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on 15 September 2008
Alan Campbell has an amazing (albeit very strange) imagination. The representation of 'Hell' in the book is incredible, particularly the manifestation of souls as walls, floors, and doorways. The book builds very well on the storyline from Scar Night, introduces many interesting characters and is entertaining throughout.
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on 9 May 2008
As good as scar night and expand on questions left open from the first book. I have to say that both these books are among the best I have read. The history and depth of the scared angel makes her one of the coolest anti-heroes I have meet. The dark universe created in these books is one of the most fascinating ever.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 4 January 2016
I couldn't wait to get into this book, the second in this trilogy. The first book left me reeling, desperate to know what happened next. And I was not left disappointed. In this book, Dill finds himself, unwillingly back in Hell. And Rachel, searching for him, finds herself joining with the most unlikely of companions.

In this book we are introduced to more of Ayen's children; brothers of Ulcis, including Cospinol and Hasp, and we are introduced also to King Menoa, who uses the resources available to him in Hell for his own ghastly purposes.

This book takes us to new places in this brilliantly imagined world, and we meet new people and types of beings that must come from an imagination that I cannot begin to plumb the depths of. Alan Campbell's mind must be a maelstrom of fevered imaginings, and thank goodness we get to see the fruits of some of them on the pages of these wonderful books. I would like to see some maps of the places in the books, it would make some of the distances and perspectives more readily graspable. But maybe that's the point?

I cannot wait to get to the third book in this trilogy, yet am reluctant for it all to end. Nevertheless, I must know where (in Hell?) the story could possibly head to next. Totally recommended!
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2010
Alan Campbell has reached new heights in my opinion, as this is the nearest I ever got to completing a 'Sequel' of any kind!

I was enthralled with his first: 'Scar Night' (see my Review for that title) and was eager to read the Sequel. Though I didn't quite finish this (though by only a few pages) I truly enjoyed what I read, and just believe, as always, that Sequels have to be a bit 'drawn out' to make it through to the end - and so this is no reflection on the actual writing, or style.

With the Chapter 'Cinderbark Wood' - this novel really comes into its own. This was extremely imaginative, and is what the novel really needed after it had left the city 'Deep Gate' behind in the last book. I really missed that 'City Of Chains' this time around. Even to this day; whenever I see 'Scar Night' sitting on the shelves, I have to pick it up and read the first page and am constantly reminded of how much I enjoyed it, and still feel I would be in for a good read! (must read it again one day!) Not having quite made it to the end this time though, I am unsure whether or not I shall purchase the third (and I think final) in the series. If I do, then it will probably be because I will either come back to this and finish it, or start it and re-read the whole thing again. (Readers might also find this title a little 'darker' still than the previous title!)

I'm so often deeply disappointed with Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fiction, but Alan's true imaginative narrative really excels and is quite amazing, and has given me new hopes in the genre!
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on 28 December 2008
If you are a regular reader of these types of book as I am you'll be well familiar with the "Second Book" pitfall many such trilogies fall into. We see originally teasing and twisting storylines straighten out and become predictable and mundane as well as sparkling and intriguing characters that begin to tarnish and fade back into the same old same old that we've read time and time again.

Thankfully, with this the second book of the Deepgate Codex Alan Campbell continues to ignore the rule book that took a flying leap out the window with Scar Night. (PS. As other reviews have mentioned, if you have not read Scar Night, the opening book of the Deepgate Codex then you will find this all rather difficult to run with).

Iron Angel somehow manages to be all the book that Scar Night was with a pile of new characters and evocative imagery thrown in for good measure. If like me you were concerned with how well a second book would stand up away from the dark and hauntingly described chains of Deepgate then dont be. Iron Angel introduces us to far more of Campbells world than we saw in Scar Night and thankfully the level of imagination and description remains firmly off the scale. This book deals with the unforseen ramifications of the death of Ulcis and as the scope of the storyline expands we learn the roles that he and the other exiled sons of Ayen play in the much wider conflict with the self proclaimed King of The Maze, Menoa. Souls are lost by the thousand, the dead walk the land nourished by a mist of spilt blood and we have the many facets of The Maze described to us in intricate detail.

A truly entertaining installment of the Deepgate Codex and a worthy successor to Scar Night. If you like your fantasy dark, edgy and very original then these books are a must read.
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on 22 March 2017
Totally different to other fantasy writers, took me awhile to empathise with the main character but the world is full of lots of intriguing characters and you do gradually become drawn into all their lives.
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on 25 August 2008
In my opition, the best thing about the 2nd book is the limited appearance of Dill!. I found Iron Angel better than Scar Night because the author finally decided to include some action rather than fill pages with endless descriptions of everything.
Some interesting characters make an entrance, such as John Anchor, Alice Harper and Hasp, which was a pleasant surprise, as in the 1st book the only ones that got my attention were Rachel Hael and Cardinal. I simply did not care about the rest of them.
One thing that annoys me is the way "Gods" are basically nothing more than strong humans with wings. It just doesn't correspond to all their past deeds, the worlds they are supposed to have created, etc.
Overall, the book is quite nice and Campbell's world is now becoming more complete and convincing.
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on 3 May 2008
The first book "Scar Night" is one of my all time favrites so this book was on top of my wish list.
It doesnt disappoint and delivers a fantastic story, however it introduces too many new mechanics to the story too fast.

The story still follows the misfortune of Dill and Rachel as the young angel trys to come to terms with what and who he is, alot more really strange but brilliantly realised new people join him and the scene is as vividly painted as the chained city was in scar night.

The first book was excellent and had a real sense of character, you cared what happened to Dill and Rachel and even Carnival, and the story was easy enough to follow but left the important questions hanging leaving you salivating for more, this second book just doesnt quite capture the same feel as the first and the ending doesnt quite end as well as the first.

New gods and new chacters flood the book and although revealing alot more background on what the books are all about it all just overwhelms the detail and the main characters you follow dont get the attention they deserve.

Dont get me wrong this book is excellent and i would advise buying it if you liked scar night but new things are introduced in such a rush that you dont get time to take it in, saying that though im now waiting desperatly for the next installment.
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on 2 May 2008
have you read scar night? (the first in the trilogy) then you really need to before you read the second enstallment... although its amazing to read, hard to put down and hosting some of the most surreal characters i've ever read... it will be hard to understand if you havent read the first. the imagery that alan campbell has conjured up will leave you wondering why other authors dont employ the same level of creativity. All i can say is i cant wait till the next in the codex...
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on 8 May 2008
I simply loved Scar Night and Lye Street.

However, this next installment did not live up to my expectations. The pace and tone were good but there were just many new characters and not enough of the old ones. E.g. Carnival practically didn't appear anywhere throughout the novel ( except when she dies- does she die?) and where the hell did Devon go!?

However I do like the new concepts introduced and Hell sent shivers down my spine. The technology is also well described, lending the novel an element of reality.

The best thing about Cambpell's novels are that they never seem to give the reader a break or allow a sense of safety- no matter what, you can always expect the worst!

Overall well written and involving.
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