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Whitechapel Gods

3.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,540 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
A thrilling new Steampunk fantasy from a talented debut author


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 bra
Paperback, 1st Edition, 374 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by Roc
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 21, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
Whitechapel has been cut off from the rest of London and is ruled by two mechanical alien gods, for the lack of a better description, Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine. John Scared schemes to usurp Grandfather Clock's power while Oliver Sumner and other revolutionaries look to overthrow both gods. Who will reign supreme?

First of all, there were lots of things to like about this book. The hyper-industrialized pseudo-Victorian hell Whitechapel has become under the rule of Grandfather Clock and Mam
Jul 28, 2008 Michael rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I honestly picked this book up because of the cool cover. It got my attention. It didn't take me long, though, to realize that the cover was all this book had going for it. The first thirty pages felt like a commercial break--fifteen to thirty second bits of sound and flashing images that are completely unrelated to each other. The book lacks any sort of focus. In those thrity pages I hadn't encountered a single image or character to grab my attention. There was a lot of disorienting movement an ...more
Sarah Anne
3.5 stars. This was a very dark steampunk fantasy with shades of something like Gangs of New York, although not precisely that.

We have a small band of people who are fighting for Whitechapel as well as queen and country while going up against Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock, who have set themselves up as gods. These gods were fascinating . In addition to creating a rather unique pair of gods, this allowed for people who were allied to each god. Some of these had clockwork mechanisms and some
Jun 29, 2008 Brooke rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, fantasy
Like the other steampunk novels I've read, Whitechapel Gods tends to get a little abstract at times, especially towards the end. However, it was a really entertaining read, and the world that S.M. Peters created is a very well developed one. I was completely immersed in the steel-and-smog Whitechapel ruled by Industrial Age gods, and I thought the steam guns and the Chimney (where all the "parts" that "don't work" are sent) were especially creepy. I look forward to Peters' sophomore effort.
Nov 16, 2009 Terence rated it liked it
Recommended to Terence by: Bookcover art & blurb
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Quick review: A nice, little, self-contained novel. I haven't read much in the urban fantasy/steampunk genres but Peters' Whitechapel reminds me of Mieville's New Crobuzon in its atmosphere and in its half-human/half-machine inhabitants. Peters' work isn't as mind-twisting as Mieville's but it's reasonably inventive and fresh, and the characters are not simple, one-dimensional caricatures. In fact, the most evil and dangerous character is the human John Scared, not the putative enemies Grandfath ...more
Jun 25, 2008 Rolf rated it liked it
"I don't know art, but I know what I like." That's a cliche heard all too often, but sometimes it can be useful, especially if you take the inverse of that statement. I do know art ( a limited degree) and on that level I can appreciate this book a whole lot more than in the "what I like" scheme of things. Peters has created a fascinating world, but the relatively slow pace made this book a bit more "work" to get through that what I normally prefer -- but I recognize that that is a perso ...more
Apr 27, 2008 Felicia rated it liked it
Recommends it for: steampunk/cyberpunk fans
Shelves: steampunk
This book's concept was really interesting, although in practice, I wasn't hooked as much as I wanted to be. I'm not really familiar with/a fan of this genre though, so I don't want to judge it too harshly. There were some interesting characters, the violence was brutal and kind of thrilling ;). I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but if you like cyber/steam punk it's worth a pick up.
Feb 05, 2012 Brian rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
First off I love the cover, but after that there really wasn't anymore love. For my first foray into a steampunk novel I am greatly disappointed. Not so much with the setting, though it was a bit limited and at times only sketchily described, but with the character description, development and the complete lack of forth right explanation.

You are introduced to characters with little or no description of what they look like or their motivation. As most readers would do, I think, you begin to pict
I usually don't leave reviews but I gave 1 star to this one without even finishing it and I wanted to explain.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I was so eager to read it (mostly because of the cover, which is awesome) but it was a huge disappointment.
Let's start with the names. I understand that you don't want to be repetitive and star all the sentences with “John did whatever”, but if you are going to call him by his first name in the first sentence and in the next you are going to ca
Сразу признаюсь, что Whitechapel Gods я дочитать не смогла, хотя до последнего цеплялась. Но здравый смысл наконец взял верх и посоветовал не тратить время на книги, которые доставляют больше мучений, чем удовольствия. Кто я, чтобы спорить.

Прочитав половину книги, я так и не встретила ни одного героя, способного минимально заинтересовать, не говоря уже о симпатии. Единственный значимый женский персонаж – бывшая дама легкого поведения, притащившая следом из старой жизни вагон и маленькую тележку
Erinn M
Apr 22, 2014 Erinn M rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, read-in-2014
This is a perfect example of being properly fooled by the cover art and title of a book. When I think Whitechapel I immediately think Jack the Ripper. The idea of a steampunk era Jack was very intriguing, however this has nothing to do with that. The cover art doesn't help to dissuade that association either, rather it fueled it for me.
Once I had the book in hand, and after realizing the above, the blurb on the back still intrigued me enough to read.

In Peters' version of Whitechapel two Gods, M
Sep 20, 2008 Karyn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
First thought: too many characters. It wasn't until I was in chapter 4 that I realized "Oh. So Oliver is the main protagonist." The plot also starts out slowly (oh so slowly)but finally picks up around the last third of the book. My second issue with the book was the female protagonist, Missy: the attempt to make her out to be the "strong female" of the story fell flat on its face as she continuously carried on an internal dialogue I can only assume was developed to garner sympathy for her chara ...more
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
2.5 Stars

Whitechapel has been cut off from the rest of England, by a seemingly impenetrable wall forged by the new gods Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Between them they have virtually enslaved most of Whitechapel, turning it into a mass of growing metal and ash and smog covered streets, and spreading their disease that cause men to start growing mechanical parts and replacing their followers hearts with furnaces. But, a rebellion is growing and a weapon forged that can kill these new gods an
Rebecca Tayles
Up until the last quarter of this book I was utterly in love with it. I liked the characters and their complexities, I loved the glimpses of this world it was set in, and I was SURE it would all make sense by the end.

Buuuuuut no. No explanations were ultimately given for why a dead person could end up in the body of a mechanical rat, or how a creepy old man could have a steam goddess for a lover, or even how these gods of Whitechapel came to exist in the first place. A few token lines were added
Jan 05, 2011 Laylah rated it it was ok
Sort of at the low edge of 2.5 stars, I think.

The publishing imprint labels this "fantasy," and marketing trends would call it "steampunk," but I think it would be more accurate than either to call it body horror. The novel's clearest and most vivid descriptions are saved for the (many) instances when flesh and machine are violently, gruesomely melded, which means this is a novel that takes a strong stomach.

The industrial cancer that affects people in the story's Whitechapel, turning their bodi
Corielle Riddell
Jan 29, 2012 Corielle Riddell rated it liked it
First, let me say that I wanted to love this book. From its awesome cover art and the summary on Amazon, it looked interesting enough. Authored by S.M. Peters, this debut is a Steampunk-themed story where two mechanical gods, Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock, rule London. You follow the rebels of an uprising who live in this dirty, dystopian city and who only want to free themselves from these mechanical monsters and their murderous henchmen.

It took two months for me to read Whitechapel Gods,
Sep 23, 2009 Mike rated it liked it
Whitechapel Gods marks my first foray into the steampunk genre during my steampunk extravaganza this month. It is perhaps a bit of an odd book for a first choice since it is entirely lacking in airships and heavier on horror then adventure but it is rife with clockwork automatons and steam powered weaponry. In truth Whitechapel Gods is something like steampunk as envisioned by H. P. Lovecraft or Stephen King.

In a post-industrial London, Whitecapel has been walled off by the strange deific figure
Aug 07, 2012 James rated it really liked it
I am not an expert in Steampunk fiction, but I rather enjoyed this book. While it may not have had a resolution that seemed complete, I found myself engaged in the character and feeling the sense of the atmosphere of the work. Given the actual Whitechapel's history, I felt Peters did well to engage the concept and make it his world. The struggle the protagonist has determining if he should even try to rebel seems genuine enough from the start and his history is fleshed out significantly to demon ...more
Mar 29, 2008 Jake rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
In the interest of full disclosure, I have not actually finished this book. I do think I have read enough however. 150 pages into a 350 page book would seem like enough time to establish at least on interesting character, especially considering that each chapter is from the perspective of about 4 different characters.

It would also be enough time to establish at least a bit of world history or a bit of idea about the setting. This was the biggest problem. The world this takes place in is a radic
Whitechapel,London - The citizens of Whitechapel are under the rule of two gods - Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine. The focus of these two gods/machines is to continue to function, at all cost.

There are cloaks - humans who have chosen to become part of the machines, Boilermen - a frightful creation solely from the machines themselves, and a cancerous disease, called clacks, that transforms innocent humans into a sort of half-human, half-machine entity.

The scenes of machine and flesh merging a
Jul 01, 2014 Chris rated it did not like it
Cool cover, but can't get past page 50. And I've tried reading this three times.
Cécile C.
Mar 18, 2014 Cécile C. rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
This was a cool read. I liked how the gods were used as a metaphor for the industrialisation of Whitechapel, as well as the imagery of human/machine/zombies/something. It was enjoyable, even though it's not the most breath-taking conception of steampunk gods you might imagine( it got heavy-handed in parts, in particular when it came to describing Mama Engine's madness and her frantic search for a lover).

I'm not sure I was entirely convinced by the characters, however. There are many of them, an
Sep 13, 2015 Nick rated it liked it
A fantastical grimy steampunk view of Whitechapel's notorious slums held captive by Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine.
The world is very satisfying - people being infected by machinery in the walled off part of London is impressively horrible. The two gods have their own footsoldiers made machine out of ordinary Londoners. Their aims are unclear but their destruction is necessary, before all of Whitechapel and beyond are made slave to the machines.

The story is a straightforward one of revolutio
Apr 21, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
Grimy, harsh, and not at all the exciting romp I was expecting.
It was hard to get into at the beginning -- mostly because of too much frontloading of information -- but that evened out fairly quickly. The writing was overwrought at times, and the author actually used the word 'irregardless' (and not as a joke), but for the most part the book was a compelling read. I'll be interested to see what else Peters writes.
Thomas Tanggaard
Nov 20, 2015 Thomas Tanggaard rated it it was ok
I det victorianske England styrer Mama Engine og Grandfather Clock Londons Whitechapel-kvarter med hård hånd. Imens hærger en maskinel virus de omkringliggende byområder, hvilket forvandler indbyggerne til underlige hybrider, der bløder olie og udvikler tandhjul i stedet for almindelige organer. Midt i alt dette står en gruppe rebeller, der vil gøre alt for at bryde med diktaturet og frigøre deres samfund. Whitechapel Gods oser af velfungerende steampunk, der bringer mindelser om både Michael Mo ...more
May 12, 2009 edifanob rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-books, 2009-reads
To be honest I really like steampunk.

Unfortunately this book didn't work for me. There have been passages I liked and others which totally confused me. I couldn't find the rhythm of the book. I also had problems with the style of the author.

Rachel Noel
Dec 13, 2015 Rachel Noel rated it liked it
Overall, this was a good, engaging read. I certainly wasn't expecting it to be as dark as it was, but the feel fits the form. You could not write a world like this, where the sun is blotted out, and not have a dark story.

The characters in this world are quite interesting. I appreciated that intelligence was the order of the day with three of the main characters. Intelligent characters make for more interesting stories and at no point did I feel any of the good guys were being dumb. Most of the c
Feb 13, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
I had a little experience reading steampunk novels before reading this one (I read Kady Cross's Steampunk Chronicles, which are worth your time in case you're wondering) and must say I am a fan of steampunk fiction. This book was very unique, yet rather abstract at times (i.e. John Scared's mind and dream state when he takes the mei kuan), as other readers have mentioned in their reviews. I read in others' reviews that they wish a backstory on Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine would have been ni ...more
Jyllian Martini
Apr 02, 2009 Jyllian Martini rated it it was ok
This book needed a good editor. The ideas were intriguing but half the time you actually couldn't tell who was speaking to whom. The characters lacked definition and some of the action was muddy. It was a slog to finish.
May 29, 2014 David rated it it was ok
Tried this book several years ago. Didn't get far. Saw a review on the Black Gate (?) made me want to give it another shot.
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Read by Theme: Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters 3 24 Aug 30, 2012 04:33AM  
Goodreads Librari...: How do you delete a series? 3 55 Nov 10, 2011 08:39AM  
  • The Horns of Ruin
  • Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart, #1)
  • Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology
  • Mainspring (Clockwork Earth #1)
  • The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales, #1)
  • The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, #1)
  • The Bookman (The Bookman Histories, #1)
  • Ghosts of Manhattan (The Ghost, #1)
  • Dead Iron (Age of Steam, #1)
  • New Amsterdam (New Amsterdam, #1)
  • Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded (Steampunk, #2)
  • The Alchemy of Stone
  • The Steampunk Trilogy
  • The Clockwork Man
  • Unnatural History (Pax Britannia, #1)
  • Blood in the Skies (The Hellfire Chronicles, #1)
  • Steampunk (Steampunk, #1)
  • Infernal Devices
S. M. Peters is not an ex-spy, ex-lawyer, ex-physicist, ex-Navy SEAL, or ex-Wall Street executive. He lives in Middle-of-Nowhere on Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, from where he commutes into the city to spend all day telling adolescents to fix their comma splices and spell “a lot” as two words. He is happily married and owns more animals than the Calgary Zoo.
More about S.M. Peters...

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