Literature: The God Eaters
A novel by Jesse Hajicek
set in a fictional totalitarian world.Author Summary
Imprisoned for 'inflammatory writings' by the totalitarian Theocracy, shy intellectual Ashleigh Trine figures his story's over. But when he meets Kieran Trevarde, a hard-hearted gunslinger with dark magic lurking in his blood, Ash finds that necessity makes strange heroes... and love can change the world.
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This book provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Kieran's reaction to this exchange:
Kieran: "I wish we had [poison for the guards' coffee]."
Ash: "Too bad your personality's not water-soluble."
- Badass Gay: Kieran is an extreme example, but Ash develops into a pretty tough cookie too.
- Badass Longcoat: Kieran sports one during the second half of the book.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Kieran, at least after his Heel-Face Turn.
- Barrier Warrior: Kieran and Thelyan fight this way.
- Big Bad: Thelyan, once known as Delan.
- Bookworm: Ash... evolving into Badass Bookworm over the course of the novel.
- Break the Cutie: Kieran's childhood did this to him; Ash expects to experience the same in prison.
- Break His Heart to Save Him: Why Kieran tries to ditch Ash after escaping Churchrock.
- Children Are Innocent: Averted. Kieran really, really wasn't.
- Combat Pragmatist: Kieran isn't interested in "rules" of combat. Mostly, he cares about coming out alive.
- Crapsack World: Racism, misogyny, homophobia, disease, authoritarian government... really, whatever bad thing you want to avoid is somewhere in this universe. However, it appears to be the "mutable" variety, in which at least some people, at some times, can affect good, which allows for a relatively hopeful ending.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Kieran thinks his magic makes him look like an evil man, but he isn't... well, not exactly, anyway.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Kieran's, involving his mother's murder, survival prostitution, repeated rapes, the manifestation of creepy powers, and committing homicide in self-defense when he was nine.
- Drugs Are Bad: Not only will opium turn you into a hitman for your dealer, but a high dose in a pot of coffee will kill or incapacitate most of a large prison's well-trained guards, and Medur explicitly describes teaching the cultivation of the poppy as "evil".
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: Thelyan thinks so, at least.
- Elite Mooks: The Whites.
- The Empath: Ash.
- Enemy Within: Kieran discovers one after fleeing Burn River.
- Energy Absorption: Used in the climactic duel between Kieran and Thelyan.
- Evil Colonialist: Applies to a lot of Eskarneans.
- Evil Overlord: Thelyan.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Eskarne appears to be based on a combination of England and America in full manifest-destiny mode, Iavians are based on Native Americans of ancient Mexico and the American Southwest, and Yelorre seems to lift its fables and people's appearance from Ireland, although we don't learn as much about it.
- Fictional Currency: Thrones and signets in Eskarne, ya in pre-invasion Iavaia.
- Finger Poke of Doom: Kieran's main power is actually awesomer than this trope makes it sounds, since he literally doesn't even have to lift a finger. He can kill you with his thoughts.
- The Force Is Strong with This One: It doesn't take long for Col. Warren and Thelyan to figure out this about Kieran.
- Functional Magic: A somewhat unusual example of theurgy in that rather than calling on gods, the characters actually contain them, combined with rule magic.
- A God Am I: Delan and his reincarnation, Thelyan; Ka'an.
- Good Is Not Nice: Kieran.
- Good Is Not Soft: As a rule, Ash prefers to avoid violence, but hurt the man he loves, and he'll get his pound of flesh.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Kieran is good at a form of combat that Ash understands as "Iavaian boxing," but which Kieran characterizes simply as "dirty fighting." He teaches it to Ash.
- Healing Hands: One character gains these.
- Heel-Face Turn: Kieran and, more surprisingly, Colonel Warren.
- Heroes Want Redheads
- Hitman with a Heart: Kieran spends part of the book as an unrepentant murderer for hire, but that's before he encounters the magical power of love. If you've read the back cover, the result isn't much of a surprise. (In Kieran's defense, he was a Son of a Whore, an orphan, and an abused prison inmate before turning to assassination as a career in his teens.)
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Rasa, Kieran's mother. Averted with pretty much all the other examples— Kieran gave up hooking as soon as he found out he could make more money killing people, and Shou Shou seems even worse.
- Identity Absorption: Gods can do this; on occasion, so can people.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Why does Shou Shou deck out Kieran in black leather pants and a black leather coat, for high-mobility life as an assassin in a mid-latitude desert in summer? Isn't it obvious?
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Ash's puppy-dog eyes save him from a lot of misery.
- Jerkass With A Heart Of Gold: Kieran.
- Jerkass Gods: Ka'an, who, according to Kieran, is "the kind of god you don't want to meet in a dark alley." Thelyan is closer to being a God of Evil.
- Kids Are Cruel: Barely-adolescent boys threaten rape and beat younger orphans for kicks.
- Kill the God: Ashes and Kieran, although they're helped by the fact that the gods in question are actually deities of human origin.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Kieran, on his better days.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Pretty much everyone agrees that Kieran has a pretty face, and he tops it off with yard-long black hair.
- Love Redeems
- Magic Is Mental: In fact, some of it requires calculus. With base 13 1/2.
- Manly Gay: Kieran.
- Mindlink Mates: Kieran and Ash.
- Mind Rape: The basic purpose of Churchrock Prison is to collect inmates for the purpose of poking and prodding at their minds. Just to make everyone feel better, the authorities call the procedure a "survey."
- No Woman's Land: The Theocracy will rip magical powers out of any woman it finds, possibly leaving her a mentally disabled as a result.
- Obviously Evil: Thelyan.
- Police Brutality: One cop asks a healer to heal an injured Kieran... so that the cops can keep shooting him again and again.
- Police State: Eskarne, to some degree, but the government's heavy-handed treatment of its territories is far worse. You can get flogged for having the wrong hairstyle, and missing church is a crime.
- Precision F-Strike Ash's in Ch. 16. Which of course, Kieran only laughs at.
- Power Nullifier: You can't use magic inside most of Churchrock Prison, because any magic you try to use just feeds the batteries. Rain and iron also nullify magic.
- Kieran, when working for the White Rose Gang.
- Pure Energy: A major battle involves shooting bolts of this back and forth.
- Rape as Backstory: Kieran.
- Religion of Evil: Delanism.
- Room101: Where prisoners at Churchrock are taken for "surveys," AKA mind rapes.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Shou Shou gives a red and black one to Kieran. Fortunately, he has the sense to wear it as a headband, not a garotte-in-waiting.
- Secret Art: The government tightly controls knowledge of spell-working in Eskarne and its territories.
- Second-Act Breakup: Well, having a stable relationship with a self-loathing professional hit man is pretty dicey.
- Squishy Wizard: Seriously averted with Kieran: he can kill you with a wish, a gun, or his bare fists.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Kieran struggles to deal with containing the reincarnation of the very nasty god Ka'an.
- Super Powered Mooks: The cream of the Thelyan's police force.
- Tailor-Made Prison: Churchrock, for holding magic users.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Kieran committed his first homicide when he was nine years old.
- Underestimating Badassery: People who encounter Ash do it on a regular basis.
- Unscrupulous Hero: Kieran. Ash very rarely crosses this line.
- Vice City: Burn River.
- Victor Gains Loser's Powers: It's one way for the gods to increase their power.
- Weather Manipulation: One of the characters discovers this ability.