he most unusual aspect of the story is that each Player has a familiar - an animal companion with near-human intelligence which helps complete the numerous preparations required to be ready for the ritual on the final night. The vast majority of the story describes the interactions and discussions of these animals, all from Snuff's point of view.
Throughout the book, the Players slowly take sides (Opener or Closer), form alliances, make deals, oppose one another, and even kill off those who are part of the enemy camp. Events, slow-moving at first, accelerate until the night of October 31st, when the ritual takes place and the fate of the world is decided.
A similar theme of the conflict around the opening of a Gate to an older world (also with references to Lovecraft's work) can be seen in Zelazny's novel Modwand.