Gregorio Rivas used to be the best redemptionist in the business but now he's just a pelican gunner in a band in Ellay. At least, he was until the Distiller of the Treasury shows up and sends him on a mission: to rescue his daughter from the Jaybirds. Is Rivas still up to the task and can he keep from becoming one of Norton Jaybush's followers?
Tim Powers' books are always full of crazy ideas but this one takes the taco. Dinner At Deviant's Palace is a post-apocalyptic story with a level of weirdness that only Tim Powers can deliver. Brandy is used as currency. Bloodsucking monsters called hemogoblins are on the loose. The new Messiah is a rotund madman named Norton Jaybush and his crazed followers are the Jaybirds. Jaybush's sacrament is a weird psychic pulse that gradually erodes the mind of the Jaybird who receives it. There's also a street drug called Blood that is mysteriously similar to the sacrament. I said this was weird, right?
Gregorio Rivas goes from being a selfish musician to being something of a hero and has his ass repeatedly handed to him in the process. Powers never seems very sympathetic to his leads and Rivas is no exception.
Part of the fun of Dinner At Deviant's Palace is trying to decode what landmarks and cities in California Powers was referring to. Ellay is obviously Los Angeles, for instance.
I'd recommend this to all Tim Powers fans and also fans of post-apocalyptic fiction. Rivas isn't as tough as Snake Plissken but he gets the job done.