"I tore them to pieces as they stood in the warm embrace of the pyromancers' fire, demonstrating why I was the god of Hollow and how they were my playthings."

Anodyne stems from "no pain" in Greek. We use it to speak of painkillers, to refer to something inoffensive. The titular character of this book is none of those things. He is a god—powerful enough to create a world but too weak to populate it. So, he forms Hollow, a dreaded landscape of torment and despair, where the cruel god Anodyne places humans he steals from the Earth. These humans are tasked with just one goal: to survive. And all the while, Anodyne infuses his plaything, the world of Hollow, with fever dreams and night terrors. The god Anodyne wakes; what is in store for his stolen children of the Earth?

This anthology is a series of interconnected stories which take place both in Hollow and on Earth. Stories spill into each other as some tales take longer than a single story to relay; others appear as disconnected snippets. The disjointed feeling this creates is undoubtedly intentional, with the stories and surreal writing style of the author combining into what feels like a particularly uncomfortable nightmare. The stories, in fact, do come from the author's vivid nightmares, and create a wonderfully surreal, demented dreamscape. Dark, bleak stories are told of the unfortunates who live in Hollow. A Ringmaster (née Conductor) gathers children along his travels to form a parading circus of chaos. A fresh batch of humans is delivered into the bleak Hollow and must find the strength to survive. A nameless character is visited by the terrifying Window Walker. These stories and more fill the pages of Anodyne's book, a trove of tales telling of a strange and twisted god. If these stories don't give you nightmares, they will at least make your skin crawl.

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