The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden is an impressive debut novel that has a lot of ideas stuffed into it but the ideas are disconnected to each other in a way that makes you wonder if she was a bit too ambitious with her scope. This is a many points of view, mosaic fantasy book with science fiction elements thrown in. There are about 6 or so points of view in this book and she attempts to have all these characters crossover with each other throughout the story.
This is basically an old god/goddess story trying to come into power in the near future and a younger generation coming into their own power. There is a lot of representation in this novel, so if that is something you search for in your SFF, you won’t be disappointed. I enjoyed this book, it had a rawness and energy about it that I liked reading. Drayden doesn’t back down from difficult topics and characters, making this a book that felt really down to earth.
Around about the three-fourths mark of the book, Drayden tries to bring everything together for a climactic conclusion, and it just is a little messy. Some of the plot points brought up earlier in the book are ignored and the tone of the book shifts slightly to a more random aspect of storytelling. I still enjoyed the ending but I can’t help but feel that the characters were her strongest aspect and that her world building and plotting just wasn’t up to the ambitious mosaic novel she was writing. Regardless, it was a good read, and I’m looking forward to more of Drayden’s work in the future. Any writer looking to tackle this type of story as their debut novel deserves to be read again.
15/25 Possible Score
2 – Plot
4 – Characters
3 – World Building
3 – Writing Style
3 – Heart & Mind Aspect