Imagine that there are thousands of worlds in many different realities, and every time a person dies they wake up as themselves to live a new life, but on a different world. This is repeated over and over until the person eventually wakes in the City Unspoken, the only place where True Death can be found. Most people show up at the City Unspoken after living many lives; Cooper wakes up there after just one, and he’s not even sure he died first.
The Waking Engine has elements of science fiction, fantasy, religion, classic faerie tales, a little bit of history, and quite a lot of horror. Unfortunately it looks like David Edison has taken these elements, thrown them all into a sack, and then violently shaken the sack. To say the results are confusing is putting it mildly.