Title(s): Scar Night, Iron Angel, God of Clocks
Author: Alan Campbell
Main Characters: Dill, Rachel, and Carnival...those are the only 3 constant main charas in all 3 novels [there are a lot of main charas however]
Warnings: fairly graphic descriptions of violence/gore, some profanity but not much
I finished reading this series a few days ago. I'm pretty sure this is the whole series, unless Campbell surprises us and writes another one in it, but as far as I know, it's a trilogy. I will start off by saying it was unfortunately disappointing in certain respects. Yes, I'm starting off this review by pointing out the negatives!
Each book had the same problem--TOO MANY CHARACTERS AND POINTS OF VIEW. On the back cover of the first book, Scar Night, it describes it as being about a young angel boy named Dill and the city of Deepgate and the dark, creepy
things that go on. So you immediately think that Dill will be the main character, correct? They didn't name anyone else, after all. But no. I can't count how many shifts in point of view there were in not only the first book, but the last two as well. It's safe to say that there were more chapters and parts following other characters (even minor ones) than there were of Dill. And what's a major problem when you have too many characters and switches in scenes and viewpoints? You lose track of what's going on. You wouldn't hear from certain characters (*cough*Dill*cough*) for over 100 pages. By that time, you've forgotten what the heck happened last to them. It was hard to follow.
Similarly, I think Campbell would give up about halfway through each novel. All of a sudden it's like the stories would completely shift, totally forget about the characters in the first half, and certain scenes wouldn't be written very thoroughly. I'll never forget this one scene in the second book; I won't spoil anything, but it was almost slapstick comedy-like in how it played out, and that was unlike ANY of the rest of the books. It was as if he was writing and thought, "Hmm, I just want to get through this chapter...yeah, I'll have him be killed and then that guy be killed by that guy, and then he'll be killed...and yup, done! All killed." If only these books had a better flow to them, a better sense of continuation between each chapters/parts...it would be great. Because honestly, I was HOOKED for the first half of every one of these. They each start out with suspense and intriguing characters, albeit a lot of them. I would get into those stories, and again, it would seem that halfway through, the books fell off a cliff. I would get confused, tired of the point of view changes, and just wishing that certain characters would be involved again!
Alright, enough of my rants. Those are the negatives. The positives are that each book does have really exciting and interesting parts. Alan Campbell is very descriptive; you can imagine everything that's going on and feel the dark, grimy goodness of the city of Deepgate. However, don't get used to the city for long since it, like many of the characters, disappears into the second book. But even all the other enviroments are well visualized. I wish I could say the same for the characters, as I've already complained about...but he hardly ever describes them. The only character I recall him every describing in detail is Anchor, who doesn't appear in the series until...well, now I don't remember. Either partway through the second book or the third book. Point is, you really have to create each character in your own mind without descriptions. Dill could be red-haired and pimple-faced, short and fat. Or he could be tall, dark and handsome with those angel wings of his. But you really wouldn't know.
The first book attempts to follow Dill and his journey to become a guardian of sorts of a tower in this city of chains, Deepgate. The main bad guy is this creepy guy that works in the basement of the place, experimenting with poisons on unsuspecting workers and citizens of the city. His end goal is to create a potion of 13 souls to devour and them become immortal. Dill is teamed up with Rachel, what they call a "Spine," a sort of assassin, there to train him and keep him in line. Of course they just end up being friends and going through this little adventure together, throughout all 3 books. The second book involves gods...well, the first book did, too. There are all sorts of gods in these books. Gods of the underground, of knives and flowers, of the ocean (though there isn't one anymore). There's a war going on among them, and of course Dill and Rachel get caught up in it for a reason I can't really say otherwise I'd spoil the first book! But I will say that poor Dill's soul goes bye-bye and spends most of the book in Hell, in the "Maze." Again, I can't say what happens to him...otherwise I'd spoil the whole twist in it, but what does happen is that he gets a new body. I can't say what kind! Lol. But he will be stuck in that body for the whole of the third book. God of Clocks, now that's where it gets confusing. I honestly can't even tell you what happens in it. I know, this is a terrible review, but it just didn't make sense. Time travel Yes. Where on earth did time travel come in? It wasn't in any of the other books, and yet now Rachel and the gang get caught up in going back in time and having to repeat certain events over and over in order to stop the evil God, Menoa. Um, the ending...yeah. Trust me, I don't even know what the heck happened. If you're looking for the traditional "good characters fight bad characters to the death and you know they're gone" battle, sorry. Not happening.
Gotta be honest, if you want a better review with more summaries, go here. Just as I got tired partway through reading each book, I'm getting tired of trying to explain them. >> I knew where the faults lie though! Lol. Sorry about that, really. So I guess, I sound rather ridiculous that I WOULD recommend them. I would because they are very interesting, and they all start out great. They just don't hold up throughout the whole of them. Heck, maybe some of you will love them though. Maybe you don't mind a lot of point of view changes, but I do. I obviously didn't give them terrible ratings, so they aren't all bad. But I was left with a sour taste in my mouth after each one. I'd much rather have a book end on a really great note than that. Than "Uh, what just happened? Did it end already? What happened to all those other characters??" Thanks for reading this! I apologize for my huge amounts of rants and poor summaries. XD
Scar Night: B
Iron Angel: B
God of Clocks: B-