Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Then came a reckoning, following that day, there were no more judges, there were no more juries...
There were just lawmen, and to a person, they were Rangers.
God save the republic.
God help the lawless.
God damn the guilty.
When the Rangers had finished with the judges, they turned on the politicians.
No thieves, no liars, and no whores were left alive.
I might have gone for hallelujah myself, once the politicians had all been dispensed with, but still. Of the first volume I wrote... This could easily prove to be Hickmans most comprehensive piece of speculative fiction yet. This first volume reads very, very much like the opening chapter to a prose novel, in is that rich with detailed promise of what is yet to come, and also to be revealed, of what precisely has transpired in the distant past to bring us to such an... unusual... time and place.
In that sense I could quite simply conclude this review by saying this is chapter two, for the dense, prose-like, tightly woven plot strands are only just beginning to start to teasingly unravel as we gradually learn more about our various protagonists, the complex alliances and arrangements that precariously politically balance their familiar but strange world, and their motivations as multitudinous Machiavellian schemes to undermine each other start to be revealed. They didnt get rid of all the thieving, lying, whoring politicians after all, then, what a surprise! The only person interested in outright head-on confrontation, though, is Death himself if that is what he really is, we still dont know but then his desire is altogether more simple: he just wants himself some good old fashioned revenge, pilgrim, and nothing is going to stand in his way. A true force of nature, then? Perhaps, perhaps, but I think there is more to learn about our cold-blooded killer too, and possibly for him to learn about himself...
There are still so many things which remain frustratingly obscure or unclear, not least how the mysterious, prophetic Message itself fits in or indeed came about, but at this point Hickman has done nothing to disavow me of the opinion this is easily his finest speculative fictional work to date.