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The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek

God Eaters I’d heard a lot of great things about ‘The God Eaters’ before I read it, but I was actually kind of hesitant about it. It’s by a relatively unknown author, it was pretty expensive, and I just wasn’t sure about what I was getting into. But I did end up buying it (it was the cover, that cover is just gorgeous) and I guess I don’t know exactly what I’d been expecting, but whatever it was, the reality of the book totally blew it away. This story is rich and clean and tight and absolutely breathtaking.

‘The God Eaters’ is about Ash and Kieran, two young men from vastly different lives who meet when they become cellmates in a prison. The world they live in is kind of like ours, maybe if the old west was kind of steampunk and full of magic. And was still controlled by the British. Kind of. …So anyway, Kieran and Ash start to bond in this prison in the middle of the desert, but at the same time they’re desperately trying to escape because, hey, no one wants to be in prison, and also this prison is especially bad because it’s performing terrible magical experiments on its prisoners.

In so many stories where there’s a central romance, the author lets the plot slide, so you feel kind of bored through the book until you get to the romantic parts. This book isn’t like that at all. Jesse Hajicek, the author, has got some major talent. The plot is captivating right from the start. You just slip right in without even thinking about it. The world and the prison system and the way magic works are really well done and very believable. The action and more emotional parts are very nicely balanced. And it’s tense, the excitement never lets up. I was so nervous through parts of the book that I had to put it down and walk away just to catch my breath.

Also, I love the way Jesse Hajicek talks about the desert. I live in the desert, and reading books that talk about how magical and awesome and amazing it is, is… nice. Ok. But I like that here, it’s described… well, like a desert really is‐ exhausting, dangerous, ready to kill you at every point. It was refreshing to have an author say, ‘Look, this is what the desert’s really like.’

The characterization is also very good. As you read more, you see the inner depths of the characters, and they feel like real people. I also love the natural feel of the book. Sometimes Ash and Kieran meet a person, and you get a little of that person’s story, and then they leave and that plot gets kind of dropped. This probably wouldn’t happen, or wouldn’t happen as much, in a neatly edited book, but I love the way it makes the boys’ escape feel very real. I don’t know if the author meant to write it that way, but that’s the way it happens in real life, more often than not, so it might as well happen that way in a book.

This book is so good that a few days after I finished reading it, I picked it back up and read the whole thing over again. And it was still fantastic and exciting and just really good.

Jesse Hajicek only has the one book published in hard copy, as far as I know, but if you Google his name, he’s freaking everywhere. On his website, you can find an online manga he wrote called ‘Metanoia.’ And it’s… awesome. Maybe it doesn’t have the smoothest art ever, and, since the last time I checked, it’s not finished and looks like it might never be, but it’s well worth a read. As is ‘The God Eaters.’   -SEL

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