Artificial Intelligences, Gods and Goddesses, tailored viruses gone wrong, mind-expanding drugs, political and social turmoil and more, all in a near-future South Africa, is the matrix where Nicky Drayden embeds an assortment of disparate and diverse characters in her debut novel Prey of Gods. The author’s penchant for mixing a variety of characters and a variety of genre elements that do not seem to match together or work together at first makes the novel one of the most intriguing and unpredictably diverse novels I have read in 2017.
There are a number of threads and plots and stories going on through the novel in what at first appears to be a discordant tangle, but in truth is a layered and complex story that eventually comes together. The author slowly allows the silos of stories and characters and their individual genre elements to come together and mix, and recombine in the latter portions of the novel. It’s probably easiest to describe the individual silos and what’s going on, one by one, as a sense of what Drayden is trying to do in the novel.