Peter David is known best for his work on Star Trek novels (especially his co-created sub-series New Frontier) and his scripting for comic books (Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Factor, Fallen Angel). He had some success with his Arthur Pendragon and Sir Apropos of Nothing series, often he just works as a paid hack to promote existing features (a lot of Marvel movie novelizations, the Fables game), calling himself ironically a "writer of stuff". So this novel here is a new stand alone feature with characters created by David himself and is intended to be the first part of a trilogy. And I think it is not only one of the best books of Peter David but in my humble opinion in its creation of a whole world of its own on par with Tolkien or Stephen King's Dark Tower. It starts as some sort of fantasy tale but turns out to be SF during the progress of the story. It is not easy to tell more without spoiling the unexpected twists and turns of the plot. Starting very slowly and introducing dozens of characters in different strings of the storyline David describes the fate of the planet Damned World with its Twelve Races on it. After having taken down humanity the Twelve Races fight among each other and are all terrorized by a mysterious Overseer who is in charge of the so called Travellers. Between subplots dealing with some of these races the story prominently follows a pack of "bottom feeders" that take a former human slave with them and slowly learn the mystery of the Orb of Light. Although the book starts slowly David's writing shines with humor and rich characterization, after some time most of the single strands fall in line. Now I am at odds with the gods of fate and publishing because the second part of this novel is overdue. Well, this just might be because the first volume evidently did not really sell which is a shame!