mirrea and Leera. The upcoming threat of an holy war by the Leerans who proclaims to have found a new god of their own is the basis of the story. The story progresses in a linear way through three principal characters - a god-touched girl, an immortal who controls the dead, and a saboteur mercenary with a shady past.
We come through numerous characters in the book, but these are the ones who are the major players in this war between humans and Immortals. Ayae is the girl who can control fire and the elements, and she grows herself from her naivete and begins to acknowledge herself. She who views her own power as a curse as is believed by others finds her stance in the conflict around her. Zaifyr is the most interesting character I have come across. Being over years old, and once worshipped as a God, and due to his supposed madness he tries to remain as a unaffected mystic, but is unable to do so.
The other side-characters which piqued my interest are Captain Heast and Lady Wagan, who are strong, intelligent and determined, and has a lot of potential. Many readers had problems with the pacing of this book. As I said earlier, this isn't a action-packed story. Peek invests his time in world-building and developing the plotlines that are to be seen in his later books. The book is divided into some ten parts, and the short chapters that follow eases the flow of the story.
There isn't in-depth study of characters, but he gives them enough space for introspection, and makes it possible for us to know their backgrounds. The emotional quotient is absent however, and hence, there was a detachment on my part while reading their experiences in the story. The few battle-scenes at the end of the book is well done. I liked the strategy and efficiency of fights. Finalizing my review, I liked this book and the epic story that it is trying to unfold. I will be continuing with the sequel.
Nov 18, Kruizzer Alvarez rated it really liked it. Need to re-read this soon. Jul 09, Keith Stevenson rated it it was amazing. This review originally appeared at www. On the now not so small screen, shows like A Game of Thrones have replaced the soap opera phenomenon of the s, with audiences glued to the reversals and treacheries of the Lannisters, Starks and This review originally appeared at www. Because as much as George RR Martin produces the gold standard of this type of story, Peek gives him a run for his money.
The world of The Godless is a strange one indeed. The gods were all killed in a war thousands of years before the novel begins. In that unbelievable battle the sun god was torn into three pieces so the landscape is lit by a morning sun, a midday sun and an afternoon sun, and the mountains of Mireea are built on the Spine of Ger, literally crystallised on the bones of a dead god who fell across the land. Of course, many peoples of our own world have such creation myths to explain how the world they observe is the way it is.
But in The Godless these are not myths: the bodies of the gods are real. If you tunnel into the mountains of Mireea you will find deep channels that open onto the carcass of Ger. As you can imagine, the war and subsequent death of the gods had a profound effect on those who worshipped them, many of whom were also killed in that titanic struggle. But the power of the gods was not finished.
It inhabited certain individuals, giving them fantastically extended lifetimes and strange and different powers.
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Some of these people thought they could become gods themselves,and instead became tyrants, bringing misery to an already disillusioned populace, but that too is ancient history and those would-be gods eventually stood back and allowed civil society to flourish into a series of nation states, one such being the merchant city of Mireea, perched on the Spine of Ger, and facing the prospect of a protracted siege when the book opens: After the gods had died there had been temples, buildings erected to house the remains, relics and beliefs that were no longer in practice.
Bueralan had never before seen one — they were, mostly, ruins now — and he felt a chill, as if a gaze had settled upon him. It enveloped him so fully that he did not know if he could step outside it. Bueralan said nothing. We are told that their remains are the anger in our weather, the floods, the droughts, the cyclones, the fires. They are lost to us. They are here. They live without him, just fine. It fell to its knees. One such is Ayae. Training to be a cartographer, her world is changed forever when an incident reveals she is one of the god-touched, with the power to create and control fire.
She has to quickly come to terms with being reviled as cursed by the people she counted as friends, and at the same time being prized by the Lady Wagan, ruler of Mireea, as a useful weapon in the upcoming battle for the city. Zaifyr has a dark past, made only darker by the fact that only he can see and communicate with the spirits of the dead, who have been left with nowhere to go now the gods have departed.
He has a dark history of his own and, with his small group of soldiers, he is tasked with travelling into the wasteland that used to be the kingdom of Leera — a land stripped by its own people in preparation to make war against Mireea — in order to poison all the wells between them and their objective and learn what they can about the enemy. As much as all these characters have a vital role to play in the unfolding narrative, they are also dragged at by their pasts, and the early stages of the novel unfold in digressive fashion as we learn more about how they came to be who they are.
If that two-bit copper healer told you she could do that, she has done nothing but lie to you. Not from this. Trust me. Trust us. My brothers and sisters and I study the remains of the gods. They lay around us as they lived: on our land, in our oceans, and in our skies, the power that made us originally still there, wishing to create.
That I have been infected by a god? The power in the gods does not wish to die with its host. It is searching for escape, for a new home, and it has found you, just as it found me. With it, you and I are in evolution to take back what was once ours. The gods are unarguably real for the people of this world. But they are also dead. Imagine the effect on our own religions of such a revelation … Then there are the god-touched.
Some try to become gods but fail and that opens up questions about the nature of godhood: What is divinity and can a being who comes from human stock ever truly shed the earthly? But there is a separate group of god-touched, called the Keepers, who have banded together and cloistered themselves away to search for another way to ascend. As for poor normal humans, many have abandoned the idea of gods in disillusionment, but in some this creates a dangerous vacuum that can be exploited by those who believe they have a conduit to a new god — or say they do.
Religious zealotry is a powerful force — as we see in our own world — and there are always those willing to believe, because without belief, there can be no salvation. Peek handles all these epic fantasy elements with great sensitivity. He even manages to pull in the beginnings of an expansive geography for the world. Finally, and as with all good epic fantasy, The Godless ends with a revelation that will have repercussions for all the characters and the world they inhabit. This is an absolutely brilliant book. It's complex and inventive.
The author uses lots of verbal tricks that I really liked. His primary trick is the use of sudden temporal shifts. This gave me a feeling of being outside of time and inside it at the same time, which is analogous to the way Peek describes how time interacts with the gods in his story.