God of Clocks (Deepgate Codex) Paperback – Unabridged, 7 May 2010
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Highly imaginative . . . Readers will thrill to the hellishly dark imagery. Publishers Weekly
A blisteringly good read . . . If it were ever to transform to the wide screen, you would need a director that combined Peter Jackson s scale with Terry Gilliam s surrealism. Scotland on Sunday
"Highly imaginative . . . Readers will thrill to the hellishly dark imagery."--Publishers Weekly
"A blisteringly good read . . . If it were ever to transform to the wide screen, you would need a director that combined Peter Jackson's scale with Terry Gilliam's surrealism."--Scotland on Sunday
-Highly imaginative . . . Readers will thrill to the hellishly dark imagery.---Publishers Weekly
-A blisteringly good read . . . If it were ever to transform to the wide screen, you would need a director that combined Peter Jackson's scale with Terry Gilliam's surrealism.---Scotland on Sunday
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'A bombastic, action-packed follow up...Campbell's gift is in exploring elements of good and evil and infusing them.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
This sequel picks up after Scar Night and Iron Angel. Campbell lost most of his momentum with the second of the trilogy and, to be honest, he struggles to regain it in the final part. In fact it could be said that Scar Night is a perfectly acceptable (and very good) stand-alone while Angel and CLocks are sub-par attempts to cash in. I'm sure that's not entirely fair on the author, but I almost wish I had stopped reading at the end of Scar Night.
OK, to be more charitable, Scar Night was always going to be a hard act to follow; although it had plenty of detractors, the atmosphere, the aesthetic and the ideas were innovative, intriguing and well realised and the writing was highly accomplished. True enough, Angel and Clocks are replete with great ideas and fantastic imagery but the characterisation is poor, the characters themselves are poorly developed and the prose veers between leaden and a sort of overwrought hyperbole that makes it seem as if the book was written by a teenager. Add to that the need for a good editor - the novel is at least 30% longer than it needed to be and I would contend that it could have been merged with a similarly redacted part two to present a fine, two part series.
And the "time travel bit". I can only agree with the other reviewers that this inclusion is desperately ill advised. Not only does it appear as a sort of "and then he woke up and it was all a dream" deus ex machina but it needlessly complicates the latter third of the book. At one point there were four Rachels on-stage, each in her own time-frame and each heading towards (or engaged in) a meeting with one or more of the others. Now, I for one could have done with a lot more Rachel - a truly kick ass heroine if ever there was one - but not like THAT. Cue much, derivative, discussion about the trousers of time and the butterfly effect and the whole deal sticks out like a sore thumb; a poorly managed mash-up between a sci-fi and a fantasy novel. Time-travel is a great plot device which can be used, front and centre, to explore some interesting concepts and ideas (Ian Watson's The Very Slow Time Machine is a great example of this) or in the background to set up an otherwise unlikely scenario (can't go far wrong with HG Wells' famous device). In Clocks, Campbell threw it away cheaply and I can only admit that I skimmed this sequence.
So much else was thrown away here. The characters continue to be the opportunity that was missed in Iron Angel. To be fair however there are at last a few hints of a deeper life to some of them - John Anchor's past is partially revealed and the relationship between Rachel and Dill is tantalisingly (but oh so shallowly) probed.
Worse still is the setting in Hell (AKA The Maze) and the nature of the "Gods". The Gods themselves are revealed to be little more than humans with wings and special priviledges and this robs them of much of their cachet. Hell is supposedly a horrific place to spend eternity and this is well set up in Iron Angel. Sadly, the overexposure it receives in Clocks dulls its edge somewhat and one of the characters even speculates that "it's not that bad really" and that she would like to "settle down there, in an apartment with a view". What? WHAT? So all those millions of lost, tormented souls are just a buch of moaning minnies who don't like the scenery or the neighbours then? That comment pretty much spoiled what was left of the story for me, I'm afraid.
Look, God of Clocks is a workmanlike fantasy novel and well worth a read. There are plenty more out there far inferior to this, but don't be expecting anything like as fresh and well executed as the first in the series.
OK - it's not all bad. Campbell does deliver some excellent scenes and Carnival easily rivals Rachel for bad-assery...
"Her scars burned with the pleasure of the battle, as her hair clung to her face in a bloody net. Carnival snarled and laughed and spun in circles behind her demon sword, gutting and slicing, and painting the walls with blood. She inhaled the dying breath of her foes and exulted in the taste of it. And the blade in her fist only wailed in agony."
Some characters are interesting, examples being Dill, Hasp, and Anchor, but others are very tedious, the prime culprit here being Carnival. You could sum up her character on the back of a stamp, yet she seems to be one of the author's favorites. I can only assume this is because she serves as an automatic 'badass slaughter' card for him to use if he feels things are getting a bit slow. I would have preferred less repetitive descriptions of her killing nameless legions and more time for Dill, who has very little roll in this book despite being one of the few likable characters. All the characters are a bit two dimensional, but they're so extreme and colourfully imagined it doesn't really matter.
The plot is good for the first half, but falls apart during the second. The dreaded time paradox comes into play, and I struggled to follow what was going on despite the slightly awkward moments when characters gathered in a circle to explain what was happening to each other. The ending was simply shambolic, the plot isn't resolved so much as it's beheaded. Very few questions are answered (if anything more questions are asked, I found myself looking at the last page and thinking: WHAT?), and very little of what happens makes actual sense. It was incredibly unsatisfying, and I'm amazed any editor let it pass.
All in all, a well written and enjoyable book in an engrossing and macabre fantasy world. Flawed, but still brilliant in places, it's ultimately let down by its shaky, convoluted, and poorly resolved plot.
I find the author's style of writing breathtaking - the writing is such that it conveys the words visually to the reader; things that seem to be incapable of being explained by words, such as Hell, the Maze, the Failed, the Arconites - all seem to be portrayed totally visually by the language in the book. This, to me, is a stunning achievement in itself for any author - that a story so beyond the realms of the reader's own imagination can be conveyed to the reader so clearly by the author. You can `see' this book unfold through the writing itself. Great stuff.
My only quibble with this book was the ending; too many loose ends that never seemed to be resolved. I would have liked to have more conclusions, not only of the action, but also of the scenarios and the people. I had always imagined that Mr Nettles from the first book would be back, and where did Mr D go? Vaguely disappointing; but maybe there are plans for more books to come?
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