Dan Schwent 's Reviews > Whitechapel Gods

Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters
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Mar 21, 12

bookshelves: steampunk
Read in May, 2009

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 Mama Engine is a well-described place. The Boilermen and the Cloaks are both interesting antagonists, as are John Scared and Giselle. The clacks, a disease that causes people to slowly grow gears and wiring beneath their skin, is also quite innovative. The story had a lot of twists and turns.

Things I don't like? I hate to admit that few of the characters really grabbed me. It took me forever to figure out that Oliver was the central character in the story. Too much was made of events that little to nothing was revealed about, such as the rise of Baron Hume and the creation of Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine. In my opinion, the story would have been better had it focused more on Oliver and revealed more backstory.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy Whitechapel Gods. I'd recommend it to new weird, steampunk and horror fans. Officially, I'm giving this 3.5 stars. It might be upgraded to a 4 on a re-read.

Later: Actually, I've read a bit of steampunk since Whitechapel Gods. Not only will I not be upgrading it to four stars, I'd say it's barely a 3.
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Reading Progress

05/09/2009 page 0
0.0%
05/10/2009 page 30
8.02% "odd so far" 3 comments
05/12/2009 page 116
31.02% "I wish either Bergen or Bailey had a different name. Or their personalities were more distinct. I keep forgetting which is which."
05/15/2009 page 228
60.96% ""If the functionality still existed in his organs, Westerton might have pissed himself.""
05/15/2009 page 280
74.87% "Now THAT was unexpected..."
05/15/2009 page 366
97.86% "almost over..."
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent I'm reading The Bookman right now and it blows Whitechapel Gods out of the water. I may have to downgrade some of the other steampunk I've read as well.


message 2: by Terry (new)

Terry Steampunk is a pretty problematic subgenre, eh? I like the idea of it, but so much of it just seems to be cosplay wanking. It's hard to find really *good* stuff in the genre.


message 3: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Elizabeth wrote: "That looks good! I'm not yet sold on the whole steampunk idea but I think that's because what I've read of it has been so very uneven."

That's a big problem for me too. A lot of the steampunk stuff I've read either has too much going on or just isn't very well written.


message 4: by Dan (last edited Mar 21, 2012 05:32AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Dulac3 wrote: "Steampunk is a pretty problematic subgenre, eh? I like the idea of it, but so much of it just seems to be cosplay wanking. It's hard to find really *good* stuff in the genre."

Word. A lot of it seems like the writer had an idea and just threw a bunch of clunky machinery and Victorian dialog into it.


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry Don't forget the goggles!


message 6: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Dulac3 wrote: "Don't forget the goggles!"

Goggles and gears, brass if possible.


message 7: by Terry (last edited Mar 21, 2012 05:38AM) (new)

Terry I've still got my eye on The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, but I've heard conflicting things about it. Still, Swinburne and Burton are trés cool.


message 8: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Dulac3 wrote: "I've still got my eye on The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, but I've heard conflicting things about it. Still, Swinburne and Burton are trés cool."

I've heard conflicting reports on that one as well. It has Spring Heeled Jack in it so I'll probably wind up reading it eventually, though.


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