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Scar Night (Deepgate Codex) Hardcover – Unabridged, 7 Jul 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; 1 edition (7 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405090359
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405090353
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 14.6 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 672,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alan Campbell was born in Falkirk, Scotland, and grew up there, before moving on to study Computer Science at Edinburgh University. He has worked as a software engineer and a freelance photographer, but now writes full time.

Product Description

Book Description

For nine hundred generations, the city of Deepgate has hung suspended by giant chains over a seemingly bottomless abyss. In the unfathomable darkness below is said to reside the dread god Ulcis, ‘hoarder of souls’, with his army of ghosts. Outside the city extend the barren wastes of Deadsands, inhabited by the enemy Heshette, so that safe access is guaranteed only by a fleet of airships. At the hub of the city itself rises the Temple, in one of whose many crumbling spires resides a youthful angel, Dill, the last of his line. Descendant of heroic battle-archons, yet barely able to wield the great sword he has inherited from his forebears, he lives a sheltered existence under the watchful eye of Presbyter Sypes, who rules the Temple. For despite his sense of purposelessness, Dill has a destiny about to unfold – one that will take him down into terrifying depths of the pit in a desperate quest to save the teeming but precarious city from total annihilation at the hands of a cunning and resourceful traitor.

About the Author

First-time novelist Alan Campbell has worked as a coder/designer on the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto video games, VICE CITY and SAN ANDREAS.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Nolene-Patricia Dougan VINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Welcome to the world of Deepgate, a city suspended by chains over a vast and mysterious chasm. Only after you have lived your life and died will you find what lies underneath Deepgate at the bottom of the abyss. The religion of Deepgate tells its people that they will find peace when your body is thrown or `sent' to the bottom of the pit where the God Ulcis waits with the noble souls of the dead to greet you. But is this true...? Are the priests or `Presbyters' hiding something? In death do the people of Deepgate find peace when they are cast into the pit? Or for thousands of years has the religion of this chained city been based simply on a myth...? That is what, Rachael, an assassin - known to Deepgate citizens as a Spine - is going to find out whether she likes it or not. Rachael has sworn to protect Dill, a teenage angel descended from a holy bloodline and together driven by a quest to save the city, of Deepgate they must travel deep into the abyss and face Ulcis if they want to succeed in their task. Will the creatures that they have been told are their enemies truly be their adversaries, or will the men they have been taught to respect and admire be their greatest threat...?

Scar Night, is a first novel written by Alan Campbell and also the first volume in the Deepgate Codex and it is a terrific start to what promises to become a thrilling saga. However, you can tell that the author has been heavily influenced by other fantasy classics, such as Gormenghast. Like Gormenghast, if you don't stick with it, Scar Night can be a little bit hard to get into. At the beginning of the book, so many characters are introduced and their role in the city is described in such detail that some readers may get a bit confused or frustrated.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ildrinn on 13 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
A city in chains hanging over an abyss; a dark, gaslit warren of streets; the ancient, brooding temple of an arcane death-cult... the first thing that strikes you about Scar Night is the setting. This is not your average steam-punk slush; the background descriptions are as beautifully written as anything by Mervyn Peake or Gene Wolfe. Neither is it just a pretty travelogue, however - the next things you notice are the mounting piles of bodies and copious amounts of blood. And that's before you even get to the end of the second page.

For a debut author, this is astonishingly good. You can almost smell the burning tar and the filthy kitchens as the story rattles through the city of Deepgate, following the cast of monsters and misfits in their quests for vengeance, glory, catharsis or just a nice creamy pastry...

The plot is well-paced, though it does stray dangerously close to cliche on occasion. The characters, however, for all that they have fantasy archetypes at their core, are properly developed and have motivations that you can care about; there's some good dialogue, too. This is one author whose next book I will be eagerly awaiting.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Harley on 29 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dark, surreal, gory, monsters, blood, guts, and oh so beautifully written--an absolute vision of fantasy that one rarely finds. I could SMELL the chained city, picture it vividly, I heard the sounds of it: this is the realism of this book. And yes, there are even touches of sarcastic humor that are a delight. No elves, no dragons--I guess the popular term would be urban fantasy. But to me, this one stands alone, in a class by itself. You MUST experience this book.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By B. Wigmore on 11 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
Two hundred pages into this novel, I glanced at the amount I still had to get through and wished it could be more, thinking I would be quite happy to live within its world for a whole month. A hundred pages from the end, I was just keen to get it over with.

It starts very well, sort of a Gormenghast with more action. In fact, Gormenghast must be the main (and rather transparent) influence on this book, at least on the first half. Even the characters' names are very Peakeian - Scrimlock, Mr Nettle, Fondelgrue the chief cook, though the names seem less perfectly suited to their owners than Peake's were. We're pluged into a strange gothic city suspended over a supposedly god-inhabited abyss on massive chains forged by archons (angels) in the distant past. The main protagonist, Dill, is a young battle-archon, last of his line, his wings effectively clipped by his temple's fears for his safety and by the city's new reliance on aerial warships, and too weak to wield his ancestor's sword. The other main character is his new protector and tutor, Rachel, a young female member of the temple's assassin branch, and the only one who hasn't yet undergone 'tempering', where her ability to feel is removed by torture to make her a more effective servant.

So far so good. Dill's stumblings through his new ceremonial duties were perhaps a little too reminiscent of Titus Groan's, but I engaged with him, and liked his ambivalent relationship with Rachel. The fact that he can't disguise his emotions because his irises change colour is rather sweet, though in the end nothing is really made of it. (Like everyone else in the city - apart from one lecherous beggar who makes a big deal of Rachel's leather clothes - he has no hint of a sex drive.) The city itself, Deepgate, is well-realised.
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