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Whitechapel Gods
Whitechapel Gods
Author: S. M. Peters
TWO GODS-ONE CHANCE FOR MANKIND — In Victorian London, the Whitechapel section is a mechanized, steam-driven hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Some years have passed since the Great Uprising, when humans rose up to fight against the machines, but a few brave veterans of the Uprising have...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780451461933
ISBN-10: 0451461932
Publication Date: 2/5/2008
Pages: 320
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.

2.9 stars, based on 29 ratings
Publisher: Roc
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Trey avatar reviewed Whitechapel Gods on + 260 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Whitechapel Gods isn't bad, and once you realize its a first novel, its pretty good for a first novel. The concept is that the gods Mother Engine and Grandfather Clock have walled off the Whitechapel section of London from the rest of the Empire for the better part of a century. Its also where the laws of nature don't quite work as they do elsewhere. People come down with 'the clanks' where they sprout mechanical parts. Others have their hearts replaced with boilers and still live. And on and on. Its steam punk meets body horror, or a variation on screampunk.

Within, its Whitechapel on its worst days, cubed. Its dark, dirty and dangerous. The dangers? Clickrats, clockhounds and nesses are the mechanical wildlife. Then there are the 'secret' police of the Black Cloaks (adherents of Mother Engine) and Gold Cloaks (followers of Grandfather Clock). And above them all there is John Scared.

The story follows several characters over three days or so as the situation builds to a head and either the death of gods, or their spreading beyond Whitechapel. The viewpoint characters it follows are:

Oliver Sumner - Revolutionary, leader of the failed Uprising, now working with the English government to overthrow Engine and Grandfather Clock.
Michelle 'Missy' Planetegenet - up and coming rebel, and member of Oliver's crew. She also has secrets and a bloodlust that pushes things along.
Bergen Keuper - German big game hunter with a secret.
John Scared - the most feared man in Whitechapel.
Aaron Bolden - inside man in the Gods' service.

There are others, but they are the viewpoint characters.

So, did I like it? Sort of. Its got some neat gothic steampunk bits there, but it almost feels like cheating by the inclusion of supernatural elements. Characters feel a bit flat, but have more depth than many other efforts. The oddly irritating bits to me were the combats the author tried to describe - they were confusing, lacked key detail and show the author doesn't know his subject (and apparently doesn't know people who know the subject (hint - talk to soldiers, hunters, martial artists and cops)). I t could have been better, but it shows that Peters has a promising future, especially once he gets some experience under his belt.

Likes: Interesting world building bits, the conflicting loyalties and what it attempted to do. Having one of the most famous villains of all turn up.
Dislikes: That it failed in the attempt. The fight scenes were confused and didn't make sense. Characters could have had a more depth.
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reviewed Whitechapel Gods on
This book has a fantastic concept and a solid array of characters that the author squanders with poor pacing and underdevelopment. There is no more tension at the story's climax than there is at the beginning. An unsatisfying end to a promising story.
amichai avatar reviewed Whitechapel Gods on + 368 more book reviews
I'm afraid I did not like this book enough to finish it. I read about 100 pages. The setting is there....but not the characters.


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