Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Whitechapel Gods” as Want to Read:
Whitechapel Gods
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Whitechapel Gods

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,761 ratings  ·  197 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Whitechapel Gods, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,761 ratings  ·  197 reviews

Sort order
Dan Schwent
Mar 15, 2008 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
Apr 11, 2008 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
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Apr 27, 2008 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.
Mar 02, 2008 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.
Sep 26, 2010 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
Sep 14, 2009 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
May 22, 2008 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
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
It was hard to get into. The e-book jumped around between narrators with no indication of change which made it difficult to follow, especially at first. Overall, I liked it but I didn't love it.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get past page 69. This book didn't grab me and I found the descriptions of Whitechapel wordy but vague. I couldn't get a picture of the place in my head.
Nov 18, 2018 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
This was our book club pick for November. I tried to read it I really did, but it’s just not my thing. Thank you, next.
Erinn M
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Corielle Riddell
Jan 29, 2012 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,
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: steampunk
Inventive (if very dark) steampunk rather ruined by raging misogyny. Took the lessons of The Difference Engine rather too close to heart. There are three female characters. One's an irrational whore with no impulse control, full of fluttery, dangerous womanly weakness. Another's an evil madame. The third is a goddess...who's easily overpowered and secretly glories in being raped by a totally normal guy who takes some drugs that apparently elevates him to her level because really, uppity women ju ...more
Laylah Hunter
Jan 04, 2011 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
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
Sep 23, 2009 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
Jul 14, 2008 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
Aug 07, 2012 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
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
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
Jacob Jones-Goldstein
Feb 24, 2008 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
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is one of the darkest books I've ever read. The Whitechapel section is cut off from the rest of London by two gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. If they had more serious names, they couldn't be creepier. The events in this book take place a few years after the uprising led by Oliver Sumner. Members of resistance got their hands on a weapon, designed by Jack the Ripper-like man, which could destroy the gods.
You don't get a single moment of happiness or at least some kind of pe
Apr 21, 2013 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.
Jyllian Martini
Apr 02, 2009 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 01, 2008 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.

Jul 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Cool cover, but can't get past page 50. And I've tried reading this three times.
In brief: A steampunk Whitechapel has been in the thrall of Grandfather Clock and Mama Engine for a generation and just about everyone wants them gone. Will Oliver be the man of the hour?

Thoughts: The steampunk elements are incredibly steampunky, and pretty unnerving. The themes of man, machine, power, and man as machine are interesting. The plot is … pretty standard, unfortunately, and the characters don’t really bring it to life. Close, in parts, but not quite. There are some spots where the p
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Read by Theme: Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters 3 25 Aug 30, 2012 04:33AM  
Goodreads Librari...: How do you delete a series? 3 57 Nov 10, 2011 08:39AM  
  • Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart, #1)
  • Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology
  • The Horns of Ruin
  • Mainspring (Clockwork Earth #1)
  • Avalon Revisited
  • The Clockwork Man
  • The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, #1)
  • Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded (Steampunk, #2)
  • Ghosts of Manhattan (The Ghost, #1)
  • The Buntline Special (Weird West Tales, #1)
  • Wild Cards and Iron Horses
  • Dead Iron (Age of Steam, #1)
  • The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives
  • New Amsterdam (New Amsterdam, #1)
  • Steampunk'd
  • Blood in the Skies (The Hellfire Chronicles, #1)
  • The Alchemy of Stone
  • Unnatural History (Pax Britannia, #1)
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.