Sea of Ghosts (The Gravedigger Chronicles, #1)
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Sea of Ghosts (The Gravedigger Chronicles #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  35 reviews
When the last of the Gravediggers, an elite imperial infiltration unit, are disbanded and hunted down by the emperor they once served, munitions expert Colonel Thomas Granger takes refuge in the unlikeliest of places. He becomes a jailer in Ethugra.
Paperback, 431 pages
Published 2012 by Tor Books (first published March 18th 2011)
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Neal Asher
The sea bottles are bubbling away under the sea, each seemingly a gateway into another world, steadily raising the sea levels with brine whose touch will turn your skin to shark skin. The artefacts of a recently fallen alchemic and magical dictatorship lie under the poisonous waters for anyone brave enough, or insane enough to retrieve them. Steamships and sorcerous weapons abound, along with other fascinating devices in a steam/punk/fantasy world. Dragons are addicted to what can only be descri...more
Ranting Dragon

First in Alan Campbell’s new Gravedigger Chronicles, Sea of Ghosts is a mix of different genres. The novel starts as an adventurous work of low fantasy with steampunk elements, but soon moves into completely new territories of paranormal and even epic fantasy, with scientific elements that expand to make this novel resemble something I can only describe as ‘epic science fantasy’. All the while, Sea of Ghosts reads like a marine adventure written by Clive C...more
(review when read on original publication/review copy 2010)

I have finished the book yesterday too (full rv 2011 around publication date) and I was mixed; the writing style does not chime with me many times and the characters in the book are pure stock with no depth - eg the frightened but very powerful girl, the honor, duty, bla..., officer relegated by caricature emperor Hu to exile...

Also there are so many over the top action sequences that happen because they need to happen...

There were momen...more
This was a massive let down. Massive. And looking back, I don't know why I was surprised. I have experienced Campbell's writing once before, and came out of it feeling distinctly 'meh'. However, from the moment I heard about this book to the moment I started reading it, I was captivated by the ideas that he presented. It's just a shame that he let it down. Three Stars.

Plot : Four Stars

In concept, this was a five star book, however it's execution felt just like that; an execution.

Set in a world...more
Goodreads removed the review for some reason...

I stumbled across Campbell’s Sea of Ghosts back in May, and what caught my initial interest was the cover. A man in heavy diving gear trudging out of the depths with some fierce looking weapons strapped to his back – but the book dropped further and further down my list while more books were added. It returned to my attention at the words of Stefan of Civilian Reader and after jumping through some hoops to get...more
I love a dark world. and this book's setting is GRIM! Poison seas cover the earth, dooming any one even touching the brine , to a painful conversion to a sea creature and/or death. and the seas are rising! Artifacts of a defeated magical race wait under the toxic sea for anyone brave, or desperate enough to plunder search for them. a decadent empire, a militant order of telepaths, rule the remnants of a world doomed to a toxic watery death. only a disgraced soldier, an opportunistic 'trove' hunt...more
Nick Brett
This is an intriguing fantasy novel which keeps the reader guessing as to where it is going. A bit of steampunk, weird magic and fresh ideas assault the reader from almost the first page. Set in an intelligently crafted world where the sea is rising and heavily toxic, there are a number of key protagonists: a resourceful officer on the run from the Empire, a cunning treasure hunter, a witch and a young girl with some very strange abilities.

What is interesting about this is that you can see where...more
Natasha M.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Campbell Mcaulay
The sea is toxic and gradually rising and the world reduced to a few isolated island archipelagoes. Society is brutal, exploitative and feudal. Thomas Granger is a hunted man and his daughter is a valuable political and scientific commodity. Read on...

I picked this up on no more than a whim after spotting it's rather striking cover art on the "recommended" section at the bookshop and, a few short days later, I put it down again, pretty much blown away. OK, so I'm no steampunk afficionado so I gu...more
Lianne Burwell
I always find it interesting comparing North American SF to the UK SF. Some people would say 'it's just SF', but there is a definite difference in tone. For one thing, I tend to find UK SF a little darker in tone, the worlds a little stranger.

In Sea of Ghosts, you get both. The Unmer are sorcerors who controlled the world for a very long time. Then their human slaves rose up in rebellion, mainly aided by a guild of female telepaths who now control the surviving Unmer. But in a final stroke of ve...more
Brian Steele
This book started out amazing. The first chapter alone was one of the most captivating, original, and bizarre things I've read in some time. Unfortunately, it descended into a somewhat boring tale far too quickly.

Campbell has created a unique world, a fantasy universe based more off 17th century Europe than the middle ages like we see in traditional fantasy. There is a odd, almost steampunkish element, along with the aspect of a flooded earth. Sadly, there are almost too many alien concepts thro...more
Alan Campbell is quickly becoming one of may favorite authors. His Deepgate Codex books were astoundingly creative dark fantasy, even if I was a bit disappointed at the conclusion. To be sure, his fantasy is not for everyone, as it is grim and shockingly violent.

He has managed to dream up another wicked world full of magic and technology and danger, and a bunch of wonderfully disturbing characters.

Most definitely recommended.
This book had some really fucking cool ideas and a really neat premise. The ending was pretty freaking weak and I know it's because it goes into a series but come on dude give me some closure. Anyway, I don't have the 2nd book on my Kobo so who knows if I'll ever read it ever.
Vivid, imaginative, original, unpredictable, bleak, funny - characters that grow on you slowly, but surely, and a finely drawn world that teeters on the edge of making sense but never quite gives it up to the reader... not a bad thing at all, to my mind; a bit of mystery makes it more interesting. A lovely light touch in the writing that means all the underlying stuff, quite disturbing in parts, doesn't jump on you, but simmers away in the back of your mind until you really get a chance to reali...more
Fantastic first half with Alan Campbells' typical rich world building and jaw dropping visual set pieces. It seemed to suffer in the middle sections, as some of the previous novels, with directionless sub plots seemingly designed just to move characters around for the end game. Much like Deepgate, in Scar Night he creates a mesmerising and exciting setting - the half drowned prison city of Euthugra in this case - and then abandons it half way through. However; a brilliant climax which I wish he...more
Mr.Campbell's Deepgate Codex hasn't interested me from reading the blurbs on them, but after finishing Sea of Ghosts, I might actually have to pick them up while waiting for the sequel. And might I just say, since he left the end of the book at such a cliffhanger, he aught ta had the sequel already written, not trying to finish it as his website says.

The story has a flawed hero, a child coming into balance upsetting powers, a decadent empire, poisonous rising waters, powerful arrogant saviors, a...more
Jason Blackwell
Absolutely top notch fantasy!
Not read any Alan Campbell before bu I'll definitely go back and pick up his Deepgate Codex trilogy now!
A brilliantly imagined baroque fantasy world...with an interesting level of technology and magic far different from the usual "high fantasy clones" a great hero, good villains and a lovely lyrical use of language that kept me turning the pages...
The only downside is that I've got to wait for the next book in the sequence...
Definately one to enjoy if you liked "Prin...more
I'm not sure how to classify this one, definitely fantasy, but it doesn't quite fit the standard mold. The world building is weird in a good way, a mix of science and magic with a dash of ancient powers and some (post) apocalypse for good measure. Oh, and telepathy of course. The characters are well rounded and interesting, so they're forgiven for being a bit stereotype at times. The storyline kept me interested untill the end, although I'm not sure where the story will go from here. Not your st...more
Jamie Gibbs
Sea of Ghosts was a very enjoyable book with an excellent set of characters and a brilliantly thought out setting. Though things seemed to fizzle out towards the end, it was a gripping adventure with plenty of action to sink your teeth into. It's a dark, fast paced story filled with intrigue, forbidden lore and corruption, and you'll enjoy every page of it.

Read the full review at Mithril Wisdom.
Peter Greenwell
Fast-paced action, weird and wacky steampunk settings, and it is occasionally gripping material. What it also possesses is a litany of characters who never transcend cardboard, periods where the writing is pedestrian (some poor editing at play too) and as with Campbell's prior three books, his imagination gets the better of him and logical flow goes out the window.

The good outweighs the bad - just, and it is a guilty pleasure of a read.
I usually avoid fantasy, but I picked up this book because a) Martin Lewis recommended it, and b) the cover art features a deep sea diver. There’s some interesting world-building in this, and a nice line in wit, but the thinly-disguised discussions on quantum mechanics wore thin very quickly, and the unnecessary brutality was also a little wearying. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I’ll bother with the sequels.
Stunning start to his new series. Great plot. Great fantasy world. Love all the characters. And I see Campbell has another 'Devon the poisoner'-type character which I loved from the Deepgate Codex series. He does those charming psychopaths so well. The occasional continuity error where several weeks get compressed into 24hrs, and characters survive against impossible odds, but I can forgive him for that.
Looking forward to bk.2.
Jason Fischer
This was brilliant. I haven't enjoyed a new fantasy novel in ages, and this one ticked all my boxes. OUTSTANDING setting, skillfully drip-fed back-story, gripping plot and a gruesome antihero protagonist. I was actually disappointed when I got to the end that book #2 isn't out yet. Can't wait!
Darvin Martin
I'm going to go on and give this 5 stars. Just read the Prologue and I am hooked already. This writer is amazing. Reminds me of Mieville's early Bas Lag series. Not everyone can pull off the weird fiction/mixed world settings but Campbell does it superbly.
Liked it a lot.
Very interesting universe and just can't wait for the sequel.
About people in a harsh world who have no elution's about better ways until our anti hero figures he will give it a try!
Brutal and dark with a shimmer of light.
Campbell has an incredible (and sometimes disturbing) mind, and Sea of Ghosts is a triumph of the imagination. There is little of the common about this remarkable book and it is a must read for anyone brave enough to give it a chance.
Really interesting tale of a group of soldiers who find themselves on the wrong side of the Emperor and on the run. The sea is toxic and causes serious harm brought about by a race war.
I enjoyed seeing another twisted world from Alan Campbell,it even had some sneaky references to his deep gate codex series. I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.
Sep 24, 2013 Tamahome marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"Alan Campbell might well be the best writer of adventure fiction in the UK at the moment."
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I was born in Falkirk, Scotland, and grew up there, before moving on to to study Computer Science at Edinburgh University. After graduating, I worked for DMA Design, Visual Sciences and Rockstar, developing video games: Body Harvest for the Nintendo 64, Formula One 2000 for the Playstation, and the Grand Theft Auto series on the PC and PS2. After we'd finished Vice City, I left to pursue a career...more
More about Alan Campbell...
Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, #1) Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex, #2) God of Clocks (Deepgate Codex, #3) Lye Street (Deepgate Codex, #0) Art of Hunting (The Gravedigger Chronicles, #2)

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