Speculative fiction is often like brain gym. The author will often ask the reader to go above and beyond what they deem possible, credible, doable.
To get the bigger picture and a better understanding I think it would be advisable to read the first two books in the trilogy.
The beginning is a little bizarre if you have no previous information on the story. It could have done with a short re-cap or prologue at the beginning.
Pete and Durram play the most important parts and each scenario seems to feature one or the other. Even they have difficulty distinguishing between reality and an alternate universe.
In the midst of it all there is the love story between Pete and Durram. Reality becomes blurred and it doesn’t help that often neither the reader nor Pete can distinguish between the real and fake Durram.
The President gives in to the wiles of Bathsheba,and she plays her puppet on a string like a the violinist with an instrument. Interesting that Reagan has been chosen for this particular role, given the history of the man.
Kent is known not only for pirates coves, but also for being home to the Vatican and His Holiness the Pope. In this case it is more like the mafioso overlord overlooking the demise of society and forcing his views upon others.
You might have to sit back with a packet of chocolate digestives and a pot of tea with this one. It may well tax your brain just a tad, then again isn’t that the whole point of speculative fiction, to venture into places quite extraordinary.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author and Elsewhen Press.