The Godless: Children: Book 1 by Ben Peek (book review).

September 16, 2016 | By | Reply More

When someone sets the shop on fire, Ayae should have burned to death. Instead, she emerged with fiery powers, one Cursed by the gods or so some believe, others believe these powers are gifts to be treasured and used. Either way, Ayae must learn to control her new found abilities and then must choose a side. Battles rage all around her city, drawing ever closer to her home and her friends. The old gods are of no help now and a new power is emerging that could rip the world apart. As a small band of mercenaries try to find the source of the new power, Ayae must convince one of the oldest Cursed, Zaifyr, also known as Qian, to join the fight instead of walking away. Only together might they find a way to survive as a new age dawns.


‘The Godless’ is the first book in a new fantasy series by Ben Peek, called simply ‘Children’. It is fantasy on a fairly epic scale, featuring some top class world-building, spanning centuries of history and starring a cast of what seems like hundreds. The effort that has gone into the setting for this story is impressive but, at times, I felt there was a bit too much crammed in to one book.

There are three or four central plot strands, following Ayae, Bueralan (a mercenary captain) and Zaifyr, as well as the little bits and pieces of side plot. I found it quite difficult to keep up with what was going on in points, particularly with Zaifyr’s plot where it began to jump from past to present and back again with little warning. This shifting between time periods was really confusing when coupled with the fact that we were also changing points of view in the present day.

The characters were interesting and, for a first book in a series, I think there was enough information revealed over the course of the book to keep me interested, while still leaving plenty more to learn in the next books. I’d perhaps have liked a bit more depth, but I think it’s a function of having quite a few ‘main’ characters that none of them will be as in depth as in a book with a single clear main character.

The world itself is pretty amazing and the potential for future stories in here is boundless. I enjoyed ‘The Godless’ but thought there was just a bit too much going on, which made it difficult to follow at times. Nonetheless, there are a lot of plot points to be resolved and I am looking forward to seeing how Peek tackles those in the next book in the series.

Vinca Russell

September 2016

(Thomas Dunn Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2014. 416 page hardback. Price: $25.99 (US), £21.10 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-25005-002-1)

check out website: http://us.macmillan.com/publishers/

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Category: Books, Scifi

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