There's a certain amount of compression here, as we discovered last book that there were nine baddies -- the nine Collectors who went off the grid back in antediluvian times, with various untoward consequences. (For one, times stopped being antediluvian. Abruptly.) Thornton has to kill them all, which means the book is a sequence of rather abrupt episodes. It doesn't feel rushed, though, and there's time for the appropriate talking and walking. Satisfying.